Position – Full sun or part shade
Soil – Well-drained, moderately fertile
Flowering Period – Summer
Hardiness – Tender
There is a wide range of Dahlia available each with their own unique and individual traits and behaviours. They are tuberous rooted perennials with pinnate leaves and bright, vibrant showy flower-heads, double in some cultivars that generally flower during the summer months. These can be planted in flower beds and borders where their sweet scents will attract pollinating wildlife. You should expect Dahlia to grow to an approximate height of 60cm (24”) and a spread of 40cm (16").
Dahlia are versatile plants and will grow well in most soil types such as loam, clay and sand, so long as they are humus rich. Dahlia roots will grow to considerable depths when in search of water, so ensure that a generous amount of fertiliser is mixed in to a well dug hole a couple of weeks before planting. They will flourish from a profuse amount of water, although are intolerant to stagnant water, so it is vital that decent drainage is guaranteed. You may therefore wish to amend the planting area with plenty of organic matter. Ensure to position your plant in a space which attracts full sun, although Dahlia will prosper in areas of part shade. The best time to plant Dahlia is usually in May to early June.
Dahlia grows at a considerable pace and may require staking to ensure they develop to an appropriate and pleasing shape and size. Weeds can be eliminated by applying a generous amount of mulch to the soil which will also protect the plant during colder bouts of weather. During active growth, you should not need to use fertiliser, but an adequate amount of water is vital. Deadhead your plants to encourage new blooms in the following season and cut it back near ground level in the autumn, before storing it for winter.
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