Dahlias are very beautiful and beloved flowers by many summer residents. Those who are ready to care for perennials grow them according to all the rules. However, some people prefer annual dahlias to:
- please yourself with a variety of colors;
- avoid digging and caring for tubers in the winter.
The flowering of annual dahlias is colorful and long-lasting, caring for them is quite simple.
The only troublesome activity is growing from seeds. Some nuances must be taken into account here. Seed growing is possible in two ways:
- Direct sowing into the ground. This option is used at the end of May, when there is confidence that frosts will not damage young seedlings. In some regions, it is impossible to say with confidence that the weather has already improved at this time, therefore, sowing annual dahlias in open ground is possible only in June. However, the later we sow annual dahlias in the ground, the later they begin to bloom.
- Growing through seedlings. This option allows you to start sowing seeds much earlier - from the first days of March to the end of April. Growing seedlings of annual varieties has its own nuances, which we will consider in this article.
Why are annual inflorescences so popular among summer residents?
The advantages of these flowers over their perennial counterparts are obvious:
- Early intense flowering. Perennial dahlias of some varieties, in general, may not bloom in the first year.
- The uniformity and duration of flowering. Annual dahlias from seeds give their beautiful inflorescences before frost.
- No need to dig up tubers and comply with storage conditions.
- Ease of care, which is within the power of novice growers.
- Dahlias grow well in regions with different climates.
Many gardeners grow annual varieties like perennials. For this, the sowing dates are strictly adhered to, so that the plant has time to form a tuber. It is then dug up and stored until the next season. Let's move on to a detailed description of the process of growing annual dahlias.
The initial stages of growing
How to grow annual dahlias, planting and care, growing seedlings - all these questions concern novice gardeners.
Before you start sowing seed, you need to prepare the site in advance. First, choose a sunny spot with neutral soil. Slightly acidic is also good. In case of strong acidity, we carry out alkalization measures. Before planting, the soil is dug up, humus and sand are added (for dense soil). The next stage is growing seedlings.
- We decide on the variety of annuals for the site. You need to carefully select flowers by shade if you are going to use them in landscape design. Pay attention to the varietal characteristics indicated on the label. This is necessary to determine the flowering time and appearance of the plant. The mixture bags contain plants with different colors of inflorescences. You also need to know when to plant outdoors or when to plant seedlings. The flowering time depends on the height of the plant. The higher the dahlias, the later they will delight you with their flowering.
- After choosing high-quality dahlia seeds, we prepare containers and soil mixture for annual seedlings. Plants respond well to a mixture of such components - sand, perlite and peat. Don't forget about drainage. A hole must be made in each container for the outflow of moisture. We fill the pots with soil.
- To grow quality seedlings, seeds can be prepared, although this method is optional. For preparation, they are soaked in a solution of aloe juice with water (1: 2) overnight before sowing.
- We place the seeds in a nutritious soil mixture, sprinkle with earth slightly on top and cover with glass or film. For seed germination, a temperature of + 27 ° C is required.
- We transfer the container with seeds to a warm and bright place.
- Whoever grew annual dahlias from seeds knows that seedlings appear quickly. A few days are enough for them to hatch and sprout.
- Now the shelter can be removed, but not immediately, gradually accustoming the seedlings to the ambient temperature. The main thing is to provide them with good lighting and watering moderately.
Seedlings do not require too close attention, they tolerate accurate transplanting and diving well. Therefore, the next important stage is picking the grown seedlings.
Picking and caring for seedlings of annual dahlias
The grown seedlings must be dived. This is necessary to strengthen the root system, provide seedlings with nutrients and prevent seedlings from pulling out. The best time is two weeks after germination. Seedlings dive into a separate container with a nutrient mixture. It is prepared with the addition of another important component to the first composition - sod land. The composition of the mixture of sod land should be at least 50%. Young plants "get used" to life in the open field.
Picking or planting of annual seedlings is carried out with a deepening to the first leaves. Picked seedlings are immediately watered with a solution of potassium permanganate of low concentration.
