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’
Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’
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’
Dahlia ‘Black Narcissus’
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.