12 steps for growing dahlias and how to make them bloom this summer

12 steps for growing dahlias and how to make them bloom this summer

Dahlias will provide a gorgeous, vibrant floral display from summer to fall — but to get them at their best, gardeners will need to follow several basic steps. Perennials are not very hardy, and although they can live for several years, they need protection during the winter.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) describes the garden favorite as “fairly easy to grow” but warns that it needs to be protected from freezing conditions. Dahlias grow from underground tubers that sprout again in the spring.

Dahlias do not like shade, according to the RHS, and prefer a warm, sunny location with free-draining soil and regular feeding and watering. Remember to regularly check the weather forecast and protect your plants accordingly.

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Don’t forget to keep an eye out for common pests such as slugs, earwigs and aphids. Read on to find a guide to how to grow dahlias and ensure beautiful blooms from mid-summer until the first frost.

1. Selection of tubers

It is important to purchase healthy, firm dahlia tubers. They should be free of rot and have visible “eyes” (growth points) from which new shoots will emerge.

2. Start tubers indoors

You can start your tubers in pots indoors in late winter to early spring (around February to April). Plant them in moist, free-draining compost and keep them in a warm, bright place but out of direct sunlight to encourage growth.

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