Discourage disease by keeping dahlia foliage as dry as possible. Water deeply once or twice a week, allowing the top inch of soil to dry out in between. Clip off the bottom 12” of foliage to encourage good air circulation.
Slugs and snails love eating young dahlia foliage. Sluggo Plus is an effective organic control when it is applied early and refreshed often. Earwigs are another troublesome dahlia pest. Like slugs and snails, they prefer cool, moist conditions and can damage buds, flowers and foliage. Keep the area around your dahlias clear of spent flowers and foliage, and avoid using leaves or straw as mulch. This will give earwigs fewer places to hide and breed.
Date: Saturday, February 17, 2018
Time: 3:00 – 5:00 pm
Location: Bloomfield Township Public Library, 1099 Lone Pine Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302
Meeting Topic: Learn about starting your Dahlia tubers indoors. Gary Polenychko and Mary Lynn Cook will show you the methods they use to start Dahlias indoors to get an early start on the growing season. Discussion will feature warming up the tubers you have in storage, getting the tubers you ordered this winter ready for planting, potting indoors, and getting ready to plant outside.
- Don’t be in a hurry to plant; dahlias will struggle in cold soil. Ground temperature should reach 60°F. Wait until all danger of spring frost is past before planting. (Try planting them a little after the tomato plants go in.)
- Select a planting site with full sun. Dahlias grow more blooms with 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight.
- Dahlias thrive in rich, well-drained soil. The pH level of your soil should be 6.5-7.0, slightly acidic.
- Plant your dahlias 2-3 feet apart.
- Plant tuber with the eye facing up, about 6 to 8 inches deep. The crowns should be just below soil level.
- Medium to large flowering dahlias will require support. Place stakes (5-6 feet tall) at planting time and tie stems to them as the plants grow. Most dahlias grown for cut flowers reach 4-6 feet so staking is important.