Anyone who has been to my home knows I am in love with dahlias. It started when I was about 10 years old. My best friends, mom would grow them and I was fascinated by the size of her “dinner plate” dahlias. They reminded me of fireworks. Probably another reason I love them so much, the 4th of July is my favorite holiday.
I’ve heard them called the poor man’s rose…. well screw that! Dahlias are so much cooler than roses!! For starters, they come in all sorts of shades and colors!
They can get humongous!
They are insanely prolific. Enough that all summer I had 5 vases filled around the house and often gave bouquets as gifts.
Did I mention they come in different shapes?
I ask you, can you say the same for roses? I think not!
And they don’t have thorns! So there!
This last spring was the first time in 4 years I lived somewhere that had a great spot for dahlias. I purchased a few single sets and a couple combo packs as a “starter set.” Mountain Man made me wooden stakes to drive into the ground as I planted to tubers. It’s important to put the stakes in when you plant so you don’t pierce a tuber and kill the plant.
Then the waiting…. And waiting…. Ugh I hate the waiting! I would stare at the empty area often and try to will them out of the ground. Then, finally, at the end of May, they started to pop up.
And then there was no stopping them!
One factor I’ve learned about dahlia care is that you do have to dig up the tubers in the winter. They need to “air out” in order to come back healthy and happy each year. Yesterday I started this task. I had to wait until the plants were mostly dead before digging them up, don’t they look sad?
After cutting off the stalks, I carefully dug up each tuber bunch and boy! Had they grown!
They were 3x the size I remember them being. Each tuber bunch was labeled and placed in a plastic bag with peat moss. I had a bunch of repeat plants from my combo packs so I’m sending them off to friends and family who have expressed an interest in growing a few of these.
The rest are hiding out in the garage until May.
I discovered that there is a dahlia barn in my area. They have every species of dahlia known to mankind! Next year I’m going there to get the craziest dahlias I can find! Wanna come?