There are more than 36 species of dahlia available in a number of colours. The most common is a hybrid variant that grows in an average garden.
First you need to decide what type of dahlia you are going to grow. With countless colours, shapes and sizes available, it’s essential to get the right variety for your space as they can grow anywhere from 12 inches to eight feet tall.
- Pick a spot in your garden for the flower. Dahlias thrive in fertile, well-drained soil and require a lot of direct sunlight to fully flourish.
- Dig a hole big enough for your tuber and mix in some compost, bonemeal and fertiliser so that it has a good selection of nutrients that will help it develop roots.
- Water the flower in and if it is one of the taller varieties, perhaps tie it to a stake to give extra stability in the early months.
- Once the first sprout starts to appear, feed heavily with a water soluble plant food that is appropriate for blooms.
- As it grows, continue to water and re-tie to the stake for extra stability. Keep slugs and other pests at bay by using some sort of organic repellent.
- If you nip the top bud off when it has developed several sets of bushy leaves this will help make the stem stronger as well as encouraging more blooms to grow.
- Just before it begins to flower, you can reduce the amount of water you feed it to just one watering per week.
- When flowers do appear, take the watering back up to once a day.
The Dahlia is native to Mexico, Central America and Columbia and was once gathered by the Aztecs and cultivated for food, various ceremonies and decorative purposes.