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Dahlias are one of our favourite late summer flowers. These lovely blooms come in a variety of colours and sizes and they are relatively easy to grow if you follow a few simple tips.
They look great in garden beds in large groups, either grouped together in one colour palette or mixed for a spectacular rainbow display. Try the beautiful dinner plate dahlias which are quite literally the size of a dinner plate!
They come in a range of shapes including anemone, daisy and pom pom balls – there really is something to suit every garden.
1. Plant dahlia tubers after the last frost
Dahlia tubers don’t like frost so wait until the last frost of the season before planting your dahlias. In warmer climates you are will to be able to plant dahlias is late winter. Cold climate areas will usually need to wait until mid-Spring. Dahlia tubers should be planted just below the ground so that the stem is just below the surface.
2. Plant in a sunny position
2. Always plant dahlias in a very sunny, protected spot (an area of the garden that gets at least six hours of sun a day). These sun-loving bulbs don’t grow well in the shade. Also keep your dahlias protected from strong winds once they have started to grow.
3. Only water dahlias once the stems have started to appear above the soil
A multi-purpose fertiliser should also be applied when stems have grown to about 30cm, then follow with a liquid feed every two weeks when the flowers are in bloom. Water regularly during the growing period, particularly in hot climates.
4. Stake long stems
Ensure that taller dahlia varieties are well staked, some varieties can grow quite tall and will be at risk from winds.
5. Dig up tubers at the end of the season
Once all of the plant growth has died down and has had enough time to return nutrients to the soil, dig up tubers and store them in a cool, dark place until it’s time to replant them the following spring.
Additional Dahlia Tips
Dahlias make great potted plants, try the shorter varieties in pots to add colour to a balcony or deck.
Cut flowers in full bloom (they make beautiful vase arrangements) to encourage new blooms and growth.
Most importantly enjoy the beauty that these plants bring to your garden in late summer and autumn.