DAHLIAS DAZ­ZLE

One of the world’s most di­verse flower species,

Midwest Living - - Here &now Grow -

from June or July un­til Oc­to­ber. Save this primer for spring; turn the page for fall storage tips.

1 CHOOSE A SPOT

Dahlias grow best in moist, well-drained soil with full sun. De­pend­ing on the va­ri­ety, they will reach be­tween 1 and 8 feet tall.

2 GO SHOP­PING

Some grow­ers sell plants, but for the best va­ri­ety and prices, or­der tu­bers (sim­i­lar to bulbs) at an on­line re­source such as dahlias.com.

3 PLANT THE TU­BERS

Well af­ter last frost (late May or early June), plant tu­bers and water them. Ide­ally, when plants emerge, mulch with 2 inches of hay or com­post to keep roots cool.

4 KEEP THEM TIDY

When plants reach 6 inches, re­move all but the strong­est stem. When plants reach 1 foot and have leaves, trim tops to en­cour­age branch­ing. Stake tall plants or use cages.

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