There are approximately 30,000 species of Dahlias and 20,000 cultivars; which have been made possible by the fact that the Dahlia has eight genes that control its appearance while most other flowers only have two.
Dahlias have been hybridized into various heights from as low as 12″ to as tall as 6-8′. The blooms range in size from 1/2″ to 10″ or more. The largest of which have been dubbed “Dinnerplate Dahlia”. Dahlia flowers are curvaceous, spiky with either single or double forms. Colours range from white to red, orange to yellow, pink to dark purple and shades thereof.
Dahlias are grown from bulbs, or more correctly from rhizomes. They are easy to grow, the bulbs can be planted in most types of soil as long as the soil is not too wet & should be in a full sun location with at least 8 hrs of sunlight. This plant blooms continuously from June to October and makes a wonderful addition to any garden. Dahlias also grow well in pots.
If you live below zone 4 you need to dig up the tubers and store in a cool, dry area until spring when they can be replanted. Do not put them in plastic bags or store them in a warm, moist area or the tubers will rot.
Dahlias are a wonderful cut flower that last for about a week in the vase. To make them last longer you can take the end of a sharp knife and put a tiny hole into the stem, just under the water line. This will let air out and force the water to go higher.