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Dahlias flowers

Dahlias flowersDahlias are attractive plants that require a deep, friable soil, not over rich. They may be grown from seed sown on a hotbed in March and lightly covered with fine mould. As soon as they are up give all the air which can with safety be given. When the seedlings are large enough pot them off singly in the smallest-sized pots or round the edges of 6 inch ones.

Plant them out at the end of May, 1 foot apart; they will flower at the end of August. Any that turn out very good had better be propagated by cuttings from the young tops, to save the kind in case the roots should die. When flowering is over take up the young bulbs and treat them as directed afterwards for old tubers.

Another way to propagate them is to place the old tubers in soil over a hotbed early in March. When the shoots are a couple of inches high the tubers may be taken up and divided with a sharp knife. Pot off separately. Water them occasionally with liquid manure, made from guano and powdered charcoal, well mixed with rain water, and plant them out early in May.

Give them plenty of room, and tie the branches securely to stakes firmly fixed in the soil. When they have become good bushy plants put a layer of half-rotted manure round each plant. As soon as frost turns their foliage brown take them up, cut off the roots, leaving about 6 inch of stem attached, and plunge them into a box of sand, chaff, or ashes, and preserve them from damp, frost, and heat during the winter.