Coleman Allied

Now that Dallas movers have left you in your new home, you may be thinking about ways to make it more attractive. Dahlias are a delightful addition to any garden. They add a pop of color and feature attractive foliage as well.

Dahlias come in different colors, sizes and heights. They like full sun, or just a bit of shade, and prefer well-drained soil.

Here are some tips for growing dazzling dahlias:

* Plant close up. Dahlias, much like irises, need to be planted close to the surface, not deep in the soil. About 2 inches deep is ideal.

* Water wisely. Don’t water your dahlias when you first plant them, but once sprouts begin to show, water deeply on a weekly basis, when there is no rainfall.

* Think hot sun. Give dahlias as much sun as possible. They prefer 6-8 hours a day.

* Deadhead faithfully. Remove old blooms on a regular basis, so you will get lots of new buds. Cut down the stalk, not just the flower head.

* Stake big varieties. When you plant large-blooming dahlias, place a stake next to the tuber, so the weight is supported as the plant matures.

* Cut and enjoy. Dahlias do not like to be out of water, so place cut stems directly into a vase of water. Remove any leaves that may fall.

(Photo attributed to Flickr member @Kees Wielemaker(pedaal) via the Creative Commons license.)

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