The Dahlia Parade

Whatever your preference of bloom shape or colour, a Dahlia should satisfy your requirements.

I have heard terrible rumours that these delightful flowers are considered old-fashioned? I almost cried at the thought. I stamp my foot and cry out - 'No way!' Dahlia are far from old-fashioned -just look at the image above - colourful, fashionable, creative, arty, inspirational.

The sheer range and the multitude of shades, shapes and sizes available are astounding. Personally I think Dahlia are making a comeback - far from archaic and outdated.

A ball of pure elation is what a Dahlia can offer with a spike of flamboyant colour and vibrancy with voluptuous and textured petal shapes.

A little bit of history...

Dahlia are native to the high plains of Mexico, belonging to the Compositae family of the Heliantheae tribe.
They were initially given the Genus name 'Georgina' in 1803 although this was done in error. However, in many parts of Eastern Europe, this is still the preferred and most utilised title for this plant. Dahlia still remain the National Flower of Mexico.

Throughout the 1800s and 1900s hundreds and thousands of new forms were developed. Today, Dahlia is one of the largest variations in terms of colour, form and size of flower grown.


Dahlia are versatile blooms and will grow well in most soil types with good drainage. Amend the soil with plenty of organic matter and mix thoroughly if you fear your drainage is not good enough. Plant Dahlia 10-15 cm deep and leave enough space between companion plants to allow room for your beauties to spread and develop.


Dahlia are the perfect addition to a summer border, bubbling away in sprightly fashion with intense colour. Alternatively, they will startle and inspire in a profusion of pots and containers.

Dahlia ooze summer sass with intense colour and striking foliage. They laugh in the face of fertilizer, rejecting it instantly.

These plants do not require supplementary aid, developing well from their own strength and when left to their own devices.

However, they may call upon your aid throughout active growth. Apply a generous amount of water to the base of your plant especially during periods of sustained dry weather.

Keeping Dahlia protected:

If touched by an intense shaving of frost, Dahlia will more than likely fail. In milder winters, Dahlia can be left in the ground if covered in a thick layer of straw or peat. Nevertheless, chances of survival are increased when tubers are lifted and replanted in the following spring.

1) Cut back foliage from your Dahlia and use a fork to gently tease tubers from beneath the soil.
2) Remove soil from the tubers and and leave in a cool place to dry off.
3) Once tubers are sufficiently dry, place them into trays or boxes filled with compost or dry sand, covering the tubers and leaving the crown exposed.
4) Store in a cool, dry environment over the winter. This could be in a greenhouse, garden shed or conservatory and check regularly.


1) You are able to propagate Dahlia by division. This is perhaps the most popular method for these plants. Separate the tuber into pieces using an extremely sharp knife ensuring each section has both roots and shoots. Place each new division into individual pots and keep them warm and frequently moist.

Watch them work their magic!

2) You may also wish to propagate by cuttings. When your tubers produce several stems that are about 2-3 inches tall, cut some of the shoots just above where they meet the crown. Dip into hormone powder and plant in free-draining compost. Once rooted, move into individual containers filled with compost.


You can get incredibly creative with cut Dahlia, putting them together with Nerine, Helianthus or Anethum to form glamorous bouquets, stunning centre pieces. Why not weave stems through string and ribbon and wind around structures and features?

Alternatively many of us are more than happy with our Dahlia to be showcased in an array of jugs, vases or pots within the home. When kept in a vase Dahlia are one of the longest-lasting cut flowers.

So... what do you think?

Still think Dahlia are old-fashioned? Let me know!



  1. Bold, brassy, showy with an air of 'love me or hate me, I could care less' attitude. I don't care if they're old fashioned or not I love them and could not contemplate a garden without them. I can't bear to cut them for the vase though even if they do make a wonderful bouquet, they last so much longer in the garden.

    1. I completely agree Lorraine!
      As a person in their mid-20's, I think they are far from outdated and old-fashioned. They are a personal favourite of mine and I love the brashness of colour and the variety of shape and texture they bring to a garden. A model bloom!


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