Dahlias are invaluable for the summer border, in patio containers or as cut flowers, often flowering until the first frosts. With many excellent recent introductions, they offer a wide range of flower types, often with very showy, double forms in warm vibrant colours. Dahlias are enjoying a much deserved return to popularity.
Dahlia are perennial plants, with mostly tuberous roots. While some have herbaceous stems, others have stems which lignify in the absence of secondary tissue and re-sprout following winter dormancy, allowing further seasons of growth. As a member of the family Asteraceae the flower head is actually a composite (hence the older family name Compositae ) with both central disc florets and surrounding ray florets. Each floret is a flower in its own right, but is often incorrectly described as a petal, particularly by horticulturalists. The modern name Asteraceae refers to the appearance of a star with surrounding rays.
How to grow dahlias
Any garden soil is good enough for dahlias. Add a little bit of fertilizer low in nitrogen into a pot of loam, moss and sand and you could grow dazzling dahlias that can be put the rest of your garden in the shade. Once the dahlias start blooming even orchids have to take the second place. Dahlias need plenty of sunshine, at least about five to six hours of sunshine. Plant the tubers in the sunniest part of your garden.