Dahlias are one of the best value plants available and will flower all summer (depending on the variety) if cared for properly. Their diversity of colour and shape are a real winner for every garden and a gift your family or friends can enjoy for months on end. Below are our top dahlia planting and care tips. Do let us know if you have any additional handy hints so we can add them to our website to share with other enthusiasts.
1. Plant dahlia tubers at a minimum depth of 15cm adding good quality compost or manure to the soil especially around the roots to help with moisture retention.
2. Dahlias can not withstand cold so plant them in the ground after the frosts or in sheltered pots ready to transplant when the soil temperature rises.
3. Always stake the larger varieties as soon as you plant the dahlia tubers. This will help keep the dahlias from rocking in windy areas and encourage long, straight stems.
4. Dahlias love sun, don’t plant in the shade or you will loose the flower and end up with leggy plants.
5. Dahlias are hungry plants and will need feeding regularly with high potash feed and water regularly. Do not use a nitrogen fertiliser as this will also restrict flower production.
6. Always pinch out the side shoots of your dahlias when the plant is around 15-20cm this encourages the plant to produce a good bushy structure and many more flowers.
7. In the autumn, allow the frost to turn the growth black then lift the dahlia tubers and trim the growth. Turn upside down on paper to drain any excess water and allow to dry for a few days. Finally, dust the tubers with a fungicide and store in shallow boxes or trays with dry sand or peat free compost around the roots. Keep in a frost free dry place.