Dahlias are Looking Good

Dahlias are Looking Good this month. I have resisted them for a while because there are so many other lovely plants to enjoy during the summer months. Besides I like to think of Dahlias as some of the star plants for September. You may have noticed a few Dahlias in the photos on my last post too.

I admit that Dahlias took a while to grow on me. They were not on my radar because I thought that they were time consuming and difficult to grow. As you know I like things to be quick and easy and to my mind Dahlias did not fit the bill. How wrong can you be? A gift of Dahlia tubers from a friend when we moved house got me started and I soon realised that they are really easy to grow. Nowadays I tend to grow huge ornamental Dahlias for our borders from tubers mostly in shades of red (bottom row) I photographed the gorgeous peach and pink Dahlias on the top row and in the header in the beautiful and productive Kitchen Garden at Forde Abbey in Devon.


Over the past few years I’ve been experimenting with growing dahlias from seed too. You can save your own seed and that’s quite exciting because the seedlings produced are not always like the parent plants. I quite like the anticipation of wondering what the new flowers will be like. But I also like to know that I will get a particular size and shape of flower for cutting too and that’s where commercially produced seed comes in. I love the Pom Pom Dahlias in particular. They are pretty and showy without being overpoweringly large… just right for a vase I think.


Pom Pom Dahlias are fascinating to watch unfurl they are very affordable.  It’s true that they are not quite as dramatic as the huge Dahlia flowers produced by expensive tubers but for posies and bouquets they are perfect. They are also extremely easy and fast to grow from seed.

If you are growing flowers for cutting from seed I can heartily recommend Dahlias. For detailed growing information have a look at the individual varieties in the Half Hardy Annual section of the SHOP. Stem length is important when you’re choosing any flowers for cutting. Some Dahlias have very short stems and are produced specifically for bedding schemes and to look neat in pots at garden centres.  All our recommended varieties have nice long stems.

Love GillianAre you growing dahlias this year? Are you growing from seed or tubers?

Have a lovely day and Happy Gardening!

13 thoughts on “Dahlias are Looking Good

  1. Lovely photographs Gillian. I’m also a relative new-comer to Dahlias, I grew the first ones 3 years ago and they were from a mixed batch of bulbs and tubers from Lidl!!!!! The very first one produced an unbelievable 150 blooms in its first year from a small tuber – it has never produced anywhere near as many in other years. This year I would say the Dahlias haven’t been so successful, but I haven’t really worked out why. Do you leave yours in the ground?

    1. Thanks Christina. Sometimes I do leave them in and give them a really thick mulch if it seems like a very mild winter is on the way. The only problem with leaving them in around here is that slugs have them for their Christmas feast! I admit it’s safer to lift them really or just sow fresh new seeds if you can. They only take about 12 -14 weeks to flower from a spring sowing. Dahlias like fertile soil and a LOT of water so it could be that the tubers didn’t get what they needed last year and if this year was very dry for you that may explain your unsatisfactory display.

  2. What a fabulous collection of gorgeous shapes and colours, Gillian. Isn’t it marvellous how they’re becoming fashionable again? This year, for the first time, I’ve dabbled with dahlias, Bishop of Landaff against Phalaris ‘Feesey’ has worked a treat.

    1. You just can’t fight it Kate! Once you grow them there’s no going back. I love Dahlias with grasses and I can imagine in your garden that you could have some spectacular combinations to extend your flowering season. Thanks very much and I’m looking forward to seeing your pictures too.

  3. Dahlias have really grown on me as well, thanks to IAVOM posts. I don’t know if I’d grow them from seed, though it sounds fun, but the four varieties I bought as tubers last spring have done well. They are just now coming into prime and frost is predicted this weekend – arrgh. The thought of covering plants in the garden is overwhelming me right now!

  4. They ARE looking lovely. I have fond memories of Dahlias and Zinnias which were in all the most beautiful gardens during my childhood in Jamaica. Thanks for sharing your photos.

    1. Thanks very much Cynthia! Very kind of you to comment. How lucky you were to live in such a fantastic place with the most beautiful gardens as a child. It’s hard to imagine that these plants (which are classed as tender here because they won’t survive our cold wet winters) will grow all year round where the climate suits them.

  5. Such gorgeous photos! It’s funny how our attitudes towards Dahlias have changed..I am getting addicted to them as they are such showstoppers. Trying them myself here this fall. It has been such a challenge to get them through the heat and humidity of summer but now that it has cooled a bit they are beginning to respond. Fingers crossed!

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