Bolster Bounteous Beautiful Blooms In Your Dahlias With These 3 Botanical Care Tips

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Dahlias are capable of producing large, beautiful blooms — some varieties can produce blooms that are over a foot long in diameter! If you've tried to grow dahlias before and have ended up with slumping plants that barely bloom, you may not have been caring for them correctly. Dahlias require a little bit more work than other flowering plants in order to keep them strong and stable. Here are three tips on how to make sure your dahlias grow large and vibrant blooms all throughout the flowering season.

1. Stake Your Dahlias When You Plant Them

Unless you're growing small dwarf dahlias, it's a good idea to stake your dahlias when you plant the tubers. Staking your dahlias helps them grow straight and helps to thicken the stems, allowing them to support larger blooms without collapsing under the weight. Plant your tubers alongside wooden plant stakes. As your dahlias grow, secure the growth to the stakes using wire ties. You'll prevent your dahlias from collapsing and falling over.

2. Pinch Your Dahlias When They're a Foot Tall

The best way to spur the growth of numerous, large blossoms in your dahlias is to pinch them when they grow to be a foot tall. Dahlias will grow four sets of foliage stems before it begins to grow flower stems. Once the fourth set of foliage stems has grown in, take a sharp pair of garden pruners and cut the main stem right above the fourth foliage stem. This temporarily shocks the dahlia and causes it to spend more time strengthening its stems and growing its foliage instead of growing flowers.

When you pinch back the main stem, you'll delay flowering by a week or two. This delay allows your dahlia to increase its ability to provide blossoms with nutrients and support them with a sturdy stem. Although your dahlia will bloom later in the season, your blooms will be larger due to the increased nutrient uptake.

3. Frequently Cut Blooms From Your Dahlias and Deadhead Spent Blooms

When you cut off dahlia blooms in order to put them in a vase or make a bouquet, you're actually making the plant stronger. Dahlias grow vigorously during the flowering season, and the cut stalk will quickly begin to grow again — this time with a thicker stalk capable of supporting a larger bloom. Feel free to cut the blooms off of your dahlias and give them to your friends and family, since the blooms will only return stronger.

If you don't regularly cut the blooms, you'll have to deadhead your dahlias to remove spent blooms. A bloom will begin to darken and lose flower petals until it eventually closes entirely, forming a cone-shaped calyx that begins to produce seeds. You don't want your dahlias to spend time and nutrients producing seeds that you're never going to use — it takes away from its ability to bloom. Regularly prune away any spent blooms from the dahlia, cutting the entire flower stem right above the main stem using a sharp pair of garden pruners.

A final way to ensure that your dahlias bloom beautifully is to always purchase your dahlia tubers from a reputable vendor. Tubers are a way for your dahlia to store nutrients for the upcoming season — if your dahlia tubers are low in nutrients or if the soil they were planted in was too high in nitrogen, you may not be able to get beautiful blooms out of your dahlia no matter how much pruning you do. Always buy the highest-quality dahlia tubers you can in order to maximize your chances of success

For more information on caring for your dahlias, contact a company like Summer Dreams Farm.

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