Plugs can be stored for 2 weeks in the dark (5 weeks in light) at 41F and subsequently grow into very acceptable plants and/or flowers. There is some data suggesting that flowers should be harvested when nearly fully open. Other data indicates that various bud harvested stages work equally well, depending on cultivar. If harvested when the flowers are 50% open, they respond well to flower food solutions containing 2-4% sucrose.
Member of the Asteraceae or Compositae (aster or sunflower family).
Native to Mexico, Central America and Colombia
Related species include sunflower, daisy, chrysanthemum, zinnia.
Flower forms are variable, one head per stem. Flower diameters range from 4-6″ to 10 inches.
Stems are leafy, 12-24 inches long.
Plant is a herbaceous perennial from tuberous roots, classed as a dicotyledon, leaves not parallel veined.
Flowers of most species and cultivars are not fragrant.
If need be, store at 34-38F. Storage is not recommended or if need be, only for a short period. Storage for one week at 34f can reduce vaselife by about 20-30%.
Flower types as designated by the American Dahlia Society include: single, anemone, colarette, peony, formal decorative, informal decorative, ball, pompon, incurved cactus, straight cactus, semicactus, miscellaneous.
Named after Swedish botanist, Anders Dahl (1751-1789), but are called “georginas” in eastern Europe in honor of Russian botanist, Johann Georgi. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology list this species as an allergy-safe pollen producing plant.
Dahlias were grown by the Aztecs, who called them cocoxochitl. They used them for ornament and for the edible tuberous roots.
Very large flowers can be floated on water, as their stems are often too weak to support the flower weight.
Dahlias have underground storage structures called tuberous roots and were once investigated as a potato substitute. The Compositae or aster family is vast, with over 20,000 species, and is also one of the most developed families. It was named Compositae because the flowers are actually a “composite” of many individual flowers into one head. Hence, when children pull one “petal” off at a time, saying “she/he loves me, loves me not”, they are actually removing a complete flower, not just a petal.
Recent Research Findings:
Eason et.al, (2002) found that storage temperatures between 32 and 47F were equal as far as influencing vaselife of 6 cultivars when stored for 7 days.
You list Dahlias as “Flower forms are variable, one head per stem. Flower