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Growing Dahlias

Dahlias are brilliant garden plants. They are long flowering, with lush foliage, easy to flower and care for and come in a huge array of colours shapes and sizes.

Dahlis like a full sun to lightly shaded position. They dislike frost so ensure that they are well protected in frost prone areas. When planting ensure 'eyes' of the tuber face upwards.

Dahlias tubers take around 8 weeks from planting to flowering. Plant your Dahlia tubers in a sunny spot into moist, humus rich, well drained soil.Well rotted animal manure should be worked into the soil prior to planting. Water in well then keep moist during active growth however do not over-water until the shoots appear. Top dress with a complete fertiliser during period but avoid applying too much nitrogen as this may result in excessive leaf growth at the expense of the flowers.

Dahlia flowers are excellent for cutting, and last well in a vase. By cutting the flowers you will also encourage more blooms.

Dahlia tubers don't really need to be lifted (dug) if the soil is well drained and you don't live in areas where the soil will freeze. For the best results from your Dahlias, we do recommend that you do dig and divide them every 3-5 years to keep them flowering at their best (as they do multiply under the ground and will get overcrowded). Make sure the tubers have some of the old stem attached as this is where the new growth will come from.

Pests: Snails and slugs,red spider mite,grubs and aphids. Treat as required.

Powdery mildew can be a problem late in the season or if plants are too close together in humid conditions.

Tips: Staking may be required to stop plants from falling over. Picking the flowers will encourage a longer flowering period.