If you’re looking for a summer bedding plant to give your garden a definite ‘wow’ factor, you can’t go wrong with bedding dahlias. These compact beauties are available in a wide range of spectacular colours and, unlike their larger relatives, they don’t require staking and aren’t prone to toppling over.
Here are a few pointers to get you started:
- Plant bedding dahlias in full sun – more sunlight means brighter blooms and also decreases the chance of mildew developing on your plants.
- Prepare the soil well beforehand, by digging in plenty of 3:1:5 fertiliser.
- Plant bedding dahlias spaced about 40cm apart, as good air circulation also helps to ward off mildew.
- Water your dahlias frequently – preferably early in the morning, so that the leaves have a chance to dry before nightfall.
- Deadhead the plants regularly to encourage the development of new blooms. As an added bonus, most bedding dahlias will last for two seasons. Simply cut the plant back when it dies down in autumn and wait for it to sprout again in spring.
- Bedding dahlias are particularly striking when interplanted with annuals and perennials with small flowers, such as diascia, lobelia and nemesia. The contrast between the big and small blooms is very attractive.