Dahlia Dahlia 'Alva's Supreme' (D)
Dahlia 'Alva's Supreme' is renowned for its striking appearance, characterized by its vibrant, large blooms. The flowers showcase a lush arrangement of petals, often double-flowered, resulting in a full, rounded look that adds a dramatic flair to gardens. These petals have an enchanting color palette, typically featuring rich shades that can range from deep purples to radiant pinks, often with gradients or variegation that enhances their visual appeal. The petals can also show a subtle sheen that catches the sunlight, giving the flowers a shimmering effect. The center of the Dahlia 'Alva's Supreme' bloom is equally striking, often contrasting with the petals in both texture and color, drawing the eye to the heart of the flower. Surrounding the central disc, the layers of petals unfold in a symphony of color and form, with each layer slightly overlapping the next, giving the flower depth and a mesmerizing geometry. The foliage of Dahlia 'Alva's Supreme' serves as a lush backdrop to the showy flowers. The leaves are typically deep green, providing a stark contrast that highlights the brilliance of the blossoms. The plant's stems are sturdy, supporting the weight of the heavy blooms above the foliage, ensuring that the flowers stand proud and are displayed to their best advantage. In summary, Dahlia 'Alva's Supreme' is a plant of exceptional beauty, with its large, vividly colored blooms and rich green foliage, making it a standout addition to any floral display or garden setting.
About this plant
Garden Dahlia, Dahlia
Dahlia 'Alva's Supreme'
Dahlias, including the variety 'Alva's Supreme,' are considered non-toxic to humans. They are not known to cause serious illness or symptoms of poisoning when ingested. However, as with any non-food plant, individual sensitivities can vary, and consuming dahlias may cause mild stomach upset in some people. It's advisable to avoid ingesting parts of ornamental plants like dahlias.
Dahlias, including the variety 'Alva's Supreme,' are generally considered to be non-toxic to pets such as cats and dogs. They are not known to be poisonous or cause any severe symptoms if ingested. However, it's still wise to prevent pets from eating dahlias, as ingestion can sometimes lead to mild gastrointestinal upset due to the plant's fiber content or if the pet has a specific sensitivity.
Color of leaves
4-5 feet [1.2-1.5 meters]
2-3 feet [0.6-0.9 meters]
- General Benefits
- Ornamental Value: Dahlia 'Alva's Supreme' provides vibrant and large blossoms that are visually striking in gardens and as cut flowers.
- Pollinator Attraction: The flowers attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, supporting the local ecosystem.
- Seasonal Interest: Blooms from midsummer to first frost, offering extended periods of color and interest in the landscape.
- Variety: Available in different colors and forms, it can fulfill various design needs in a garden setting.
- Ease of Cultivation: Adaptable to a wide range of climate conditions and soil types, making it accessible for many gardeners.
- Long Blooming Period: With proper care, this dahlia can have a prolonged blooming time, providing flowers for many weeks.
- Companion Planting: Pairs well with other late-summer blooming perennials and annuals, enhancing garden aesthetics.
- Container Gardening: Suitable for pots and containers, enabling people with limited space to enjoy its beauty.
- Propagating Ability: Tubers can be overwintered and divided to propagate new plants, making it cost-effective for gardeners.
- Hybrid Vigor: Being a hybrid, 'Alva's Supreme' may exhibit robustness and resilience compared to some species varieties.
- Soil Improvement: The roots can help in improving soil structure and fertility over time as they decompose.
- Garden Focal Point: Due to their striking appearance, they can serve as a focal point or accent in garden design.
- Medical Properties
This plant is not used for medical purposes.
- Air-purifying Qualities
This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.
- Other Uses
- Dahlias can serve as a natural pest control plant by attracting predatory insects, such as ladybugs and lacewings, that feed on aphids and other garden pests.
- The large, brightly colored blooms of dahlias can be used to create a natural dye for textiles, offering hues ranging from pink to yellow depending on the part of the plant used.
- Florists often use dahlias as a source of inspiration for floral designs and arrangements, citing their diverse forms and colors as a creative muse.
- Dahlia stems can be utilized in papermaking; their fibrous material can be incorporated into the pulp to create a unique textured paper.
- As a symbol of commitment and bond that lasts forever, dahlias are sometimes incorporated into wedding ceremonies as part of decorations or as a motif in the wedding theme.
- Dahlias can be used as an indicator plant in gardens; their health and color can signal the need for soil amendments or alert gardeners to changes in environmental conditions.
- In culinary arts, certain varieties of dahlias have edible tubers that can be used as a carbohydrate source, similar to a potato, though one should be cautious as not all dahlia tubers are edible.
