My Dahlias Are Flowering (Sort Of) :: Grow-Along

Dahlia

It’s time for a quick update on my dahlias. Sadly, they are unimpressive. Some are doing better than others, and may improve before the summer’s out, but I still haven’t had a single, perfect flower. Although I have high hopes for the flower pictured above that is just opening up.

A couple of plants have been well and truly devoured by the slugs, despite my efforts. The plants that have survived well enough to flower seem healthy, if a bit small. And the few flowers they have produced have had the ends of their petals nibbled. Damn those slimy critters!

Dahlia eaten

However, I’m not going to let this experience put me off growing dahlias. This year’s slugs have been biblically prolific. Things may be better next year, if we have a proper, cold winter. I might try a nematode treatment for slugs next spring. Or I may move the tubers into a raised bed, to grow for cut flowers. It would be easier to protect them from slugs there. And they would definitely do better in a bed filled with a rich growing medium of top soil, garden compost and manure.

My mum’s dahlias, on the other hand, have thrived. She kept them in the greenhouse until they would no longer fit, and then put them outside in big pots, on a sunny patio. It’s clearly a recipe for success, as you can see from the photo below! And another reason why I really want a greenhouse. I’m looking forward to seeing more of these lovely flowers when I visit my parents this weekend.

I hope that everyone else growing dahlias this year is having better luck then me. I’m going to give my plants a good feed with liquid tomato food tomorrow, and hope this spurs them on to produce more flowers.

Mums dahlias

  2 comments for “My Dahlias Are Flowering (Sort Of) :: Grow-Along

  1. Ute
    February 22, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    I had planted some a few years ago and they came twice back now I got none growing back last spring and summer???
    Had them growing in my flower bed outside.

    • March 2, 2017 at 4:44 pm

      Well, it may depend what sort of soil you are growing them in, and what the winter was like that year. The rule with dahlias is that you should dig the tubers up in autumn, and keep them somewhere dry and frost free until the warm weather returns. You can get away with not doing this only if your soil is free-draining (chalky or sandy) and the winter isn’t too wet/cold. It’s likely that they rotted away, and you may have to start again with new tubers. 😓 Try digging them up to see if they’re still there. And do let me know what happens. x

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