Dahlias in bouquets: a chat about vase life

If you haven’t discovered dahlias yet, guard your wallet and run for the hills! Their brilliant shapes and shockingly beautiful colors make this a coveted flower for many flower farmers, florists, floral designers and avid gardeners.

But what about dahlias in flower bouquets? Here at Muddy Fox Flower Farm we sell fresh cut flower bouquets at pop up shops, cut flower buckets, and bouquet subscriptions.

I feel like dahlias are too pretty NOT to put into the bouquets…but there is a price to pay with that decision.

In the photo above, the large pink flower and the one just under it on the right are both dahlias. The pink one in the front on the left is an aster.

Dahlias look perfect with every flower! There are so many different colors, shapes, and sizes. Just google “dahlia” and you’ll quickly see why I’m in love with them!

HOW TO MAKE FLOWERS LAST LONGER

We’ve found our rhythm. Here is what we do to make our bouquet/arrangement flowers last as long as possible for our customers:

  1. we cut our flowers and fillers early in the morning or late in the day – it just depends on rain and the temperature/humidity.
  2. immediately after cutting, we place them into super clean buckets filled with conditioned water. We use CVBN tablets to condition the water – basically the tablets control the bacteria so that your flowers are drinking fresh, clean water.
  3. the buckets are then placed in a cool, dark space to rest for at least 4 hours before arranging them.

We have found that following the above protocol, your flowers will stay beautiful up to 2 weeks in a vase! Of course, some flowers naturally last longer or shorter, but there’s nothing we can do to alter their natural lifespan. 🙂

WHAT ABOUT DAHLIAS AND VASE LIFE?

So here’s the issue…most specialty grown flowers will still look beautiful for around 14 days if cared for properly. Dahlias, on the other hand, typically only have a 4 to 5 day vase life, however a few varieties can make it 10-ish days.

Their vase life makes them perfect candidates for weddings and arrangements that only need to stay fresh for a day or two. But what about bouquets?

BOTTOM LINE…

sorry. no cut and dried here (pun intended). It’s all preference! I do include them in fresh cut flower bouquets, but it’s important to know that, even if you take care of your flowers properly, the dahlia will not last as long as the other flowers.

So, beauty trumps vase life in my book. 🙂

ADDED NOTE: DAHLIA DETAILS

Just in case you haven’t had the chance to google the dahlia, here are a few interesting details about the flower:

  • dahlias are perennials
  • the flower grows from a tuber, but you can also start dahlias from seed (if you want the same dahlia year after year, it’s safest to purchase tubers)
  • they are cold hardy in zones 7 to 10, but many farmers in 6a have successfully overwintered them in the ground (I’m going to try it this year!)
  • vase life is generally 4 to 5 days, but can be up to 11 days with some varieties
  • using holding preservatives can increase vase life up to 3 days

(information taken from Postharvest Handling of Cut Flowers and Greens by ASCFG)

If you’re interested, we do sell dahlias by the stem. Or if you’re thinking of growing them in your garden, please don’t hesitate to EMAIL ME – I’ll help you out! 🙂

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