Seed To Bloom:
Start indoors 6-8 weeks before last spring frost date. Keep at 65-70°F.
Direct sow at last frost date.
PLACEMENT & CULTIVATION
Dahlia's flamboyant flowers with twisted petals are easy to grow from seed and heat up the mid to back border with brilliant colors. Pinch back tips when plants reach about 6-12" tall to encourage bushiness and stake early to support the brittle branches in windy or heavy summer rain areas. Mulch is beneficial to keep the soil cool and moist during the hottest part of summer. Keep cutting for bouquets for continual bloom until frost. A week after frost dig up the tubers, if desired, (leaving 4" of stem) and store in some damp sand or peat moss in a cool location, such as a basement until spring comes round again.
Water regularly, 1" per week.
Slightly acidic to neutral
Mix in 3" inches of compost prior to planting. If soil is poor, supplement with a bloom-boosting organic granular fertilizer.
Diseases & Pests:
Japanese beetles should be removed manually by knocking them off the plant into a bucket of soapy water; this is best done early in the morning. Combat slugs by scattering crushed eggshells or iron phosphate slug bait pellets on the soil surrounding the plants. Fungal problems can be prevented with proper spacing in an area with good air circulation and good soil drainage; applications of organic copper sprays can be used if leaf spots or mold become a problem.
When to Cut for Bouquets:
Nearly to fully open; best cut in the cool of the morning.