So, as you can see from the caption, I am ridiculously proud of myself. I've been slowly getting into more flower growing the past couple years. Dahlias have been on my "must plant" list for a while. Experienced gardeners rave about how easy they are to grow and how they're so productive all the way up to the first frost. Plus, dahlias look drop dead gorgeous in vases, either as a party of one or in a bouquet.
This little pink gem caught my eye this morning when I was walking out to the yoga porch. Hah, doesn't "yoga porch" make it sound like I have a vast estate? I actually have a tiny cape on a few acres of land. But, there is a two story barn and on the back of that barn my husband built a screened in porch, which I have taken over for yoga.
I was so excited to see the plant blooming I snapped a pic with my iPhone and texted it to my mother. She was suitably proud.
Dahlias are Low Maintenance
I haven't done much to keep these plants growing. Other than planting the tubers horizontally in the ground with the "eye up" in the spring, and watering them once they sprouted above the ground and the occasional fertilizer, I haven't done anything to them.
If you plant some yourself for the first time, be sure to plant a stake or an upside down tomato cage at the same time because dahlias require a lot of support.
I've planted five total this year. The dahlia plant in the photo above is about four feet tall and about 18 to 24 inches wide. The blooms are heavy and will drag the plant down to the ground if it doesn't have a sturdy brace. You'll also need to use wire or twine to support the plant on the stake as the plant gets taller and heavier.
All the flower farmers I've interviewed in my day job have told me to pinch off the very first dahlia bud. Even though it means waiting a couple extra weeks for your first blooms, it must be done.
This will help ensure that you get a much more productive plant with many more blooms. I've done this to all of my dahlia plants now. It really does work. They've all bushed outward substantially.
Your turn: have you had any experience with dahlias? What's growing in your garden this season? Tell us in the comment section.