I can't believe I am writing about Dahlias! Many years ago I grew Dahlias and they did very well in my summer garden. I had ordered them through a catalog and planted them directly in the ground when it became warmer outside, sometime in May, as I remember.
They were of the smaller variety, about 15" high and had the vibrant colors of red and yellow. I did not grow them again because I thought they were a bit stiff looking and not at all natural in my garden. Also, they were expensive, and I did not dig them up in the fall. In zone 5 they are not perennials.
For some reason, I found myself thinking of Dahlias again this year when envisioning containers for myself and my daughter-in-law. We both needed something taller with a bright pink mostly for a Cezanne color scheme in our containers.
I chose a medium sized Dahlia called Mystic Beauty (Biltmore Estates Collection), growing from 28" - 36" tall, requiring full sun. Some Dahlia flowers are 12" in diameter and can grow to eight feet in height. I have started Mystic Beauty indoors so they have a jump start because of their later bloom time, August through frost. I am hoping I can at least bring on an early July bloom time.
I am choosing Dahlias this year mainly for height and color, so we will see if this works out.