What do You Know about Dahlias?

Dahlias 101

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Are you searching for the perfect flower and getting ready for your next planned event or wedding? Sometimes there is no right or wrong flower but a matter preference as to what fits your needs or what fits your personality. The 101 series is a series of articles helping to educate everyone with the contrasts of various flowers. You may want to read the others in this series as well as many other helpful articles.

There are five things to remember about dahlias:

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  1. Dahlias may have single or multiple rows of petals. The blossoms range from small, ball types to large rays resembling daisies or peonies. Dahlias are available in dwarf sizes reaching only about a foot in height to taller varieties sometimes standing almost 6 feet, with blossoms about 16 inches across.
  2. Buy fresh dahlias when they are three-fourths to fully open, with petals showing good color and no wilting outer petals.
  3. Dahlias start to wilt from the outer petals toward the center. Check the backs of the flowers for freshness when purchasing. Dahlias wilt easily, so pulling off any foliage and buds helps the flower last longer.
  4. Dahlias have attractive dark-green foliage and interesting offshoots of smaller blossoms and buds. However, they last longer if foliage and buds are removed.
  5. When dahlia flowers begin to wilt from the back, gently remove the outer wilted or discolored petals for a fresh-looking, smaller flower to use in arrangements.

Here are some facts about dahlias:

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Names – Dahlia

Varieties – There are about 28 species of dahlias and hundreds of varieties. These varieties are separated into 12 divisions, based on blossom type and shape.

Colors – All shades and colors available, except no true blue. Many dahlias are striped or variegated. Some of the colors and combinations appear fluorescent, almost unreal.

Scent – None

Freshness – Purchase of cut when the flowers are three-fourths to fully open. The outer petals should not be discolored or wilted.

Vase Life – Approximately 5 days, sometimes longer

Availability – Summer to early fall

Cost – Inexpensive

Arranging Tip – Once dahlias start to wilt from the back, gently pull these petals off for a fresh-looking smaller flower.

Growing Tip – Dahlias are prolific bloomers, producing many flowers throughout their season. Unlike most tuberous and bulb flowers which give only a one-time show and rest until the next year, dahlias continue to bloom later than most flowers and offer a splash of color in the garden into fall. But they are very frost sensitive, so dig up the tubers just before the first frost and store until the next year for replanting.

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