Dahlias - Thinking Forward and Back

Dahlias - Thinking Forward and Back

Ellen Mary's love for Dahlias has blossomed for many years. What are her chosen varieties for this year's season and what are her thoughts on over-wintering dahlias?

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I’ve just planted out 23 new Dahlia plants which were potted up and grown in my Rhino Greenhouse. The excitement after hardening them off and getting them into the Dahlia bed was immense! Now I am just hoping the slugs don’t find them. 

Dahlias always stir up discussions from how to over-winter them to which varieties are the most fabulous, so here’s my thoughts on Instagrams most trendy cut flower!

I’ve grown Dahlias for well over 15 years or so, in the early days bought from the garden centre already in flower and simply enjoyed for a few months until I fell in love with Dahlia ‘Wine Eyed Jill’. At that point, I really started take them seriously as a cut flower and an essential plant for the allotment and garden. The two approaches for over-wintering are to cut the plants back after the first frosts in autumn and store the tubers in a cool, dry place until the following spring or to leave them in the ground with really good mulch. I have always done the latter mostly due to laziness! Almost every Dahlia, every year has grown back, even after long, cold winters. They always needs a thick mulch that’s the key. 


This year I moved 6 Dahlias from one patch to another just as the shoots were appearing and they are now growing splendidly in the new bed along with new tubers I potted up in early May before planting out in early June. So I am hoping for a colourful display into autumn on the allotment plot. 

But…let’s go all the way back to my top Dahlia - ‘Wine Eyed Jill’. She’s a baby pink/peachy perfect ball of prettiness but the best bit is actually that you get three in one. As the season continues the centre takes on a deep maroon colour just like red wine and then the flowers fade to a pale yellow. So on one plant at any one time, you can find three different looking flowers! 

Others on the plot this year are ‘Arabian Nights’, ‘Boogie Woogie’, ‘Cafe au Lait’, ‘Bohemian Spartacus’, ‘Hapet Blue Eyes’, ‘Myrtle’s Folly’, ‘Kelvin Floodlight’, ‘Penhill Watermelon’, Dazzling Magic’, ‘Creme de Cognac’. That’s on Dahlia bed I can’t wait to see! 


Author: Ellen Mary
To read more about Ellen Mary, you can find her on social media and on her website - https://www.ellenmarygardening.co.uk/
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