Dahlias are one of the earliest flowering plants of the entire history of flowering plants, which is really saying something. They were first discovered in the wilds of China during the Han Dynasty, and they’ve been flowering ever since. So we’re going to guess that there’s a pretty good chance you know a lot about dahlias—like, from studying them at school or on TV, or maybe you’ve had a dahlia in your house for years. Maybe your parents have a dahlia collection, or maybe you have a friend who has a dahlia collection, or maybe you just watched Downton Abbey. Whatever it is, there’s no doubt that you’re an expert
Dahlias are an incredibly diverse type of flower, with a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. As a result, the exact price can vary greatly depending on what you’re looking for. If you’d like to learn more about dahlias and their incredible array of options, check out our detailed guide here.
Best Way to Grow Dahlias
Plant dahlias in a spot that gets at least eight hours of direct sunlight a day. In dry, hot-summer climates, choose a spot that provides direct sun from the morning into midday, offering shade or filtered shade by the hottest part of the late afternoon.
Like potatoes, dahlias grow from tubers (they’re actually edible) so good soil preparation is key. Loosen or dig soil to a depth of about 10 inches. Your soil should be easily worked and have good drainage. If you have heavy soil, amend with compost or aged manure. Planting is a good time to incorporate an organic fertilizer ($12, The Home Depot) with an N-P-K ratio of 5-10-15, 5-10-10, 10-20-20, or 0-20-20. The higher middle number, phosphorous, assists with bloom production, while the third number, potassium, helps root development. Any fertilizer recommended for vegetables can be used for dahlias.
Although you can start dahlias from seeds, it’s easiest to use tubers. After you prepare the soil, dig a hole 4-6 inches deep, lay the tuber horizontally, and cover with soil. If you’re planting several dahlias, grow the smaller varieties 9-12 inches apart. Taller dahlias can be spaced 2-3 feet apart, or half their final height (some can grow taller than 6 feet, so be prepared!).
Except in hot climates, don’t water the tubers until the first shoots and leaves appear. Because the surface of the ground needs to stay warm (at least 60°F) for the tubers to sprout, avoid mulching until the plants are actively growing. Once the plants are established, add mulch to conserve moisture and prevent weeds. Because dahlia roots are shallow, pulling large weeds can easily disrupt the roots, so pull weeds only by hand when they’re still small. Avoid using chemical weed controls and weeding instruments like hoes because they kill dahlia roots.
How to Store Dahlia Tubers
You’ll need to keep tubers chilled (below 50℉ but above freezing).
Place tubers inside plastic bags or cardboard boxes filled with material that maintains moisture around the tubers but allows air flow. Vermiculite, dry sand, Styrofoam peanuts, or wood shavings all work. Cover them with more storage medium before placing them in a cool storage spot.
In conclusion, Dahlias are a flower that is beautiful, versatile, and available in a wide range of colors. For all of these reasons, the dahlia is a popular choice for gardeners and florists alike. Though it can be used in a variety of settings, from formal to casual, the dahlia is also an expensive flower that can affect your budget. The average stem of dahlias costs between $1 and $4 each. This price will go up or down depending on the size you purchase, with larger flowers costing more than smaller ones. If you’re using dahlias as part of a bridal bouquet or other centerpiece, expect to pay more than if you were purchasing them for your own home garden.