Dahlia tubers are the perfect solution to fill out dry, sunny spots in your garden with beautiful blooms throughout the summer. Coping well with hot, dry weather, these drought-tolerant plants will reward deadheading with a prolonged flowering period. With varieties for beds, borders and containers, dahlias are moderately easy to grow, and very rewarding when they flower. Read our guide on how to grow dahlias for more information or visit our dahlia hub for dedicated dahlia growing & caring advice.
For more information on growing perennials, visit our perennials hub page for links to expert advice and tips.
Dahlias are an iconic garden plant, sending forth their dazzling, dish plate sized blooms from late summer through early autumn until the first frosts. Whether you grow your dahlias in the cut flower garden to display inside the house as the stars of the summer border, or in patio containers, there's a variety for you. With so many varieties to choose from it's no wonder dahlias are a firm favourite.
Dahlia tubers are available to plant in early spring. They don't like frost, so either plant your tubers under cover or wait until the last frost date in your area to plant directly into the ground outdoors. Garden ready dahlia plants are suitable for planting from late spring onwards.
Dahlias are perennial flowers. They die back at the end of autumn, storing energy in underground tubers to sprout again when temperatures rise in spring. If you live in an area that receives heavy frost, it's best practice to 'lift' your dahlia tubers at the end of autumn to store them. These tender perennials don't tolerate frost damage. Re-plant your stored tubers again in spring. Alternatively, add a thick covering of well-rotted manure as mulch over the ground above your tubers in areas that typically see a mild winter.
Plant your dahlia tubers in fertile, well-drained soil. Choose a sunny position that's sheltered from strong prevailing wind and away from frost pockets. To plant your dahlia, dig a hole around 10cm deep and lay your tuber on its side in the hole with any visible growing 'eyes' facing upward. Backfill the hole and gently firm the soil over the tuber before watering to settle the soil in. Always remember to mark your planted dahlia tuber with a label showing both the variety name and planting date.
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