It is that wonderful time of year when the dahlias are really getting into their stride.
And, if we keep up with the deadheading, we can have their company until late into the autumn – unless of course they get battered down by storms, like some have this week.
I have to be honest when I introduce you to this selection and admit that I have been in a bit lax in my gardening admin, so that I don’t even know the names of some of these dahlia varieties.
Perhaps, you can help me out in the comments.
1. Dahlia Arbatax
I do know the name of number 1 on list – Dahlia Arbatax – and it is rapidly becoming a favourite. This dainty decorative dahlia opens with quite a deep pink tinge to its florets, but as the flower opens the overall effect is of a lighter pink.
2. Dahlia Bishop of Llandaff
Bishop of Lllandaff is paeony flower dahlia, familiar to most gardeners. It is characterised by its dark, fine cut foliage and its striking red flowers – a red that seems to glow so brightly that it is hard to photograph well (that’s my excuse, anyway).
3. Semi-Cactus Dahlia
This is the garden dahlia that I am most embarrassed to have forgotten the name of. I know that it is a named variety because I bought it at the garden centre as a packaged tuber. Unfortunately I mislaid the packaging. I think it may be called Marmalade, or similar. But I’m pretty sure it isn’t Mel’s Orange Marmalade.
4. Cactus Dahlia 1
The next three varieties came in a mixed pack of budget tubers from Dobies which was simply labelled ‘Cactus Dahlias’. I therefore I have no idea what any of these are called. This white one is doing well, although, because I had no information on the relative heights of these Dahlias when I planted the tubers, it is too far back in the border and is a hidden behind the mystery ‘Marmalade’ dahlia.
5. Cactus Dahlia 2
I think this is probably a semi-cactus rather than a cactus dahlia. Either way, it is tall and striking plant with a rather tousled looking flower in a hot pink and white blend. Weirdly, and I’d been interested on any thoughts on this in the comments, its blooms mostly tend to open facing towards the fence at the back of the border, rather than towards the light at the front.
6. Cactus Dahlia 3
The third of the un-named varieties is this cheerful yellow flowered plant. This probably has the shortest lived flowers of any of this selection and, as it starts to die off, the outer ray florets start to go a muddy brown colour. This means that you need to deadhead rather sooner than you do with most dahlias if you want to avoid the messy look from the browning of the florets.
One advantage of this weeks storms is that some of my Rudbeckias and other perennials have been blown down and opened up the borders a bit. It’s made me realise that this is a good time to do some editing to make sure we get the best out of the late flowering plants like the dahlias.
Check out the other Dahlia posts below
- Taking care of dahlias: the trick with deadheading
- How to grow dahlias: the complete guide to dahlia care
- How to overwinter dahlia plants and tubers
- All you need to know about dahlia tubers and dahlia bulbs
- Dahlia varieties: your complete guide to all types of dahlias
- Dahlias in my garden: Six on Saturday
- Dahlia Wizard of Oz – Beautiful pink pompon dahlia
- Can you grow dahlias in raised beds?
- Can dahlias grow in a tropical climate?
- Do dahlias grow in Florida?
- Dahlia Wine Eyed Jill: striking dahlia for border or vase
Martin Cole has been an avid gardener for more than 20 years and loves to talk and write about gardening. In 2006 he was a finalist in the BBC Gardener of the Year competition. He is a member of the National dahlia Society.
He previously lived in London and Sydney, Australia, where he took a diploma course in Horticultural studies and is now based in North Berwick in Scotland. He founded GardeningStepbyStep.com in 2012. The website is aimed at everybody who has been bitten by the gardening bug and wants to know more.
Gardening Step by Step has been cited by Thompson and Morgan, the UK’s largest mail order plant retailer, as a website that publishes expert gardening content.
Check out my comprehensive step by step guide, with plain language explanations and ultra-useful images and illustrations. This is for you if you love dahlias and want to the best out of the dahlias you grow.