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Dahlias produce waves of flowers from midsummer until frost. They're naturals for the cut flower garden since the more you cut them the more they flower. Many are suitable for planters and window boxes, while all are great for beds and borders.
Culture is easy. Dahlias like full sun, but will do well even with a half-day's supply. They are hardy year-round in Zones 9 to 10 and perhaps Zone 8 with a winter mulch, so should be planted outdoors after danger of frost has passed. Give them a location with good drainage. Taller varieties should be planted next to a sturdy stake as they will require support to hold the load of flowers. To achieve nice bushy plants don't be afraid to pinch the main shoot after the plant has produced about 3 to 4 pairs of good strong leaves. Blooms can be forced into larger sizes by pinching off smaller buds and forcing energy into remaining blooms. In areas with winter freeze, tubers should be carefully dug in the fall after frost kills the foliage. Cut the stalk about 6 inches above the tuber, let them dry thoroughly and place tubers in dry sand, peat moss or sawdust. Store in a cool, dry location until spring.
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