It is time to top and tie your dahlias
Are your dahlias all planted? What's next? After a period of good growing weather it is time to top and tie your dahlia plants.
Tying: Most dahlia plants will flop over as they get taller. Unless you want ground level blooms, the plant should be kept upright with a stake or tomato cage. If you use a stake, wrap garden twine loosely around the plant and tightly around the stake, to hold the plant in place without strangling the thickening stalk.
Topping: or Stopping: Even if you grow just a few dahlias in a mixed flower-bed, you want to develop a bushy plant with a lot of blooms. The size of the blooms is not important. This is easily accomplished by nipping off the growing tip at the top of the plants when four-six pairs of leaves have developed. The plant will put its strength toward pushing out a side shoots (called laterals) at the junction of each leaf and stalk. As they grow, each of the side shoots will develop buds and blooms.