Dahlias: cherished for their diversity
Dahlias have become real favourites as summer-flowering bulbs in recent years. Once hampered by a rather stuffy image, this association has disappeared and they are now more popular than ever! One reason for this high regard is the diversity in heights that dahlias provide: they are available in very short varieties as well as very tall ones. This makes them suitable for any spot in the garden and absolutely adored by anyone who loves flowers.
The short dahlia varieties are the ones that grow no taller than 50 centimetres. Being this short, they are often referred to as 'dwarf dahlias' or 'short border dahlias'. These short dahlias are perfect for any sunny location in the garden where they will grow, remain compact and produce many flower stems. Since they never flop over and bloom tirelessly until the first frost, they are perfect of framing borders and paths. They also offer a wide range or flower shapes. The most popular short dahlias come from three groups: Mignon dahlias, Melody dahlias and Gallery dahlias.
Did you know that...
- Short dahlias are fantastic for a small garden. After all, they don't take up very much space. These smaller dahlia varieties are also just right for planting in pots, tubs and containers to add colour to an entrance, balcony or patio.
- Once dahlias start to bloom, there's no holding them back. You'll soon be enjoying dozens of flowers on each dahlia plant. Remove faded flowers since this will encourage the plants to continue flowering and go right on until the first frost.
Tall dahlias grow to heights of 120 centimetres or more. Did you know that some can reach heights of more than two metres? Due to their height, their colourful flowers can appear in unexpected places in the garden to give it a flush of colour and lush appearance. Dahlias are simply must-haves for a cutting garden. Their stems are long and strong enough to be used as cut flowers. The more flowers you pick, the longer the dahlias will keep on blooming. What could be better? Tall dahlias do need some extra support, however, since the weight of their flowers makes them top-heavy. Under conditions of wind and rain, their tall stems can break. Tall dahlias also need a lot of water since their many leaves will transpire heavily during hot days. With not enough water, dahlias will grow slowly, produce few flowers and display yellowing leaves.
Did you know that...
- Tall dahlias will have to be planted farther apart than short dahlias. This has to be done because tall dahlias become not only tall but also wide. A planting distance of 80 cm might seem excessive but it's actually perfect.