If you are taking the leap of faith and planting dahlias, YAY, Congrats! You are going to have so much fun. Dahlias are my favorite summer cut flower!
They bloom for an incredibly long time (June-October)
The more you cut the more they produce ( this is what we call a “cut and come again” flower)
Lastly they will continue to bloom year after year for you. In the winter time when the frost hits let the plant die back naturally, it might look brown and crusty for a while. Then take your clippers and cut the plant back to the ground. Stop watering it after it frosts, this will prevent your tuber from rotting and not coming back the following year. Start watering it again in March when it starts to push green growth again.
Dahlias are grown from tubers. They honestly look like little sweet potatoes. They come in all shapes and sizes but you only need three parts of the tuber for it to turn into a viable plant. The three parts are the crown, the neck and the body. Check out the photo below for reference. Dahlias can be grown from seed but this is not the most common way you will find them.
Step by Step Instructions:
Dahlias require at least 8 hours of sun to thrive. With our extreme temperature in the Central Valley afternoon shade is a great option is possible. We have grown dahlias in full sun for the past three years with much success, only this year we are in the process of installing a 30% shade cloth for our field. They thrive in the heat but just like anyone in the 100+ heat you feel overheated and droopy. But just give them an extra shot of water in the sunny summer days and they will be totally fine.