Big, bold and brassy – dahlias dazzle in the border and and in a vase.
Originating in Mexico, dahlias were first introduced to Europe to be grown for food. However, the unpalatable tubers lead to them instead being grown and bred for their flowers.
The key to a long season of flowering is deadheading. Deadhead often to stop them setting seed and keep new blooms coming.
Discover seven gorgeous dahlia varieties to grow, below.
Dahlia ‘Arabian Night’
Dahlia ‘Arabian Night’ is renowned for its sumptuous, velvety-red double petals. Use a high-potash feed to encourage the production of more flowers.
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
This gorgeous pompon variety, ‘David Howard’, has rich golden petals, which provide striking contrast with the purple green foliage. Take a look at six more pompon and ball dahlias to grow.
Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’
One of the best known Dahlia cultivars, ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ has single to semi-double, ruby red blooms and bronze-green foliage. Here are 10 more single-flowered dahlias to grow.
Dahlia ‘Rothesay Reveller’
Try growing this decorative Dahlia cultivar for cut flowers, as the flowers of ‘Rothesay Reveller’ are particularly large and showy.
Dahlia ‘Julie One’
‘Julie One’ is an orchid-type dahlia, with red-bottomed petals that curl inwards, giving them a pretty, curved appearance. Other two tone dahlias to grow include ‘Twynings Candy’ and ‘Checkers’.
Dahlia ‘Black Narcissus’
‘Black Narcissus’ is a striking semi-cactus dahlia with deep maroon blooms. If this is the dahlia for you, take a look at more cactus and semi-cactus dahlias you could grow.
Like all collerette dahlias, ‘Chimborazo’ has large petals that form a ring around a disc of smaller petals, in the centre. Don’t forget to snip a few of the blooms for cut flowers.
The time to dig up and protect dahlia tubers is after frosts have begun, not before. The tubers can grow a lot in autumn, and aren’t damaged by light frosts, so bringing them in too early can reduce next year’s display. Alternatively, if your ground frosts will reliably stay above -5°C and the soil is well-drained, they can be left outside with a thick layer of mulch.