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Start Your Summer Dahlia Garden This Month

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If you’re new to flower gardening let me introduce you to what will soon be your most favorite bloom – DAHLIAS!

Dahlias are a hearty, gorgeous flower that come in a vast array of colors. From purples to whites to gorgeous sunset tones, dahlias cut and come again all summer long and into the fall in most areas of the country.

I’ve been planting dahlias for a few years now and they are by far my favorite flower to grow, harvest, and share. I love how sturdy they are – both the stalk and bloom – and am grateful that they’re so low maintenance.

Dahlia season begins once you’re clear of the first frost. For most, that’s May; making this month the perfect time to start your summer dahlia garden.


First, choose a sunny plot of land. Dahlias require full sun.

Dahlias plants grow from a tuber and can become quite large so space your dahlias at least a foot apart. To plant, dig a hole 4-6 inches deep and place the tuber on its side – growing eye facing up (that’s the little white dot near the neck). Then, wait!

Do not water until you see your dahlias become to peek out of the soil. If you over water beforehand the tuber can rot. So be patient. Once you see them above ground you can begin regularly watering.

When your dahlia plant reaches a foot tall, cut 3-4 inches off the main stem. This is called pinching and will force your plant to branch and grow more stems and thus more blooms! It seems counterintuitive to trim a plant you’re growing, but I promise, this step is key!

Before you know it, you’ll have thriving dahlia plants to beautiful blooms. As they grow keep watch that the plants don’t fall over. By mid-August you’ll most likely need to stake them for support.

Harvest your dahlias as they bloom; when the flowers are 90% unfolded. Place in water immediately and enjoy their bright notes of color as single stem blooms or in mixed bouquets. Start collecting vases and jars now because dahlias grow and give all summer long so you’ll have lots of flowers to share with family and friends!

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