FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: San Clemente Garden and Landscaping is doing a blog series on flowers of the month. Every month, we will take one of our favorite flowers and do a special feature on it, briefly describing its features, history, cultivation, and fun facts.
The Dahlia is a flowering plant native to Mexico and comes in virtually every hue. It was the national flower of Mexico in 1963 and used to be a food crop for the Aztecs. When the Spanish arrived, this practice died out and was unsuccessfully introduced as food to the Europeans.
This beautiful flower is quite hardy and perfect for growing in your San Clemente garden. It likes to grow in climates with little to no frost and is not adapted to withstand sub-zero temperatures. It is recommended to plant them in areas above USDA hardiness zone 8. Of course, if you live in areas below zone 8 (temperatures get much colder in the winter), it is advised that you bury the tubers 10-15 cm deep to protect them during the winter frost. However, as San Clemente is located in the USDA hardiness zone 10a and 10b, this is a perfect climate for your dahlia plant. The average lowest temperature of San Clemente is 30 F, and so your plant will not be in danger of freezing.
Growing the Dahlia
1) Wait until the ground temperature is around 60F, which is usually late spring
2) Choose a location with plenty of sunlight and protection from wind.
3) Dahlias love loose, well drained soil, and like to be planted 9-12 inches apart from each other
4) Dig a hole half a foot deep and put the tuber with the growing points facing up
5)If you have selected tall cultivars, make sure you also place stakes around the plant and tie the stems to them as they grow
-Do not water the tubers immediately after planting them, as it may rot. Rather, water them when the sprouts appear above ground
-Do not mulch the plants, as this encourages slugs which are their biggest pests.
-Do not buy tubers that are wrinkled or rotten. Green growth or pink buds are good signs. Do not cut the tubers
Dahlia’s biggest enemies are snails and slugs, as well as aphids and earwigs. Use snail bait and natural aphid repellents like ladybugs.
Fun fact: in the language of flowers, Dahlia represents dignity and stability
Ask San Clemente Garden and Landscaping to plant these simple, yet beautiful flowers in your garden today! We are passionate about all types of plants and can make recommendations on what other flowers and plants to pair with your Dahlias!