Dahlia flowers are cut from 36 different species of dahlia plants. These plants originated in Central and South America and were originally propagated in volcanic soils. Dahlias are known for their large, robust blossoms and their amazing color variations such as red, pink, purple, yellow, white and multi-colored. Dahlias are popular attractions at flower shows and in private flower gardens. However, they are perhaps most popular as a cut flower. The best varieties of dahlia flowers to cut include Karma varieties, the Arabian Night variety and the Ferncliff Cooper variety.
General Cutting of Dahlia Flowers
Dahlia flowers present better if they are cut properly from their parent plant. To start with you need to cut your dahlia flowers when the weather is cool and the humidity is high, such as in early morning. Cool weather cutting will reduce the rate of water evaporation that the blossom experiences. Next you need to make sure that the cut stems and blossoms do not spend a lot of time out of the water. Finally, you need to make sure you use a sharp cutting tool to harvest your stems and to prepare the stems for your floral arrangements.
Cutting dahlia flowers is very simple to do. To start with you will select a stem that is long and that has a fully opened blossom. Next you will use your sharp cutting tool to detach the stem from the parent plant right above a leaf node. This will improve the stem’s ability to absorb water, which will improve its shelf life. Finally, put your cut stem immediately into water. Store your cuttings in a cool and dark place for several hours before trimming off a ¼ inch of the stem and arranging the flowers in a vase.
Preserving Dahlia Flowers
There are several tips for preserving flowers that you can use to extend the life of your cut dahlias. To start with you can boil the base of each stem in water for one minute. If you use this option make sure you wrap the blossoms in a towel or paper to protect them from wilting.
Another tip is to add floral preservative to your water. You can find floral preservatives at flower shops, at department stores and at grocery stores. To use the floral preservatives that you buy you will want to fill your vase about half full with warm, but not hot, water. Then pour the preservatives into the water and stir until they have dissolved. Then place your cut dahlias into the vase. Change the water in your vase every day to extend the life of your cut flowers.
Keep your cut dahlias out of the sun and out of the heat. Both of these things will make your dahlias wilt and fade before their time. To extend their shelf life further you can cover your dahlias in a plastic bag and store them in your refrigerator during the nighttime when you are asleep. This will help to reduce moisture evaporation and wilting of your cut flowers.