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 in one colour or multi-coloured for a spectacular rainbow display. Try the spectacular 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 winter frost, this will usually be September/October but warmer areas will be able to plant a little earlier.
2. Always plant dahlias in a very sunny, protected spot (at least six hours of sun a day). These sun-loving bulbs won’t go well in the shade. Keep your dahlias protected from strong winds.
3. Only water dahlias once the stems have started to appear above the soil. A multi-purpose fertiliser should be applied when stems have grown to about 30cm, then follow with a liquid feed every two weeks when the flowers are in bloom.
4. Cut flowers in full bloom (they make beautiful vase arrangements) to encourage new blooms and growth.
5. Ensure that taller varieties are well staked, some varieties can grow quite tall!
6. Dahlias make great potted plants, try the shorter varieties in pots to add colour to a balcony or deck.
7. We like to dig up our tubers at the end of the season once all growth has died down and has had enough time to return nutrients to the soil. Store them in a cool, dark place until it’s time to replant the following spring.
Most importantly enjoy the beauty that these plants bring to your garden in late summer and autumn.