Right about now dahlias are strutting their stuff in Utah’s most striking gardens. With dazzling colors, showy blooms and statures short to tall, these summertime showstoppers put on a powerful and long-lasting performance (all the way to fall’s first frost), requiring only simple care and know-how. We turned to the pros at Utah State University Extension for some green-thumbed advice.
• Plant dahlias in well-drained soil
• Select a site that gets at least six hours of sunlight per day.
• Ensure good air circulation and protection from strong winds.
• When the three buds that form at the end of each branch reach the size of small peas, remove the two side buds to increase blossom size.
• Stake all dahlias (except for dwarf varieties). Insert stakes at planting time to prevent injuring developing roots.
• Water the plants often enough to keep the soil moist. To prevent mildew, soak at the base of the stem rather than sprinkling the foliage.
• Position large dahlia plants three to four feet apart to provide ample room to grow. extension.usu.edu
See more inside the Summer 2017 issue.