Dahlias, which are actually a whole genus of plants in the Asteraceae family, are flowers that have been tremendously appreciated and valued for their beauty practically since their discovery in ancient New Spain. Currently it is the symbol flower of Mexico, and is deeply linked to its tradition, history and culture, as demonstrated by the constitution of the Mexican Association of the Dahlia more than a decade ago.
If you want to enjoy these beautiful flowers in your home and are looking to learn how to care for dahlias, join us in this practical guide to and discover that it is not complicated.
Characteristics of dahlias or dahlias
The dahlias or dahlias are bulbous plants originating in Mexico, which can be grown both indoors and outdoors. They reach heights of up to a meter, but the smallest species are about 30 centimeters tall. However, it cannot be denied that the most striking thing about these plants is always their flower, which they produce with the arrival of summer and keep until the last months of autumn. The flowers of dahlias are very large, with intense and very showy colors and in a large number of tones, usually warm, but whites and violets are also possible. If the weather is very warm, it is possible that the dahlia will give its flower after the summer, when the temperature is warmer and more pleasant for it, that is, already in autumn.
Dahlia care – a basic guide
In summary, these are the general care of dahlias or dahlias :
- Light: Dahlias require a good amount of light.
- Watering: abundant and frequent, especially in hot climates or days.
- Fertilizer: they require a specific or organic home fertilizer.
Light and location
These plants require a very bright location to develop properly, especially if we want to enjoy their beautiful flowers. Place the dahlia in a spot in the garden where it receives a lot of light, or next to a window or lighting spot if you have it indoors. Only if the sun in your area is very intense should you locate these flowers in semi-shady areas or, at least, where they are protected from the most intense and dangerous hours of influx, which are usually midday.
In addition, the wind can do a lot of damage to your dahlias, so it is necessary to find a place as sheltered as possible in this regard. If you can’t fully protect them from him, training them would be a very good idea.
Although they have a temperate climate and can withstand the heat well as long as the direct sun does not give them many hours in a row, these plants are capable of withstanding quite low temperatures and mild frosts down to -5ºC. However, if the plants outdoors and where you live the frosts are common, it is convenient to help them through the winter with some help. Provide a thick plant mantle on its base and its bulbs, or remove the bulbs if the temperatures are really low. You can always store them somewhere protected and dry to re-plant them when the frosts pass.
Soil and compost for dahlias
These plants appreciate being in lands enriched with a good amount of organic matter. As always, we recommend using organic and ecological fertilizers, such as worm castings, compost, and bokashi. All of them are very rich fertilizers that will allow you to keep your plants free of synthetic chemicals.
When preparing it, remove the soil or substrate before planting so that it is well loose and drained as optimally as possible , and enrich it with a generous amount of one of the aforementioned fertilizers. Renew the fertilizer every winter, and make a small contribution once a month in the warm months. After planting the dahlias, firm up the soil well over the bulb and water.
Watering the dahlias
This plant is quite resistant to heat, but if we water it frequently and abundantly in the days and seasons with higher temperatures, it will greatly appreciate it. Always water on the ground, trying not to wet its leaves or flowers to avoid problems with excess humidity. Water the dahlias frequently in hot seasons , but remember that the bulbs do not tolerate waterlogging or excess humidity, so it is better to water more often but in less quantity to avoid waterlogging.
Plagues and diseases
These plants are not especially susceptible to attack by any pests or diseases. At most, it is possible that snails and slugs come to feed on them, for which you have a large number of home and ecological remedies on hand, such as leaving a plate or bowl with beer.