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
Borders will pop with color when you grow the lush flowers of Dahlia Watercolor Mix. 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 the stem), and store in damp sand or peat moss in a cool location, such as a basement, until spring. An unusual edible, in their native Mexico the tubers were eaten. Flower petals can be used in edible flower confetti or as a garnish.
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 damage Dahlia foliage and flowers. Knock them off 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. Prevent fungal problems with proper spacing in an area with good air circulation and excellent soil drainage.
When to Cut for Bouquets:
Harvest when flowers are nearly to fully open; best cut in the cool of the morning.