It’s Dahlia Season! Tips for Cutting and Arranging

With night temperatures cooling as fall approaches, the dahlias in our gardens are blooming exuberantly. If yours are too, it’s fine to just cut them (ideally early in the morning so they’re well-hydrated) and put them right in a vase, but if you are looking for more ideas, here’s what we do for extra-special fall bouquets.

Choose blossoms whose back petals are flat, not recurved. These will be the younger flowers that will last longer in the vase, perhaps as many as 3-4 days, and that won’t drop spent petals on your table or shelf.

A single flower or little bouquet can be supported well in a small-necked vase. If your vase is large (and opaque), you can make a ball out of chicken wire to put inside it and then feed the stems through different holes to support and separate them. Or use strips of floral or Scotch tape criss-crossed over the top of the vase to make mini-openings.

And it can be fun to try other types of vessels! At this time of year, Rita likes to hollow out a pumpkin, squash, or cabbage and set a jam jar or vase inside of it to hold the water and stems, or to simply drill holes in the pumpkin or squash, poke a stem in each, and let the moisture from the interior hydrate the bloom.

Although our dahlia bouquets tend to be mostly dahlias – or even just one dahlia – you can add goldenrods, asters, or other late-bloomers, twigs of ninebark or boxwood, or foliage like coleus or Sweet Annie.

If you’d like, share a photo (or other ideas) on our Facebook page, and have fun!