Dahlia Dahlia 'Mom's Special' (D)
Dahlia 'Mom's Special' is a stunning decorative flower that showcases an exquisite blend of colors. The blooms have an alluring charm with petals that are white at the base, gradually transitioning to soft lavender and then to bold streaks of deep purple. These colors elegantly swirl together, giving each flower a unique, painterly appearance. The petals are arranged in a dense, orderly pattern that exudes a sense of lush fullness. They are broad and slightly twisted, which adds a delightful texture to the overall appearance of the bloom. At the center, the petals are more condensed, creating an eye-catching contrast with the lighter tips that seem to dance around the flower’s heart. The foliage of Dahlia 'Mom's Special' is equally impressive, with rich green leaves that provide the perfect backdrop to the spectacular flowers. The leaves are typically compound, with leaflets that are symmetrically shaped, imparting an overall lush and healthy look to the plant. The juxtaposition of the vibrant green leaves against the dramatic blooms makes for a visually stunning display in any garden or floral arrangement.
About this plant
Dahlia, Garden Dahlia
Dahlia 'Mom's Special'
Dahlias are generally considered non-toxic to humans. There is no significant evidence that suggests dahlias, including the variety 'Mom's Special', pose a poisoning risk if ingested. Therefore, no symptoms of poisoning are typically expected upon ingestion of dahlias by humans.
Dahlias are also considered non-toxic to pets, including both dogs and cats. There are no prevalent reports of serious illness or symptoms resulting from the ingestion of any part of the Dahlia 'Mom's Special' by pets. Thus, no specific toxicity consequences are typically associated with pets consuming dahlias.
Color of leaves
4-5 feet (1.2-1.5 meters)
2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 meters)
- General Benefits
- Ornamental Value: The Dahlia 'Mom's Special' offers stunning visual appeal with its unique and vibrant flower patterns, enhancing garden design.
- Garden Variety: Available in a range of colors and forms, they can be used for mixed borders or as a focal point in the garden.
- Pollinator Attraction: Dahlias attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects, supporting biodiversity.
- Cut Flowers: Long-lasting when cut, dahlias are great for bouquets and floral arrangements, adding beauty indoors.
- Breeding Potential: Hobbyists and professionals can use dahlias for breeding, creating new and unique varieties.
- Seasonal Interest: Flowering from midsummer to the first frost, they provide prolonged color and interest in the garden.
- Competitions and Shows: Dahlia enthusiasts can enter their blooms in competitions and shows, encouraging community involvement.
- Easy Propagation: Tubers can be easily divided for propagation, making it simple for gardeners to expand their collection or share with others.
- Therapeutic Gardening: The care and cultivation of dahlias can offer a relaxing and rewarding hobby, contributing to mental wellbeing.
- 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
- Dye Production: Petals of the dahlia can be used to produce natural dyes for textiles, offering a range of colors depending on the mordant used.
- Culinary Garnishes: The vibrant petals of dahlias can be used as edible garnishes in salads and desserts to add a splash of color.
- Photography Subjects: Dahlias, with their intricate petals and stunning colors, are a popular choice for photographers looking for beautiful natural subjects.
- Artistic Inspiration: Due to their unique patterns and colors, dahlia flowers can inspire artists for paintings, textile designs, and other artistic creations.
- Flower Arranging Competitions: Dahlias are often used in competitive flower arranging for their diverse forms and longevity after cutting.
- Eco-Friendly Confetti: Dried petals of dahlias can be used as biodegradable confetti for celebrations and weddings.
- Teaching Tool: Dahlias can be used in educational settings to teach about plant biology, hybridization, and the genetics of color.
- Theme Gardens: Dahlias can be the centerpiece in theme gardens, such as 'butterfly gardens' or 'rainbow gardens' due to their range of colors and attractiveness to pollinators.
- Ink Ingredient: The pigment from dahlia petals can be used in the making of natural inks for art or writing.
- Floral Crafts: The sturdy stems and diverse colors of dahlias make them suitable for crafting dried flower wreaths, bouquets, and other floral decor.
- Feng Shui
The Dahlia is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
The Dahlia is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Dignity: Dahlia flowers carry the meaning of dignity due to their stunning and impressive presence.
