Growing dahlias in pots

Growing dahlias in pots

I am mad keen on dahlias, everybody knows that. One of the things I’ve been experimenting with this year is growing dahlias in pots, trying to find slightly compact varieties because dahlias can grow extremely tall and obviously that wouldn't be good in a pot.

There’s a new generation of dahlias and this one is part of them. It’s called ‘Hot Cakes’ and it's what's called an anemone-flowered dahlia and you can see what that's referring to, but it's so brilliant in a pot because it's got these big, really wonderful saucer flowers which give you such impact over this kind of scale and yet it isn't too tall. This example isn't staked at all, it is just one tuber in a pot looking fabulous – plant this dahlia and you're onto an absolute winner.

This is the next one which is called ‘Roxy’ - an absolute classic for pots and again you can see how perfect it is. The scale’s really good, it's got this lovely healthy foliage which contrasts so brilliantly with the colours of the flowers, and that's what you want for a good container plant that is not just about flowers. It's about foliage and the flower, and the contrast and balance between them.

Then, there's another and the final one on trial this year is this, which is my absolute favourite, called ‘Totally Tangerine’. Another anemone-flowered variety which has been in flower already for a month which is substantially early as they're all coming into flower in the garden at the moment. But this has been in flower since the middle of June and last year it flowered right the way through until the middle of December - what a result.  Here we've got two tubers planted with Calendula officinalis ‘Indian prince’ and Antirrhinum ‘Liberty Crimson’ and this beautiful grass which is called Panicum Elegans ‘Frosted Explosion’ which is like a great explosion. It's not in flower yet but the main point of this pot is this dahlia, it is just completely sensational.

Tips for growing dahlias:

  1. They're quite hungry so you want a rich compost.
  2. They are thirsty. We are watering this pot (Totally Tangerine) every day, which sounds a lot, but it’s been a dry summer
  3. If you grow a taller variety you’ll need to stake them. The beauty of this pot (Totally Tangerine) is you don’t need to stake them.
  4. Finally, either pick or deadhead them down to a leaf to promote more flower formation. 

Happy gardening,

Sarah

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