Monthly Flower Tip: Dahlias!September 15, 2017
Known to be one of the shining stars of the flower world, dahlias never fail to draw in oohs and ahhs of anyone who lays eyes on them. With over 50,000 varieties currently being grown, they might be the one flower you can never grow tired of.
Often thought to be planted in the fall like tulips and daffodils, dahlias are actually a member of the tuber family (same as potatoes!), and need to be planted in the spring, just when the soil has softened. We love incorporating dahlias into arrangements to add an effortless wow factor. Dahlias are also one of the most popular in wedding arrangements, for the same reason, they seduce the eye and will never fail to impress!
While they may appear extravagant, dahlias don’t require complex care and can be easily grown in your own backyard - if you can grow tomatoes, you can grow dahlias! Dahlias are sun worshipers, so plant the tubers in a location that receives at least 6 hours of sun per day, if you’re looking to harvest your own.
Head out in the cooler morning temperatures to harvest your dahlias, or simply head to your local florist during their peak months (mid-July - September). Look for flowers that are open or nearly open (dahlia buds won’t open any further once cut). Cut them at a 45 degree angle and place them immediately into water.
After you've chosen your flowers, we recommend a warm-water treatment so your stems continue to bloom (for up to six days!). Simply make a fresh cut at the base of the stem and place the flowers in warm water (just a bit warmer than room temperature) for about an hour. Once an hour has passed remove any leaves that will sit below the waterline in your vase to avoid any sort of bacteria build up!
Change the water in the vase every two or three days, every time adding a touch of flower food, to keep them shining!
Display Your Blooms
Although it's great to enjoy the blooms directly in the garden, cutting dahlia flowers for bouquets actually produces more flowers, making them perfect for an indoor arrangement. While mixed bouquets are our go-to, dahlias are one of the only flowers that shine (often brighter) without companions. The endless assortment of varieties allows any at-home floral designer to mix and match to their heart's content, you really can’t mess up!
We love mixing ball dahlias, water lily dahlias and cactus dahlias for a whimsical look. Use one color as your base, and add complimenting colors from there to accent your showcased hue. If you’re looking for the perfect green to create your base, try ferns! They are a great complimentary green to these power-house flowers! Cut the stems at a variety of heights to add texture and movement, and place in a vase with a wider opening to give the larger blooms space.
If you want to design a more simplified look with dahlias, we recommend sticking to one variety and one or two colors. Even just one dinner-plate dahlia in a sweet vase, can look stunning. The best way to find your creative juices when arranging flowers is just by toying around, and how can you say no to playing with flowers?