- The sturdy structure of dahlias makes them suitable for use in natural art installations or living sculptures when planted in intentional designs.
- Educationally, dahlias can be used in schools and community gardens to teach about plant biology, hybridization, and the importance of pollinators due to their diverse and intricate flower structures.
- Photographers and painters often utilize the striking appearance of dahlias as subjects in their visual art, capturing the complexity and vibrancy of their blooms.
- Feng Shui
The Dahlia is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
The Dahlia is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Elegance and Dignity: The Dahlia, with its stately presence and showy blossoms, is often considered to symbolize elegance and dignity.
- Commitment and Bond That Lasts Forever: Because dahlias are perennial plants that return every year, they are sometimes associated with long-term commitment and an everlasting bond.
- Change and Variety: There are many varieties of dahlias, with diverse colors and forms, which can symbolize change, diversity, and variety in life.
- Inner Strength: Dahlias are robust flowers that can bloom in challenging conditions, which makes them a symbol of inner strength and the ability to persist in the face of adversity.
- Creativity: The intricate petals and vivid colors of the Dahlia often lead to its association with creativity and inspiration in artistic endeavors.
- Warning of Betrayal: In the Victorian language of flowers, the Dahlia sometimes carried a message of a warning, signaling awareness of potential betrayal or deceit.
Dahlias require regular watering, especially during the growing season. For 'Alva's Supreme', it's best to water the plant deeply once or twice a week, providing about 1-2 gallons of water each time, depending on the weather conditions. It is important to avoid overhead watering to prevent disease and to water the base of the plant to keep the foliage dry. During hot, dry periods, you may need to water more frequently. Always check the soil moisture at a depth of an inch and water when it feels dry to the touch.
Dahlias thrive in full sunlight. 'Alva's Supreme' will perform best when planted in a spot that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily. Avoid planting in areas with filtered light or too much shade, as this can hinder blooming and lead to weaker plants.
Dahlias prefer moderate to warm conditions and 'Alva's Supreme' is no exception. They typically flourish in temperatures ranging from 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. These plants can withstand a minimum temperature of approximately 50 degrees Fahrenheit but should be protected from frost. It's important to note that dahlias are not cold-hardy and typically cannot survive temperatures below freezing.
Pruning dahlias, such as 'Alva's Supreme', encourages more blooms and maintains plant health. Pinch off the top of the main stem when the plant is about 16 inches tall to promote bushier growth and more flowers. Throughout the season, remove any dead or damaged stems and spent flowers to encourage new blooms. The best time for major pruning is early in the season and then minor pruning and deadheading as needed.
Dahlias thrive in well-draining, fertile soil with a pH range of 6.5 to 7.0. For Dahlia 'Alva's Supreme', a mix of loam, peat moss, and perlite or sand can ensure proper drainage and aeration. Adding compost or well-rotted manure provides nutrients for optimal growth.
Dahlias, including 'Alva's Supreme', typically don't need to be repotted as they are not perennial in containers. Instead, they are grown from tubers planted annually in spring after the threat of frost has passed.
- Humidity & Misting
Dahlias prefer moderate humidity levels, but are not particularly sensitive to humidity variations as long as they are well-watered. High humidity can increase the risk of fungal diseases, so ensuring good air circulation is key.
- Suitable locations
Grow Dahlias indoors with bright light and good air flow.
Plant Dahlias outside in full sun after last frost.
- Life cycle
Dahlia 'Alva's Supreme' begins its life cycle when a tuber is planted in the spring after the last frost, as dahlias are sensitive to cold. The plant sprouts and grows stems and leaves, using the stored nutrients in the tuber to establish itself. Throughout the summer, this perennial continues to develop and eventually produces large, showy flowers, typically from midsummer until the first frost. After flowering, the plant directs energy back into the tubers, which store food for the next season. As fall approaches and temperatures drop, the above-ground part of the plant dies back. The tubers can then be dug up, stored in a cool, dry place during winter, and replanted the next spring, completing the life cycle.
The most popular method of propagation for Dahlia 'Alva's Supreme' is by dividing tubers. This is typically done in the spring when the soil has warmed to at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately 15.5 degrees Celsius) and there is no risk of frost. To propagate, gardeners should carefully lift the clump of tubers from the ground after the foliage has died back. They should then wash off the soil and cut the tubers into sections ensuring that each section has at least one eye, which is a point on the tuber from which new growth will emerge. The cut surfaces should be allowed to dry and heal for a day or two to prevent rot, before planting the tuber sections individually at a depth of about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) in well-drained soil with the eyes facing upwards. This method of propagation helps to maintain the specific characteristics of 'Alva's Supreme' and allows gardeners to increase their stock of these beautiful flowers.