Dahlias - Invaluable Colour from June till the first frost!

Feb 13, 2018 - POSTED BY Anna Halloran - Gardeners Choice

Dahlias have a wonderful range of colours and shapes for you to choose from and are very free flowering, often bringing colour to your garden from June till the first frosts. They are tuberous rooted perennials, and a good time to order the tubers is now, from February-April, planting them approximately 15cm deep once all chance of frost has gone in your area. They thrive in full sun, but are quite flexible on soil types, doing well in Alkaline, Neutral or Acid soils.  If you haven’t tried them in your garden before, give them a trial this year!  The top photo is of Dahlia Purple Pearl, a highly decorative variety with deep purple, almost maroon flowers which are delicately edged with white.  It reaches approximately 1 -1.5 m high and the flower heads are a good 15-20cm in diameter. This variety is also perfect for flower arranging.

Hillcrest Candy, the Dahlia pictured in the second photo, was introduced in 2005 and has received the AGM award. It has beautiful soft pink flowers which are of the semi cactus variety. Like all Dahlias they like to be protected during the winter, so depending on where you live and how cold it gets, either leave the tubers in the ground, adding a layer of bark mulch for protection in late Autumn, or lift the tubers and overwinter them before replanting in the Spring. The third photo is of Dahlia Kenora Macop-B, which has really deep wine red flowers. The petals of this Dahlia are fimbriated which gives it an arresting ‘pin-cushion’ effect.

You don’t have to go for strong or pastel colours, there are lots of beautiful white dahlias with hints of pale yellow or lime to choose from as well. Dahlia Alva’s Supreme has also been awarded an AGM, and has very pale yellow, double flowers with a slightly deeper shade of yellow in the centre.  From afar though they shine like a white flower would shine. The double flowers have slightly incurved florets which adds interest and texture. BJ Beauty grows to 1.2 metres high and is a purer white with limey under petals, a true beauty!

Dahlia Blyton Softer Gleam has interesting two toned flower heads, golden yellow, with deeper, orangey centres up to 15 cm in diameter. This Dahlia has a good upright habit and will grow to 1.3- 1.5 high.  Like all Dahlias though, it is good to put plant supports in place before they reach full height so that they can grow through them and give you the best display. The last photo is of Dahlia Vulcan, a lovely tall, semi-cactus variety with large orange flowers.  This Dahlia is often used for exhibiting, and also does well in flower arrangements.  Another show stopper with its spiky flowers adding both colour and texture to your borders. Planting some Dahlia tubers in your garden this Spring is a great, inexpensive way to add colour and strength to your Summer and Autumn planting.