Dahlias grow in a wide range of colours and forms. The plant is not difficult to grow, and even an amateur can raise beautiful Dahlias.
- The dahlias are one of the most adorable flowers that bloom in various sizes.
- They can grow from 5cm to 30cm in diameter.
- Dahlia flowers may have a floral sweet pea scent though most are scentless.
- Being native to the mountains of Mexico and Guatemala, they hibernate in moderately warm, dry winter air, then bloom in early fall after most flowers have faded.
- Its flavour is very mild and grassy with a pinch of water chestnuts, asparagus and a little bitterness.
- The national flower of Mexico, Dahlias today have become one of the most popular competition flowers amongst competitive growers.
- The flower season begins in the early spring and stretches till summer into early fall.
Super tribe: helianthodae
Description of the flower
- They belong to the Asteraceae (Aster) family along with daisies and sunflowers. There are over 20,000 species in the aster family.
- The flower persists a capitulum inflorescence that is made up with several florets arranged in a peculiar manner
- The outer area of the floret has all the colours ( in which the male organs are modified into strap-shaped petals) whereas the inner disc florets are yellow.
- The stems are filled with leaves that range from the height of 30cm to 1.8-2.4 m.
- The dahlia was declared the national flower of Mexico in 1963. The tubers were grown as a food crop by the Aztecs, but this use largely died out after the Spanish Conquest. Attempts to introduce the tubers as a food crop in Europe were unsuccessful
- Dahlias are the native flowers of Mexico and have been grown there for past centuries.
- From there they made their way to Spain via conquistadors who sent seeds of the flower to Madrid along with other seeds of plants and vegetables they had found growing during their explorations.
- The flower got its name from the botanist and director of the Royal Gardens of Madrid Antonio José Cavanilles,who named the flower after another botanist Andres Dahl.
- Dahlias soon spreaded across Europe and from Mexico to the United States during which time they became an immensely popular garden flower worldwide
Dahlia’s are most commonly used for decorative purposes on cakes, tarts and pastries. Serve alongside cheese or desserts as a garnish. Remove the petals of the Dahlia and add them to grain or green salads to add a pop of colour.
Dahlia Growing Instructions
- Dahlias are the sun seekers.
- They need to be planted where they can receive sunlight for about 6-8hours a day.
- The soil must be rich and a little moist. They can reap to grow even in dryer soil if the rainfall or irrigation is scarce.
- Tall dahlia varieties require staking to keep them from toppling during storms.
- Remove the flowers as they fade to encourage more bloom. Dahlia flowers are excellent for fresh bouquets.
In the North, dahlias can be dug and saved over the winter. After the first frost blackens the foliage, dig the plants and wash away all the excess soil from the tuberous roots. Also, clip away the foliage. Then, plunge the tubers into slightly moist peat moss or sawdust and store in a cool, dark place over the winter. Check the roots during the winter and if they show signs of shrivelling, sprinkle them with a tiny bit of water.