Have you considered growing dahlias? Anyone can grow dahlias as long as you follow some important guidelines. These are my three most important tips:
- Topping Off
Dahlias will grow in one tall straight stem unless you help them by “topping” them off or cutting off the top growth section when they have a few sets of leaves. This causes them to branch out and have several (less thick) stems. This is important because you get more blooms, they are shorter AND easier to support.
It’s important to remove extra buds and stems when possible, this eliminates the wasted energy the plant puts into blooms that will never have a chance to fully open because they are harvested once the main bloom is ready. Typically you see the initial bloom with two side shoots that you can go ahead and remove. This allows for fewer but better blooms per plant. It also saves you from removing them later.
Everyone has their own way of staking dahlias. I have seen tomato cages, single metal stakes, intricate patterns of twine and more. One thing to keep in mind is that it’s important to drive any stakes in the ground while planting your tubers, otherwise you might pierce the tuber underground.
Are you a dahlia grower? What advise do you have to share?