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Dahlia spp.

Pronunciation: Dahl-ya
Family: Asteraceae/compositae (aster/daisy family)
Common Name: Dahlia, garden dahlia
Plant Type:
  • bulb, tuber, corm
Height to: 6-8'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • early summer
  • mid summer
  • late summer
  • early autumn
  • mid autumn
  • late autumn
Bloom Description: Flowerheads (these are composites! ) are often quite intricate and flamboyant, some with literally dozens of ray florets, like psychedelic pompoms. Flower colors may be white, pink, yellow, orange, red or purple, and sometimes mixed. The many cultivars range from miniatures with flowerheads 2 in (5 cm) in diameter to giants with flowerheads over 10 in (25 cm) across.
Propagation: Dahlias are propagated from tubers which are divided in spring, before planting out, or from basal shoot cuttings which are produced in late winter in the greenhouse. Bedding dahlias are grown from seed.
Notes for Identification: Source: floridatathere are about 30 species of dahlias known from the wild, but this profile is about the more than 20,000 garden cultivars that have been created by hybridization and selection. Few of the wild species dahlias are cultivated. It seems likely that many, if not most, of the modern dahlia cultivars came from hybridization and back-crossing d. Coccinea, d. Rosea, and/or d. Pinnata with other wild dahlia species. Dahlias are long flowering and can be expected to bloom from early summer until first frost. Use the upright forms in pure or mixed borders. Plant them about 2 ft (60 cm) apart. For the best cut flowers, remove the two side buds that form beneath the primary terminal bud, a process called disbudding. The bedding dahlias, grown from seed, are low growing, usually treated as annuals, and useful in massed beds and in containers. Dahlias are among the most beautiful of garden flowers, but they require a great deal of attention and care, and many gardeners, especially those in the south, find it just isn't worth the effort. If you live in the moutains of central america, dahlias are for you!
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