- Innovation: Each bloom of the Dahlia can be quite unique, symbolizing an embrace of new ideas and innovative thinking.
- Eternal Bond: Because Dahlias were traditionally given as a gesture to express a lasting commitment or bond, they represent long-lasting relationships and eternal bonds.
- Change and Transformation: The diverse forms and colors of Dahlias represent embracing change and personal growth.
- Warning: In the Victorian language of flowers, Dalhia's are a symbol of a warning, possibly due to their bold appearance that stands out among other flowers.
Dahlias require a consistent watering schedule to ensure healthy growth and ample blooms. Water 'Mom's Special' dahlias deeply once or twice a week, providing about 1 to 2 gallons of water for each plant during each session. The key is to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. During hot spells or in particularly dry climates, you may need to water more frequently. It's important to aim the water directly at the base of the plant rather than overhead to avoid wetting the foliage, which can encourage fungal diseases.
Dahlias thrive best in full sun where they can receive at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily. 'Mom's Special' should be planted in a spot that provides ample sunlight without too much shade. Avoid locations where buildings, trees, or other structures might cast too much shade on the dahlias throughout the day.
Dahlias prefer moderate temperatures and do well in environments where the temperature ranges between 60°F to 70°F. They can survive minimum temperatures of around 50°F but should be protected from frost, which can damage or kill the plant. The maximum temperature for dahlias should not exceed 90°F for extended periods, as extreme heat can stress the plant, affecting bloom quality and health.
Pruning dahlias, such as 'Mom's Special', is primarily done to promote bushy growth, enhance flowering, and remove any spent blooms or dead foliage. Prune or pinch back the tops when the plant is about 12 inches tall to encourage lateral branching. Remove spent flower heads throughout the blooming season to encourage continuous flowering. The best time to prune is during the growing season, when the plant is actively producing new growth.
Dahlias thrive in fertile, well-drained soil. A good mix for dahlia 'Mom's Special' would be equal parts peat, compost, and perlite or coarse sand to ensure proper drainage and fertility. The ideal soil pH should be slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 6.5 to 7.0 for optimal growth.
Dahlias, including 'Mom's Special', generally do not need to be repotted frequently since they are grown from tubers each year. The tubers should be planted in fresh soil after the last frost in spring and then lifted and stored during winter in colder climates to prevent freezing.
- Humidity & Misting
Dahlias, like 'Mom's Special', prefer moderate ambient humidity. While Dahlias are relatively adaptable, excessively high humidity can promote fungal diseases like powdery mildew. Aiming for a humidity level around 60-70% is suitable for these plants.
- Suitable locations
Ensure bright light, adequate pot size, good airflow, and support stems.
Plant in full sun after frost; provide staking and well-draining soil.
- Life cycle
Dahlia 'Mom's Special' begins its life cycle when a tuber is planted in the soil after the last frost in spring. The tuber, which can survive through winter in frost-free conditions, sends up shoots that develop into strong stems and leaves. As the plant matures, it creates buds that eventually bloom into the large, distinctive flowers that dahlias are known for, typically from midsummer until the first frost in autumn. After flowering, the plant directs energy back to the tuber, which stores nutrients to survive the dormant winter period. In colder climates, the tubers are often dug up before the first frost and stored in a cool, dry place to overwinter. When the weather warms again, the tuber can be replanted to start the cycle anew.
The Dahlia 'Mom's Special', also known simply as Dahlia, can be propagated through division, which is the most popular method. Dahlias form tuberous roots, which can be divided in early spring before new growth begins. The ideal time for dividing dahlia tubers is when the eyes, or growth points, are just beginning to sprout, making it easier to ensure that each division has at least one eye. To propagate by division, carefully dig up the entire clump of tubers after the first frost has killed the foliage, or in climates without frost, when the plant naturally begins to die back. Gently rinse the soil off the tubers and allow them to dry in a well-ventilated area for 24 hours. Using a sharp and clean knife, cut the tubers apart, making sure each section has at least one eye and a portion of the original tuber attached. Allow the cut surfaces to callous over for a day or two to prevent rot, and then plant them 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters) deep in well-draining soil, spaced about 18 to 24 inches (45 to 60 centimeters) apart.