QUICK REFERENCE PLANTING GUIDE
1. Light/Sun Exposure - Full to partial sun.
2. USDA Hardiness Zones - Hardy in ground to zones 8 to 10. In cooler zones (3-7) tubers should be lifted or treated as annuals.
3. Planting Distance - 2 to 3 feet apart in ground.
4. Mature Height/Spread - As indicated below.
- Tall Decoratives: 4 to 5 feet tall.
- Intermediates: 2 to 3 feet tall.
- Dwarfs: 2 feet tall.
5. Bloom Time - Mid-summer to frost.
6. Planting Instructions - Dig a hole twice as wide and twice as deep as the tubers that you received. Carefully place the tuber in the hole with tuberous roots spread out on the bottom of the hole. (Note: The top of the tuber may have the remains of a stem from the previous years' growth. Any and all tubers on the roots come together at this point. This is the top of the tuber.) Level the soil surface and refill with soil mixture. Firm the soil around the plant with your fingers. Water thoroughly.
GET THE MOST ENJOYMENT
Whether you ordered our Dinner Plate Dahlias or the smaller intermediate or dwarf varieties, all are native to the Andes of South America.
No shrinking violets, Dahlias are flamboyant flowering perennials that will perform even during the dog days of summer.
It is hard to imagine a perennial garden in August and September without the dazzling beauty and color of dahlias. With their soft petals and vibrant colors, dahlias add a burst of color and life to the late summer garden. Excellent as cut flowers, these spectacular bloomers will flower almost into October. They are ideal for planting throughout the cutting garden and borders or for growing in containers.
Although these plants will perform well in average garden soils of all types, we recommend having your soil tested periodically by the local County Extension Office. These tests can determine if the soil needs any amendments to enhance your plants' growth and performance. See below for our recommended practice to improve your soil without any additional testing:
1. Spade or till the soil to a depth of 12-18 inches.
2. To provide nutrients and improve drainage, add organic matter to your soil by mixing in a 2 to 4-inch layer of dehydrated manure, garden compost, shredded leaves, and/or peat moss.
3. After active growth begins, periodically feed with Cottage Farms' water soluble Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Plants in containers need more frequent watering and feeding, especially when in active growth and bloom.
Water - Your plants require 1" of rainfall (or equivalent watering) each week when planted in the ground. Do not allow plants in containers to dry out. In a container that is exposed to full sun, water it well at least once every other day, and possibly every day, during periods of intense summer heat. You may wish to temporarily move containerized plants to an area where they are shielded from the hot summer sun (i.e., in the shade of a tree, on a porch near an overhang).
Mulching - Apply a 2-4 inch layer of shredded bark, compost or other organic mulch around your plants to promote moisture retention, maintain even soil temperatures, and to discourage weed growth.
Weeding - Keep the area around your plants free of weeds. Weeds compete with all plants for food, water and light. Walk around the garden periodically and pull weeds, including the roots, as soon as you see them.
Grooming - Clip off dead or unsightly growth to maintain attractive form and shape. Deadhead or remove flowers when blooms have faded, leaving as much foliage as possible. As long as the foliage remains green it will gather sunlight and transmit energy into the root system for the following growing season.
Feeding - Feed your plants once every 2-3 weeks during the growing season with a water-soluble fertilizer such as Cottage Farms' Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Discontinue feeding after September 1st so your plants can harden off for winter dormancy. Resume fertilizing when new growth appears in the spring.
Winterizing - In ground plantings will go dormant in the ground in Zones 8 through 10. In Zones 3 through 7, dig and store the tubers in peat moss in a location where the temperature stays around 40 degrees F.
Containerized plantings can be moved indoors to a cool spot (i.e., unheated garage, shed) in winter where the plants will go dormant in the container. Water them lightly every 7-10 days. If you keep the tubers dormant in pots, simply move the pots outdoors or replant your container outdoors as soon as all danger of frost is over for your planting zone.
CAUTION: Not all plant material is edible. Though most plants are harmless, some contain toxic substances which can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or other discomforts. As a general rule, only known food products should be eaten. In case of ingestion, please contact your local poison control center at once and advise them of the plant ingested. Keep out of reach of children.