How to Grow Dinner Plate Dahlias

Views: 17410 | Last Update: 2009-05-02
When growing dinner plate dahlias, a tomato cage is great because it provides support all around the plant. Growing dinner plat dahlias is as simple as providing support with tips from an experienced gardener in this free video on flower bulb gardening. View Video Transcript

About this Author

Jessica Smith

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Jessica Smith, with Blands Nursery in West Jordan, Utah, and today we're talking all about bulbs. Right now, we're going to discuss how to care for dinner plate dahlias. Now, dahlia's a huge family. It can have from dwarf varieties up to the tall dinner plates that we're actually talking about, and sometimes those flowers can reach up to fourteen inches in diameter. Now, dinner plate dahlias don't need any others any specialized care than any other type of dahlia, with the exception of it does need support. These guys can get, you know, really high, and big huge flowers on them to make them topple down. So when you first plant them, make sure you have some kind of support there. A tomato cage works great for them as it gives support all around it, and as the plant comes up can grow through that cage just like your tomatoes will. When planting the dahlia, you'll want to make sure that if you didn't in the fall add organic matter, that you do about a couple of weeks before you're ready to plant. You'll know how deep to plant the tubers by taking the length of the tuber itself, it's a big fat root, and putting that twice as deep down as that length. That's how deep you go with the dinner plate dahlia. And you want at least three feet in between each of them for some nice air flow. Nice organic matter down into the soil. You can do a slow release fertilizer mixed in with the soil below the tuber; you don't want it touching the tuber, though. And then you'll just cover it up and water it in. Dinner plate dahlias, just like any other type of dahlia, they need to have a well-drained soil, but you can't let 'em dry too much in between waterings. They like to have somewhat of a moist soil, so make sure that you give them a regular watering, and you'll, and when they begin to actually set their little flower buds, what you'll want to do is give them a nice high phosphate level water soluble. This is your middle number here on your fertilizer. That's your phosphate. Phosphate builds good root systems on them and actually helps produce nice big blooms. Ok, now, if you're growing your dinner plate dahlia to show at your county fair or the state fair, or you just really want a really big bloom, you need to actually take off the small little side bulbs off of from the sides and leave that middle one there from that little flower bud. And what this'll actually do is concentrate energy and nutrients all to that particular flower. Dinner plate dahlias are not cold hardy; they need to have the tubers lifted and stored, just like on the other dahlias, so you want to go through the same process of lifting and storing them for the next year. Watch for pests like powdery mildew and slugs and snails. Slugs and snails love dahlias, that nice little tender growth.