After the seedlings have taken root, it is necessary to feed the plants. Any complex of mineral fertilizers is suitable, only the dose for seedlings is taken half the recommended one.
Seedlings grow quickly. So that the dahlias do not stretch out, they pinch over the 4th pair of leaves.
Seedling care is easy. Withstand moderate watering to prevent stagnant water and plant decay. Be sure to harden them before planting young seedlings for permanent residence. Containers with seedlings are taken out to the balcony or yard, gradually lengthening the "walk" time.
As soon as the threat of the return of frost passes, the seedlings of dahlias are planted in open ground.
In late May or early June, seedlings of annual dahlias are planted. By this time, the seedlings will get stronger and will be able to endure this stage of their life quite easily. But you still need to make sure that the roots are not damaged. A couple of hours before the procedure, the seedlings are watered. Paper and peat containers are buried together with plants. From plastic, it is better to transfer seedlings with a lump of earth into the prepared holes.
Important! Maintain a planting pattern for an annual dahlia.
She needs enough space. Tall varieties of dahlias should not be planted closer than 70 cm to each other.
For medium dahlias, 50 cm between the bushes is enough, undersized dahlias are placed at intervals of 25 cm. Add wood ash and compost to the holes when planting dahlias (2 tablespoons each). Be sure to mulch young plants.
In regions with a cool climate or unstable weather, the planted seedlings are covered with geotextiles or film cover until the seedlings are hardened.
Before dwelling on the rules for caring for seedlings after transplanting, consider growing from seeds by direct sowing into the ground.
For this method, a site for planting is selected and prepared. Seeds are sown in moist soil according to the recommended pattern. Cover with foil and wait for seedlings. Provides seedlings with warmth, light and watering.
Further care for annuals consists of fertilizing with complex fertilizers (before flowering and after dahlias have bloomed). Do not get carried away with nitrogen fertilizers, it is better to ensure the supply of potassium and phosphorus. Additional watering is required during dry times.
Varieties of annual dahlias
Annual dahlias, the cultivation of which we are considering, decorate the site very well. Therefore, the choice of a variety is an important stage. Popular varieties are known to many growers.
Among them there are pompom, needle, star dahlias, the cultivation of which is no different.
A dwarf species with double inflorescences. The diameter of one reaches 8 cm. The height of the bush is 25 cm. Great for pot planting, decoration of borders and edges of flower beds. It blooms until late autumn, starting to delight with beautiful inflorescences from July. A seedling method of cultivation and sowing directly into the ground is possible.
Also a kind of terry border annual dahlias. The varied color of the inflorescences is originally set off by the "collar". Low-growing bushes of annuals are used in rabatki, framing plantings, for planting in pots.
A very popular variety of dahlias. Bloom luxuriantly during the summer. The inflorescences reach 10 cm in diameter, and the flowers themselves differ in shape. They are simple or terry, with different colors, which is appreciated by summer residents. Indeed, by purchasing one variety of dahlias, you can get a whole multi-colored flower bed. The height of the flowers varies from 25 cm to 70 cm. Therefore, they perfectly fulfill the role of both short and tall elements in decorating a summer cottage. Feature - do not form tubers.
Also a mixture of varieties of annual dahlias with different colors. The height of the bush reaches 60 cm. The name speaks of the structure of the flower, in which, in addition to a large inflorescence, there are narrow petals. Most often they grow a variety for cutting and decorating bouquets. It is better to choose the group landing option.
The tall, meter-long bushes of this annual dahlia are decorated with original flowers with petals resembling needles. It begins to bloom 4 months after sowing the seeds. They look good both in cut form for a bouquet and on flower beds.
Terry annuals. Plants grow up to 90 cm in height, lush inflorescences of various colors. Dahlias are planted in groups to create a composition. It blooms from the second decade of July until frost.
When choosing a variety of dahlias, it is very good to read the reviews of summer residents who grow annuals on their plots. This will help you choose the right variety, determine the purpose of beautiful flowers in the country and grow a luxurious bouquet of blooming dahlias.