• Olive Tree Gardens

Floral February

Updated: Jul 3, 2019

The beautiful dahlia: a popular summer plant that is easy to grow and that gives you late summer colour as their long flowering period can last until the first frost. There are 42 species of dahlia, so there's plenty of choice to suit all garden styles. Our first blog in February is dedicated to this stunning perennial!

Native to Mexico, this brightly coloured bloomer comes in a variety of forms, from showy, double-form dahlias to simpler, single-flowered varieties which attract lots of bees. You can choose varieties such as the elaborate and perfectly formed 'Kathryn's Cupid', the vibrant yellow 'Hamari Gold', or the simpler form of the 'Bishop of Llandaff'. They make excellent border plants with their vibrant and warm colour tones, and they do well in dry and sunny spots. They are tolerant to drought and a wide range of soils, but are best grown in fertile, well-drained soil. Deadheading them will help to prolong the flowering period.

If you stored dahlia tubers from last autumn, you can pot them up now, or you can buy some from your garden centre. Pot your tubers singly, or pot several in large, shallow trays filled with compost. Simply set the tubers on top of the compost and place them in good light. Spray them every now and then with water to encourage the buds to grow.

You can then plant the tubers directly into the ground from around mid-April. Don't worry about frosts, as the soil will insulate the tubers. Plant them in a hole that is 10 to 15cm deep and wide enough to accommodate the dahlia tuber comfortably. Place the tuber inside with the 'eye' facing upwards and backfill with the remaining soil, then water the tubers in thoroughly.

If you need any gardening services, Olive Tree Gardens would be happy to help. We are your local gardeners based in St Albans. We serve Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, including St Albans, Harpenden, Letchworth Garden City, Luton, Dunstable, Borehamwood, Hitchin and Wheathampstead.

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