Click on any photo for a larger view.
When Europeans first came across Dahlias in Central America, they were not impressed with the showy flowers that these plants are now known for, as the original wild Dahlias did not have impressive flowers. These explorers figured that its tuberous roots could be a good source of food and took them back to Europe. Unfortunately, the roots taste similar to aspirin, and Dahlia failed as a food source. Fortunately, breeders hybridized the plants and bred for the large, showy flowers that Dahlias are famous for today.
The large 3" blossoms boast an outer ring of neon orange with a center starburst of canary yellow ray petals (called a collarette style dahlia bloom). A super easy and floriferous choice for bold drama in the garden bed, or use as a mixed container planting on your patio. 'Showtime' grows to about 16" tall in a very compact form.
|Plant Types:||Annual, Perennial|
|Light:||Partial Shade to Full Sun|
|Height:||1 foot 4 inches|
|Width:||1 foot 2 inches to 1 foot 6 inches|
|Zones:||9a to 11b|
|Bloom Color:||Orange, Yellow|
|Bloom Seasons:||Early summer, Mid summer, Late summer|
|Fertilizer:||Composted Yard Trimmings, Low-Nitrogen Fertilizer|
|Want to know where Dahlia will thrive in your house or garden? The EasyBloom Plant Sensor will give you a plant's-eye view of your environment to measure soil, sunlight, temperature and humidity.||
Watch a Video >
Learn More >
Buy EasyBloom >
Can be started by seed. For the taller varieties, start them by seed indoors and then transplant the seedlings into the ground after threat of frost has past in late winter to early spring. For the smaller varieties, the seeds can be sown directly into the outdoor garden but only do so after the ground is warm. Additionally, you can always purchase Dahlias that have been started from a nursery.
Dahlias have been hybridized for many years and come in many varieties; therefore, you will see Dahlias ranging in many different sizes. The taller bush forms are great for summer hedges, screens and fillers. Dahlias do best in climates where the winter temperatures do not go below 20°F/-7°C. In climates that have winters that border this minimum temperature, Dahlias can be protected by mulching with 4 inches of straw or similar material to insulate the roots. Most gardeners will dig out their Dahlias annually to protect from harsh winters, however.
Many Dahlias have long floral stems making them good candidates as cut flowers. The American Dahlia Society has classified Dahlias in 20 different forms that represent different flower types. Some of the more popular forms are Anemone, Collarette, Orchid, Peony, Single, Ball, Cactus, Decorative and Waterlily. Dahlia flowers come in every color except for true blue. Deadhead to prolong flowering. Pinch out from the growing point to promote bushiness.
Dahlias need watering as soon as the shoots are visible above ground and will need regular irrigations throughout their active growth cycle. Grows best in humus-rich, well-draining soil.
Newly planted Dahlias in fresh, enriched soil generally do not need any feeding. If your Dahlia stayed in the ground from the previous year, use a low nitrogen fertilizer at the beginning of the growing season.
Check regularly for fungal infection. Remove infected plant parts to prevent spread.
Caterpillars, stem borers, aphids, spider mites, cucumber beetles, slugs, capsid bugs, planthoppers, and flower thrips cause problems. Other issues include powdery mildew, blossom blights, dahlia mosaic virus, smut, fungal leaf spots, crown gall, soft rot, and tomato spotted wilt virus.