Choosing A Planting Location
Dahlias are grown in most temperate areas of the world. Europe, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, United States and
Canada all have great dahlia growing conditions. Within Canada, dahlias are grown from the Atlantic to the Pacific and
as far north as Whitehorse in the Yukon. Most areas where vegetable and flower gardens are grown will support dahlia
plants provided they have sufficient water. What a range for a group of 30 Dahlia species taken from the wild in the
central highlands of Mexico.
While almost any type of good garden soil will support dahlia growth it is important to have good drainage so that the
tuber does not sit in water. It may be problematic if water tends to stand for more than an hour or two after a rain.
The area needs to have the drainage improved by incorporation of sand and organic mater. Well-rotted manure, peat moss,
compost and other suitable organic materials are generally readily available. An equal mix of organic materials, sharp
sand and your garden soil will make an ideal planting mix especially in areas with heavy or clay type soils.
Sunlight is another important consideration when choosing a location to plant dahlias. Except in very hot locations,
the more sun the better. To grow good plants it will be necessary to get at least one half day of direct sun. Plants
grown in shade conditions will tend to grow tall and spindly.
Dahlias will need to be kept well watered so select a location that you can easily reach with a garden hose. They
love a good watering but will not tolerate wet growing conditions.
A growing site that has some protection from direct wind is an important consideration as the stems are prone to being
blown over by strong wind. Staking of plants that grow taller than 70 cm (2 feet) is essential. This topic will be
covered at length later in these instructions.
Dahlias grow equally well planted in a garden by themselves or when used as accent plants in gardens with other annuals
and perennials. Keep in mind that dahlia plants tend to become quite bushy and will fill a larger area than one might expect.
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