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USDA Hardiness Planting Zones

To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold-hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.

  • If the coldest winter temperature expected in your area is -15°F (zone 5) then any plants rated zones 3-5 will survive the winter temperatures in your area.
  • If you live in very warm winter areas (zones 9-11) plants with zones 3-4 ratings are not recommended. The lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide a time for winter dormancy (rest).

Dazzling Dahlia Arrangements

Susan Turk’s Dazzling Dahlias

Member Susan Turk, out in Vallejo, California, is a Dahlia expert. She writes that she is one of the many gardeners who enjoy growing dahlias for cutting. They always make a beautiful mutli-flowered show in the garden, but they also make some of the most spectacular flower arrangements ever. Susan regularly presents friends and family with big dahlia arrangements for special occasions, and they always draw ooohs and ahhhs.

She was kind enough to share photos of a couple of her creative cut flower creations with us, and here they are. As you can see, she often mixes in other garden flowers, often roses, always a great companion for her dahlias, all from American Meadows.

Dahlias are famous for coming in almost all colors and various sizes, from the small daisy-like blooms to huge Babylon's Garden Dinnerplate Dahlias with fully doubled flowers up to 10 inches across.

Growing dahlias is easy, too, in almost any climate. If you live in an area where winters are cold, you simply lift the roots once the tops are killed by frost. You’ll find they’ve multiplied during the growing season, and you always dig up more than you planted. Then you simply store them (dahlia roots are called “tubers”, and always look sort of like a bunch of carrots) in a non-freezing storage space until spring, and replant. Every dahlia gardener has his or her favorites, and enjoys preserving the roots over winter, and then enjoying them more than ever the following spring and summer.

Susan's Arrangements. For these two beauties, you can see Susan combined dahlias and roses. The cool lavenders of the top arrangement contrast dramatically with hot colors of reds and yellows at right.

Growing Dahlias. It's easy. See our article with original photos from planting to cutting, a step by step How-To called Growing Dahlias. It's easy. .

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