Dahlias have beautiful flower heads available in a huge array of colours and types. However, they do demand a good amount of time and attention. Dahlias originate from Mexico so it is no surprise that they love warmth with the flowers flourishing
in lots of sunshine. That said, it is possible to grow them in the UK, particularly in Southern England. They require relatively well draining soil rich with compost and a sunny, sheltered part of the garden.
If you are planting Dahlias as small plants, be sure to plant them when all risk of frost has passed, as Dahlia’s are not hardy plants and would be damaged by frost. If planting them as tubers then this is best to do in mid to late May. Make holes about 15cm for the Dahlia tubers, add well rotted manure and blood fish and bone or your preferred fertiliser and allow to grow. Once big enough transplant the plants in to fresh soil, with slightly shallower holes prepared in the same way.
Once established, in order to make the plants bushier and encourage the growth of more flowers, when the Dahlia plant is a good height, roughly around 35cm, pinch out the growing tip. This will force the plant to throw out side shoots which will have more flower heads.
Plant Care & Pests
Dead heading is essential throughout the entire summer to keep the plant flowering.
For the best blooms Dahlia’s need feeding. Around 4-6 weeks after first planting, feed the plants with a nitrogen rich fertiliser and potash and then regularly during the growing season.
Remember, that Dahlia’s do best planted in the sheltered parts of the garden and require full sun, as a lack of sun can lead to poor flowering.
At the end of the growing season, Dahlia’s normally need to be lifted and stored over winter to protect the plants from frost damage.
Dahlia’s are prone to aphids, earwigs and slugs.
With some sunshine, love, care attention, it is possible to enjoy English grown Dahlia’s from your very own garden, as plants or cut flowers.