How To Grow The Best Dahlia Flowers: Pinching, Debudding, Fertilizing & Tips
Preparation Is Essential
Before Your Start: Buds 101
Here are three important things to remember about Dahlia buds:
- Dahlias typically set one large bud at the tip of a growing stem, called the terminal bud
- They also set a pair of smaller buds to the left and right of that, called lateral buds.
- It’s most effective to pinch or disbud when buds are small.
Disbudding For Huge Blooms & Dinner Plate Dahlias
Pinching For Plentiful Flowers
What is it? Pinching is a technique of pinching or trimming the central terminal bud of a Dahlia.
Why do it? When the larger central bud is removed, the plant will send more energy into the lateral buds (side buds) This will result in more abundant flowers, perfect for cutting.
Pros & Cons: The flowers may not be massive, but there will be many flowers on the plant. The more the merrier!
Tip: Remember, cutting flowers or dead-heading spent blooms will also encourage more flowering.
Fertilizing Do's and Don'ts For Dahlia Flowers
Cut Flower Tips For Dahlias
- Unlike some other flowers, once Dahlias are cut, they don’t keep opening and expanding in the vase.
- Cutting a Dahlia at peak bloom is the best for looks and a long vase life.
- Look for firm & lush petals - if petals are papery or dry, the flower may have a shorter vase life.
- Cut flowers or deadhead regularly. This will allow the plant to divert energy away from the spent flower, and put more energy into growing blooms.
- Cut dahlias typically last about 5-7 days. To keep cut flowers lasting longer, give them fresh water often.