Dahlias have been actively grown for several centuries and their popularity, which was somewhat reduced in the 90s, again increases with unprecedented force. And it is difficult to imagine that flowers so varied in shape, color and size would be forgotten. There are many classifications of dahlias: by the size of the inflorescence, and by the height, and by the colors, but the most common is the classification by the shape of the inflorescence. Only according to this classification, about 16 groups of dahlias are distinguished, differing from each other in the shape and size of the inflorescences. Among them, the most famous are fringed, pompon, cacti, anemone, collar, decorative and many others.
Martha's dahlia, which will be discussed in this article, belongs to the semi-aktus group according to the above-mentioned classification.
This group of dahlias is a kind of transition from cactus to decorative dahlias. Their inflorescences also form large caps of superimposed layers, so that they can be called terry.
The middle of the inflorescence is more reminiscent of the middle of an ornamental group, when small and numerous tubular flowers are tightly pressed together and almost imperceptible.
The reed flowers surrounding them, in everyday life called petals, are oval in shape from the base to the middle. But from the middle to the ends, they are also like those of cactus dahlias, rolled up into dense tubes that diverge in all directions from the center of the inflorescence.
Quite a large number of dahlias belong to this group.Attention! The division into groups is not strict. It often happens that the same variety belongs to several groups of dahlias at once.
The diameter of the inflorescence is different, from 10 cm to 20 cm and even more. The height of the bushes of plants of this group also varies greatly, from 50 cm to two meters.
Dahlia Martha - description
Dahlia Martha was obtained in 1994 in the USA.
If you look at these flowers from afar, it seems as if the fiery red rays are burning against the background of bright yellow flashes. Looking closer, it can be understood that the petals of the inflorescences are bicoloured - an orange-red tint prevails, which at the base of the petals turns into bright yellow. Moreover, this transition is not gradual, like in other colors, but is decorated with juicy oblong strokes. This creates such a unique effect. Petals taper to the ends in tubules, like the rays, and on the very tips they are painted in whitish color.
The diameter of flowers on average is about 22 cm, but the size of individual inflorescences can reach up to 25 cm. Flowering can continue from the end of July until frosts.
The height of the bush itself is rather average, about 90-100 cm.
Peculiarities of care
Since the dahlia is home to the tropical countries of the South American continent, it is a very thermophilic plant. This must be taken into account both during planting and in caring for it. The place is desirable to choose the warmest and sunniest. Be sure to protect it from strong winds by the wall of the house or high landings.
Dahlia are not very fastidious of the soil, but for good growth and abundant flowering they need a lot of nutrition. Therefore, sandy soils must be well fertilized before planting dahlias. Loams will be ideal for creating flower beds from dahlias.
For abundant flowering, you must meet the following conditions for planting:
- Dahlia tuber should be started to germinate in room conditions around mid-March. Otherwise, the dahlia, being a plant with a long growing season, will bloom very late, in August, or even in September.
- A dahlia grown up on a flower bed is planted somewhere in the beginning of June in the middle lane when all night frosts are a thing of the past. By this time there should already be several shoots on the tuber, from 10 to 25 cm long.
- In the hole of the ground before planting, a well is filled with a support for the garter of future flowers.
- After planting a tuber with a lump of earth, it is well shed with water.
- It is also advisable to carefully mulch the ground around the dahlia with straw or sawdust.
- The neck, when properly seated, should be buried a few centimeters below ground level. As the shoots grow, they are tied to a support.
The main thing in dahlia care is regular watering and fertilizing. For the latter it is better to use organic fertilizers.
Since the flower stalks of Martha's dahlias are rather long and strong, they can be used for cutting.
Dahlia Martha is an excellent representative of this vast family of tuber flowers and will give you many pleasant moments from admiring it during flowering.