Dahlia flowers are native primarily to Mexico, and they belong to the Asteraceae family, the same family that contains daisies and sunflowers. The genus Dahlia is named after a Swedish botanist named Anders Dahl. Europeans imported the species they found in the new world and hybridized them to create the flowers we see today.
These showy flowers are hybrids between the 36 species of Dahlia flowers, bred for specific traits, such as the robust double petal bloom (the wild forms have a single row of petals). According to the American Dahlia Society, there are 20 different dahlia flower forms, including formal decorative, semi-cactus, lacinated, ball, stellar, waterlily, peony, collarette, single, orchid flowering, novelty open center and novelty double center.
Planting Dahlia Flowers
Plant Dahlias in mid-April through may or when ground temperatures reach 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant one tubers horizontally at least 4 to 6 inches deep in a plant container that is at least 1 foot wide and 1 foot deep. Stake dahlias that grow taller than 3 feet.
Watering Dahlia Flowers
Do not water the tubers until you see sprouts, but water your dahlias regularly once it has sprouted.
Dahlia Flower Sun Requirements
Place your dahlia flower in a spot where it will receive at least 8 hours of direct sun each day (morning sun and afternoon shade is best).
Fertilizing Dahlia Flowers
Worm castings from a vermicompost bin and other low-nitrogen organic fertilizers will help your dahlias bloom. High-nitrogen fertilizers, remember, promote
Overwintering Dahlia Flowers
Overwintering your dahlia plants is easy. Store tubers in the cold winter months until you are ready to plant dahlias again in the spring. Remove tubers from the soil in mid-November and store them in damp peat in a cardboard box in a cool, dry place.