It's the summer of dahlias
Summer wouldn’t be the same without dahlias. We’ve put some tips together from our friends at BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine so that you can grow beautiful pops of colour in your garden, with some dahlia garden inspiration from our previous shows.
Dahlias come in many shapes and sizes and make beautiful additions of colour to the garden, whether in bedding, pots, or as cut flowers for indoors. Remember, the more you cut them, the more flowers they produce.
How to grow
- Plant dahlias in fertile, moist soil that is well-drained
- Place in a sunny, sheltered spot
- If growing from tubers, pot them up individually with the new shoot facing upwards and position it so it sits just below the soil surface. Water well.
- Keep tubers in a frost-free place and keep the compost moist. New shoots should appear five weeks after plants. Plant out in the garden in May when no more frosts are forecasted.
- When planting out your tubers, you might need to remove some shoots. Leave about five remaining to encourage lots of flowers.
- Before planting outside, harden off the plants by putting them outside during the day and bringing them in at night for about a week.
- Grow your plants around 60cm apart, in holes around 30cm across.
- If planting in a pot, use containers 30cm wide and deep.
- When the plant is 20cm tall, encourage flowering side shoots by pinching out the main growing tip. Cut the main shoot down to the top pair of leaves.
- Deadhead to prolong flowering.
- For cut flowers, cut the flowers when they are fully open.
- Dahlia tubers can be divided in spring – press the tubers down onto a tray of shallow compost and leave them to start growth in a sunny room. Once shoots begin to grow, divide them using a knife so each section has at least one shoot and set of roots.
- Pot on the divisions.
Take a look at the gallery below to see just some of the varieties of dahlias you could grow in your own garden.