Huge white dahlia flower
A huge white dahlia at Joy Creek Nursery in Oregon

Dahlias are stunning, summer-flowering perennials that come in an infinite array of colors, shapes, and sizes. They’re widely planted in the United States, but they do take some special care to grow successfully here in Florida.

Start by choosing a good heat-tolerant variety like ‘Elsie Huston’ and scoping out a sunny location with light afternoon shade.

You want a rich soil that’s moist but well drained, so enrich the planting site and follow a regular schedule for watering and fertilizing. Adding a good layer of mulch is a must to help your dahlias succeed.

Pests and diseases are the norm rather than the exception, so be sure to monitor the plants and treat problems as needed. Dahlias may take a little extra effort, but their beauty can often make it all worthwhile.

UF/IFAS Publications

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