Updated/Fact-Chacked on April 18, 2023 by John
Apple blossom dahlia are popular yellow and blush collarette dahlia known for their long stems and many blooms. These amazing summer showstoppers have for ages been one of the most sought-after flowers in the UK and around the world, with their popularity growing by the day.
Luckily for you, if you are a big fan of apple blossom dahlia, you can grow these flowers in your garden for the captivating joy of having vibrant blooms all summer long.
This guide explains how.
Facts about apple blossom dahlia
Apple blossom dahlia are tuberous perennials native to Mexico and Central America. These flowers will bloom early in the summer, producing cream coloured flowers with rose hints that take a yellowish shade as the season comes to an end.
These tubers and flowers belong to the family Asteraceae, subfamily Asteroidea, and genus Dahlia. Today, there are thousands of Dahlia varieties besides the apple blossom dahlia with other popular varieties, including:
- Dahlia Dwarf
- Tree Dahlias
- Dahlia Little Angel
- Cactus Dahlia (Cacti)
- Dahlia Waterlily
- Dahlia Ball
- Pompone Dahlia
- Dahlia Kenora Wildfire
- Dahlia Decorative
- Dahlia Dark Foliage
- Dahlia Mixes
- Delbard Dahlias
- Dahlia Giant Dinner Plate
How to grow apple blossom dahlia
Apple blossom dahlias are one of the most prized flowers by gardeners in the UK, an attribute that is made better because they are relatively easy to grow and maintain. Nevertheless, to be successful, you must adhere to all the requirements necessary for these flowers to grow and thrive.
Requirements before growing apple blossom dahlia
Apple blossom dahlias do best when you grow them in:
- Soil with a pH of between 6 and 7.5
- Deep and well-drained soil that is humus-rich and has low nitrogen levels
- An environment where they are exposed to full sunlight and protected from strong winds
Planting apple blossom dahlia
You can either plant apple blossom dahlia from seeds or tubers. However, if you plant these flowers from seeds, they won’t be true to their original varieties as they are heavily influenced by pollinators found where they grew. It could also take a couple of years for the seeds to mature and bloom.
The primary advantage of planting apple blossom dahlia tubers is that they will quickly sprout and give you vibrant flowers similar to the mother plant. Typically, when you opt for tubers, you can expect to start germinating from one to three weeks.
Where to find apple blossom dahlia tubers
Apple blossom dahlia tubers can easily be found in nurseries and garden centres across the UK. Alternatively, you can order them online from reputable flower farms.
How to plant apple blossom dahlia from tubers
The best way to grow apple blossom dahlia is by planting the tubers horizontally with the eye towards the surface at a depth of 15 cm. You will find the eye on an end on the thinnest part of the tubers. It is best to ensure this part is centred to allow for the rapid growth of the stalk.
Since apple blossom dahlia tubers can easily rot, you must well-drained soil and tubers in full light positions. Therefore, your tubers should be in a sunny position for 6 hours each day. However, if the light intensity is too high, it will greatly benefit from shade.
The planting site should also be sheltered from strong winds and rain as the thin stalks germinating from the tubers can easily be knocked over or ruined.
If you are planting multiple apple blossom dahlia tubers, you must ensure they are placed at least 10 inches apart. This will provide each tuber with sufficient space to accommodate its growth.
Most importantly, do not forget to gently pack the soil in the area where the stalk emerges. This will stabilize the stalk and anchor it until its roots are fully developed.
Most dahlia can also be planted in pots if you don’t have space in your beds. Check out this video from our friends at DIY Home and Gardening:
Taking care of apple blossom dahlia
Apple blossom dahlias love moisture, and once you plant the tubers, you must consistently water them every couple of days. However, it is important to ensure that:
- Immediately after planting the tubers, leave the soil to dry completely before watering. This is because tubers do not have roots to absorb the moisture; as such, having excess water in the soil will only cause them to rot.
- Once the stalk has emerged and grown a few inches, you need to increase your watering. Still, you must be careful to avoid overwatering and damaging the young and delicate plant.
- Established plants are watered once or twice a week, depending on how it is and the general environmental conditions. Remember, apple blossom dahlias should always have foliage that remains green, and any colour changes indicate low water levels or inadequate minerals.
Note: Apple blossom dahlias do not do well with overhead watering as water that sits on its leaves will encourage diseases. This calls for installing a drip irrigation system, which is the most reliable way of watering these flowers, or using a hose and focusing on the soil at the plant’s base.
Apple blossom dahlias will greatly benefit from light fertilizer application. Typically, the tubers do not require fertilizer at planting, but once the plant is established, you can gently mix organic fertilizer with an N-P-K ratio of 5-10-10 or 10-20-20 into the soil.
Apple blossom dahlias have low-temperature tolerance and will not do well in excessive heat or cold. They do best in warm temperatures, so you must move them indoors during winter.
Diseases and pests
Apple blossom dahlias can easily be affected by fungal diseases, especially powdery mildew. This often occurs when the foliage stays damp and is best treated by spraying the plant with fungicide or rubbing the foliage with a cotton swab dipped in neem oil.
On the other hand, a common pest problem is slugs which are best avoided using slug baits.
Mulching and toxicity
You must avoid mulching apple blossom dahlias until they are fully grown. Once the plants are well-established, and you add the mulch to help retain soil moisture, do your best to prevent weeds. Always ensure weeds are pulled by hand while still small to avoid any disruptions to the flower’s roots.
Finally, since apple blossom dahlias are slightly toxic due to the phototoxic polyacetylene compounds they produce, it is important to wear gloves when handling the plant.
John Green is a 46-year-old graphic designer living in Durham. John is RHS level 3 certified and owns an allotment in Durham.