Hardy Dahlia Plant Facts

Author: burtchris7,

Published On: August 24, 2023

Hardy dahlias, botanically known as Dahlia spp., are a dazzling and diverse group of flowering plants celebrated for their vibrant blooms and robust growth. These perennials belong to the Asteraceae family and are native to Mexico and Central America. Hardy dahlias are characterized by their bold and colorful flowers, which come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and hues, making them a popular choice among gardeners and flower enthusiasts.

The plant’s foliage is equally attractive, with dark-green leaves that provide a stunning backdrop to the showy blooms. Depending on the variety, the flowers can be single, semi-double, or fully double, and they can range from small pom-poms to large, dinner-plate-sized blossoms. The color palette of hardy dahlias spans the rainbow, encompassing shades of red, orange, yellow, pink, purple, and even bi-color combinations.

Planting Zones: Hardy dahlias are suitable for planting in USDA hardiness zones 8-11. In colder climates, they can be grown as annuals or lifted and stored indoors during the winter.

Growing Guide and Planting Bareroot Dahlias:

  1. Selecting a Location: Choose a well-draining location that receives full sunlight for at least 6 hours a day. Prepare the soil by incorporating organic matter to improve its texture and fertility.
  2. Planting Time: In regions with mild winters, plant dahlias in the spring after the last frost date. In colder areas, wait until the soil has warmed up and all danger of frost has passed.
  3. Preparing Bareroot Tubers: Before planting, soak the bareroot dahlia tubers in water for a few hours to rehydrate them.
  4. Digging Holes: Dig holes that are about 4-6 inches deep and spaced 18-24 inches apart. If planting multiple dahlias, allow sufficient space between them to accommodate their mature size.
  5. Planting: Place the tubers in the holes horizontally, with the eye (the bud-like growth) facing up. Cover the tubers with soil, leaving about an inch of soil above the tuber.
  6. Watering: After planting, water the area thoroughly to settle the soil and ensure good root-to-soil contact.
  7. Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch around the planted dahlias to conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.

Pruning and Care Instructions:

  1. Support: As the plants grow, insert stakes or cages to provide support for the stems and flowers, preventing them from bending or breaking.
  2. Pinching: Pinch off the top growth when the plants are about a foot tall to encourage bushier growth and more flowers.
  3. Deadheading: Regularly remove spent flowers to encourage continuous blooming.
  4. Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water at the base of the plant to avoid wetting the foliage, which can lead to fungal diseases.
  5. Fertilizing: Feed dahlias with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer or a liquid fertilizer formulated for flowering plants every 4-6 weeks during the growing season.
  6. Overwintering (Cold Climates): In colder zones, after the first frost, cut back the foliage to a few inches above the ground. Carefully dig up the tubers, remove excess soil, and let them air-dry for a day or two. Store the tubers in a cool, dry place (around 45-50°F / 7-10°C) for the winter.

Hardy dahlias are a delightful addition to gardens and landscapes, offering an impressive array of colors and forms that can create stunning focal points or vibrant borders in your outdoor space. With proper care and attention, these plants will reward you with a spectacular display of blooms year after year.