Dahlias are incredibly popular. They are favoured for their long flowering period and infinite variety in shapes and colours. Time to enjoy them in your own garden. But how do you plant dahlias?
Months of enjoyment
There are tens of thousands of dahlia varieties. They are available in almost every colour, and also in special colour combinations. They can be the size of a ping pong ball to a football. Dahlias flower from August until the first night frost. This means months of enjoyment! And did you know that they are also suitable for a picking garden? The varieties with long stems are especially suitable for picking, because they fit best in a vase.
Dahlias are summer bulbs, which means they are sensitive to frost. Therefore, only plant them when you are positive that the risk of frost has passed. This is generally around mid-May. Dahlias are real sun lovers. So, find a sunny spot in the garden so that they can show off their optimal flowering potential. Follow these five steps:
- Loosen the soil and make sure there is enough nutrition in the soil. You can do this, for example, by mixing compost into the soil.
- Make a hole that is large enough to hold the dahlia bulb.
- Carefully put the dahlia bulb in the hole, with the tip of the old stem pointing up. Make sure the bulb is no deeper than 5 centimetres underground.
- Cover the dahlia bulb with the soil and press it down gently.
- Finally, douse with a good splash of water.
If you want to enjoy dahlia flowers as early as possible, you can start the growth process of the bulbs earlier. You can do this by potting them up at the end of March to give them a growth head start indoors. From mid-May, once the risk of frost has passed, allow the plants to slowly get used to the outside temperature and keep them outside for longer. It's called cold hardening. Plant them in the garden around the end of May, where they will show the first flowers in July instead of August.
Nice to know
- The plant produces new flowers if you cut away old flowers. In other words: the more you cut, the more flowers you will get.
- Dahlia bulbs are planted just below the surface, so that they can absorb the sun's heat as soon as possible. This is what makes them grow.
- In addition to early flowering, there is another advantage to allowing dahlias to sprout earlier: there will be no snails inside that just love young, crunchy dahlia leaves.