Blackberry Ripple Dahlia
Great for cutting, and easy to maintain in the garden.
This is the type of flower form known as "semi-cactus," and the petals are long, slender, and rolled, so they stick out all over like porcupine quills (but much softer!). They reach 6 inches wide on plants that are fairly compact, so you may want to grow Blackberry Ripple up and through a support hoop to hold up those big heavy blooms!
The blooms begin in midsummer and continue right into mid-fall in most climates. The plant reaches 3 to 3½ feet high and 2 feet wide (space the bulbs about 20 inches apart in the garden for good, dense coverage). Blackberry Ripple is a "cut-and-come-again" variety, so you'll want to keep the flowers cut or deadheaded to get new buds appearing even faster!
Dahlia is a sun-lover, happiest in rich, well-drained, moist soil. It is hardy only through zone 8 in the north, so you may want to dig it up at season's end and store it indoors to replant in spring. It forms a tuber, and is easy to tuck away in a shoebox filled with clean kitty litter or vermiculite.
Like most Dahlias, Blackberry Ripple needs full sun everywhere but the hottest climates (where afternoon shade is appreciated), and benefits from very fertile, evenly moist soil. Fertilize regularly and add some extra fine, gritty sand to achieve proper drainage. Adjust the soil pH to about 6.5 to 7.0 (slightly-acid to neutral). Maintain constant moisture but don't let the soil get too boggy. Almost any low Nitrogen/high-Phosphorus fertilizer (10-20-20, or organic equivalent) can be used twice during the season: once thoroughly incorporated into the soil at planting time and again about mid-Summer. Liquid formulas are not recommended because of their Nitrogen content. Nitrogen stimulates foliage growth, but what we're after with dahlias is flowers, and lots of them. That's what phosphorus does best!
Keep Blackberry Ripple well fed and watered, give it plenty of sun, cut or deadhead the flowers to encourage faster rebloom, and it will reward you with an abundance of color that keeps coming for months! Zones 8-10.
|Zone||8 - 10|
|BloomStartToEnd||Mid Summer - Mid Fall|
|PlantHeight||3 ft - 3 ft 6 in|
|AdditionalCharacteristics||Bloom First Year, Butterfly Lovers, Double Blooms, Free Bloomer, Long Bloomers|
|BloomColor||Cream, Multi-Color, Purple|
|Resistance||Deer Resistance, Heat Tolerant|
|Uses||Beds, Border, Containers, Cut Flowers, Fall Color, Outdoor|
|Restrictions||Canada, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands|