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Star Dahlia (7 Caring Tips and 3 Propagating Methods)

Star Dahlia is a Cactus Dahlias member that has exceptional blooms. Likewise, it has spiny petals, rolled up two-thirds or more of the length. Star Dahlia has elongated velvety petals, which curve elegantly towards the bloom face.

Sometimes, these petals are straight from the tip to the base, but they can curve outward or inward. They are not heavy on top and remain straight and lovely even when it rains.

Star Dahlia
Star Dahlia – via Flickr

Star Dahlia Care Tips

1.       Lighting

Star Dahlia loves sunshine. For high-quality growth and flowering, it needs some hours of direct sunlight. If the pot is on the window sill, choose the place that has more light. 

If Star Dahlia grows in a room, then it is helpful to make up for the artificial light with the help of fluorescent lamps. The lamps can be installed immediately after planting at a level of 15 cm above the ground. As the Star Dahlia grows, the lamp rises.

2.       Watering

Star Dahlia does not tolerate excess moisture. The frequency of watering depends on the weather. Usually, it is two or three times a week. If it is cool, once is enough, depending on the condition of the soil. You can water daily in dry and hot weather and avoid moisture stagnation.

3.       Temperature

The optimal summer temperature for Star Dahlia ranges from 20-22 °C. In early autumn, it is kept in cooler conditions. From mid-November to the end of February, it is sent for wintering, transferred to a bright room with a temperature of 16 °C.

4.       Fertilizer

Star Dahlia needs to be fed every two weeks in the growth process, alternating mineral fertilizers with organic ones: ammonium nitrate and mullein tincture or bird droppings. With the advent of the first buds, superphosphate and potash fertilizers began to be applied at 30 g per bucket of water.

5.       Top dressing

The need to apply mineral or organic fertilizers to Star Dahlia depends on the type of soil in which they are planted. Fertile soils that are regularly fertilized with organic matter and humus need less. 

You can determine which fertilizers Star Dahlia needs for top dressing on a particular soil by submitting samples to an agro-laboratory for chemical analysis. It allows you to plan the application of fertilizers for the next 2-3 years.

6.       Pruning

If you are interested not in quantity but the quality of the Star Dahlia, do not leave more than three shoots on the plant. Otherwise, Star Dahlia will be smaller in size and not so decorative. On each peduncle, you need to leave 1-2 buds.

Remove faded buds so that they do not delay the formation and growth of new ones. Try to remove the lower side shoots of high-grade Star Dahlia throughout the season. These shoots can then be used as cuttings.

7.       Transplant

Since Star Dahlia does not have a high growth rate, it is not often transplanted. This is done only if necessary (for example, if many little outlets have formed around the mother plant, placed on the sides, or the flowerpot has become cramped for the root system). 

Usually, a transplant is performed every 2-3 years, while the shoots are separated and planted in separate flowerpots. 

A layer of drainage material is laid on the bottom of the new container. Pots must be selected wide and flatter since the root system of the Star Dahlia is not too developed. 

It is desirable to sprinkle the soil’s surface with small pebbles, which will prevent the possibility of contact between the leaf plates of the plant and the moistened substrate.

Star Dahlia 2
Star Dahlia – via Wikimedia

Propagation methods

a)       Propagation by tuber division

In mid-March, healthy tubers are selected, which must be germinated. They are pre-cleaned of damaged parts and soaked for 15 minutes in a solution of potassium permanganate. Planting material is planted in containers with moist soil. In this case, the root neck should remain open. 

After the plants have reached a size of 1.5 cm, the tubers are pulled out of the ground and cut into several pieces. Each part with one eye and root collar is planted in a separate pot. The incision site of the root neck is not deepened.

b)      Propagation by cuttings

The cuttings are prepared in the same way as for propagation by division. Caring for them consists of timely watering the soil. As soon as the cuttings grow 5-10 cm, they will need to be cut off under the bottom sheet and placed for rooting in water or a mixture of peat and sand.

Cuttings are planted in open ground from late May to early June. Their holes should be slightly larger than a clod of earth in a pot. Star Dahlia is well-watered before planting. The cuttings are placed in the planting hole. 

c)       Propagation by seeds

Seeds are sown, moistened, and covered with a film. They germinate at an air temperature of 25 degrees Celsius. Likewise, the sprouts dive into separate containers with loose soil when primary leaves appear. 

Young Star Dahlia is planted in open ground in mid-May. Growing Star Dahlia outdoors is not such a difficult task. With proper planting and following all the simple recommendations for care, from mid-summer until the very frost.

Diseases and pests

Star Dahlia can experience powdery mildew, a thin layer of whitish coating on the leaves. To solve this, you need to cut off all affected leaves and shoots and replace the top layer of soil.

Also, root rot can happen, which is identified by blackening bases of shoots. To combat this, you need to cut off all affected shoots.

Pests can attack star, Dahlia. Yellowed and twisted leaves are a signal of the appearance of aphids. If the colonies are single, then the spoiled leaves are removed. During the severe infestations you can treat it insecticide.

Slugs gnaw through or destroy the leaves. To combat them, you need superphosphate, metaldehyde preparations, and red peppers, effective on the ground.

Also, plant bugs can cause the leaves to bore. To get rid of them, Star Dahlia is sprayed with an insecticide. Application is best made in the morning when the bugs are inactive.


Conclusion

Star Dahlia is a unique plant with elongated velvety petals, which curve towards the bloom face. These petals are strong in that they can remain straight even when it rains.

The plant needs ideal conditions for it to grow strong and green. For instance, it does not require excess water and needs to be fertilized regularly.