Growing Dahlias and Taking Care of It
Dahlias are very common flower in our gardens, and are moderately easy to grow. I am going to share my views on how it is done.
1. Size of the pot.
Dahlia plants grow very big about 4-6 feet tall, so it requires a big pot, I recommend to pot it in a 14 inch diameter pot. You may choose plastic or earthen pot, that doesn't matter. Dahlias grows tuberous root so if your pot aren't so tough it could possibly break your pot, this mistake happened to me twice.
2. Preparing the potting mix.
Potting mixture is a very essential part for a plant. Good mix will reduce the chances of water log, root rotting and increase the health of the plant. A good way of making a simple but good potting soil is by mixing:
- 1/3 part peat moss or garden soil.
- 1/3 part compost.
- 1/3 part sand.
After mixing these, put some amount of water in it, make it wet (don’t clog), thoroughly. It will help the root of your sprout to reach the water quickly.
Then place it in the pot, and be ready with your sprout.
Other better options of potting mix are also available on the net, you could try out those too.
3. Planting the sprout.
Weather you brought one, or made on from previous years root bulb, doesn't matter, your sprout must be well rooted without any disease.
Take it gently make a hole in the soil with your fingers. Place it in soil and cover the roots with the soil. Press gently.
Place it in partly shady areas for 5-7 days after planting other than direct sun.
Some of my Harvested Flowers
4. Taking care of it.
Dahlias usually grow within 2 months, so that much patience is recommended. Its requirements are simple, just go through these and you definitely are successful in having a great garden.
Dahlia requires full sun during its growing session, so place in such a place. Two years ago I mistakenly planted my dahlia trees in a shady area, within 2 weeks they all died, so beware of this it’s very much important. If your plant is not getting sufficient light u will get the symptoms of curled leaves.
Give them water as required, usually once a day in moderately humid areas and in dry areas two times a day. Make sure, this is for full grown plants. Watering should be done in such a way that your plant gets exact amount as it requires. Wait until it the top of the soil get dry.
Fertilization is a very essential part of keeping your plant healthy and thus making your flower bigger and better. You can give fertilizer as recommended by the product you brought or just mix water and compost and give it to it. This should be done weekly 3-4 weeks before flowering for best results. You should mix organic and inorganic fertilizers for better results, though organic fertilizer rules. Also you should keep a check on over fertilizing, if you does so should get the symbols like burnt leaves, yellowing of leaves etc.
Dahlia plants will definitely need stalking, even if your plant is 1-2 feet tall, you never know when your plant will fall down. I did this mistake last year them stem seemed strong enough to hold the plant, but within a day or two I found 2-4 stem of it lying on the floor, was greatly disappointed due to it. Stalk when it is about 10 cm tall with a 3-4 feet stalk, leaving 2-4 cm from the base of the plant. If you wait until your plant becomes bigger, firstly you will hurt the roots of the plant, secondly you never know when your plant will break.
Pruning is also an essential part for better flowering. Firstly, if you want huge number of flowers, you have to prune or pinch out your first bud that will come to your plant, this will make the flower size little diminished but large in quantity. Secondly, if you want to make the centre flower bigger, but allover flowering little less then you got to prune down you two side bud that will appear by the side of the central bud.
Anyway, after all this hard work you will get a pleasant beautiful garden that you will be pleased to see and everyone too. Dahlias are available in many colors and varieties these days, so you should try out the max that is possible.