Historically it is one of the flowers that aroused admiration for its beauty when Hernán Cortés arrived in New Spain. Currently it is one of the most appreciated garden ornamentals, being almost at the same level as the chrysanthemum, another great ornamental.
The catalog of shapes, colors, varieties and sizes is huge. We are going to give you some brushstrokes of the needs and care.
INTERESTING FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT DAHLIAS BEFORE GROWING
The first thing you should know is that there are tens of thousands of different cultivars around the world of Dahlia spp. From there, and once you have decided on the color, shape, size of the flower, height, variety depending on the season or month of sowing, you can start to see what care you need.
The two main species are Dahlia pinnata Cav. and Dahlia coccinea Cav. From there there are very different heights (from 30 cm to stems of more than 1 m). There are mainly cactus type or pompom type.
Another important characteristic to know about the dahlia is that it is a heliophilic species , that is, it seeks the sun and the shape that the bush will finally acquire will be closely linked to the search for the Astro Rey.
Indirectly, we are anticipating the type of solar exposure that this plant will require for its cultivation, full sun . Its root is tuberculous and although you plant it by seed you can always recover the tuber of the ones you like the most to multiply them, although we will talk a little more about multiplication later.
CLASSIFICATION OF DAHLIAS
Due to its great variety of types, forms, and the possibility of hybridizations, specific dahlia associations have been created all over the world in which they collect and in some way “officialize” the different cultivars. The classifications are innumerable. By color, by shape, by classes, by sizes. You can get lost looking at different types. There is a national association in England, in the US, in Mexico (where it is from) and many other countries. We leave you the classifications of the two associations so that you can browse for a while looking for your favorite dahlia.
- The American Dahlia Society (EEUU)
- National Dahlia Society (United Kingdom)
DAHLIAS CARE GUIDE
CLIMATIC AND SOIL NEEDS OF DAHLIAS
Temperatures and exposure
Dahlias are generally a medium cold hardy species . According to varieties, we can have blooms from the beginning of summer to the end of autumn as long as the frosts allow it. That is its thermal limit: 0 ºC. So depending on the zones the flowering period will be more or less extended.
As we have already mentioned in the introduction, it is a heliophilic plant so exposure to the sun must be total.
EDAPHOLOGICAL CONDITIONS AND IRRIGATION
It is important that the soil is deep and that it has a good water retention capacity. eye! We are not saying that it gets flooded. This is fatal for tuberous roots. It has to be perfectly drained . It is rustic in terms of characteristics and tolerates a wide range of soil types, but ideally it has a good content of organic matter and a pH close to neutral, holding up better if it deviates towards the acidic side. The limestone soil does not support it very well.
Watering must be regular but with care not to flood the roots. It is demanding in nutrients so depending on the state of the soil it is advisable to have previously fertilized the soil with organic matter. Liquid flower fertilizers added with watering once a week (during flowering) are also a good option to maintain a proper nutrient level.
Due to the height that some varieties can reach (more than 1 m), it is necessary to place a stake to guide the stem of the plant when it develops. In the early stages of life, it is necessary to protect young plants from slugs and snails. You will have to keep an eye on these mollusks from time to time and control them.
SOWING AND MULTIPLYING DAHLIAS
We can get dahlias in many ways. Among them, by seed or by division of tubers. Cutting is also possible but is less common.
This is the easiest and most common way to get new dahlias. We will also strengthen the new dahlias with this method of division. It’s very easy to do.
Also, in places with cold winters (frost), we have to cut the stem and dig up the root to wash it of soil, keep it in a dry and cool place so that they can spend the winter and we can divide and / or replant the tubers when the good weather arrives. time (early spring). If the root is kept in the ground during the winter it will not survive.
If we do not have anyone who can give us a cutting and we start from scratch, the most logical thing is to start buying seed and sowing in the months of February-March .
Obviously, to obtain new cultivars this is the only method by crossing varieties to get seed from new hybrids. Cutting or dividing tubers is still a form of cloning.
The seed should be sown at a depth of about 8 cm but it will also depend on varieties.
If you buy seed, it is very likely that the planting recommendations of the variety that you acquire will come. It must be kept at a temperature of 15-16 ºC without varying and it must be illuminated. Once it germinates, after 2 weeks it must be transplanted and allowed to grow.
After a while a second transplant should be made to a larger pot. Once spring is already advanced (end of April-May), the final transplant to the ground will be done.
We know that it is laborious but this is the modus operandi .
MAIN VARIETIES OF DAHLIAS
- Dahlia «Firebird»
- Dahlia «G.F. Hemerick»
- Dahlia «Garden Wonder»
- Dahlia «Gina Lombaert»
- Dahlia «Glory Van Naardwijk»
- Dahlia «Glorie Heemstede»
- Dahlia «Glory F. Hemerick»
- Dahlia «Glow»
- Dahlia «Ace of Hearts»
- Dahlia «Hit Parade»
- Dahlia «House of Orange»
- Dahlia “La Gioconda”
- Dahlia «Lady Linda»
- Dahlia «Lavender perfection»
- Dahlia «Lucky Number»
- Dahlia «Musette»
- Dahlia “Summer night”
- Dahlia «Orange Nugget»
- Dahlia «Orange Wealt»
- Dahlia «Park Princess»
- Dahlia «Patty»
- Dahlia «Pianella»
- Dahlia «Playa blanca»
- Dahlia «Pomponnette»
- Dahlia «Popular Guest»
- Dahlia «Prefere»
- Dahlia «Preference»