Why Grow Dahlia From Seeds?
Dahlias have such powerful presence in any garden that they can be a stand-alone plant with pride of place, or plant in large groups of mixed varieties in a range of colours, with a whole border to themselves. Growing from seed means your Dahlias will be adapted to local conditions and supply a good number of plants.
Suttons give an excellent choice of Dahlia seed. ‘Disco Dancer, flowers profusely with bright, hot colours. Try ‘Red Torch’ for intense colour or ‘Redskin mixed’, who’s mixed bright flowers are stood out by its dark foliage colour.
Growing Dahlias From Seed
- Planting dahlia seeds in a cell propagator or pots placed in a greenhouse or heated propagator. Sow dahlia seeds in February to March for flowering mid to late summer. Use a good peat-free compost and sieve the compost both below and over the seed, gently firming the compost with a tamper, label for identification.
- Gradually harden off dahlias by placing them outside in the day but returning them indoors to avoid cool nights. Investing in a cold frame means your plants can be aired through the day and closed up at night without moving the plants.
- It’s good to feed Dahlias to get the best performance. If planting in open ground, dig in well-rotted manure. If planting in a container add slow-release fertiliser. As the plants mature start feeding with organic Potash, preferably as a liquid feed. Mulch plants with compost to aid water retention add nutrients and suppress weeds.
- Pinch Dahlias to encourage them to lateral flower. They may need some plant support as they grow so stake with canes and twine. Deadhead to encourage further flowering.
- Slugs have a bit of a soft spot for Dahlias. Grow them on in protected circumstance (greenhouse, cold frame) to make them less edible to them. Traps and barriers will also help, if there’s a heavy infestation use organic pellets sparingly.
Dahlias love a sunny border or spot if in a container. They are great for cut flowers, so snip them with decent sharp florist scissors or secateurs. Lift Dahlias in areas with hard winters.
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