Growing Dahlias – Why It Saves Me Money

by Kirsten
Dahlia Garden

There’s a reason dahlias are nicknamed the “king” or sometimes even the “queen” of the summer garden. These vibrant blooms, with their dazzling array of colours and shapes, are showstoppers that bring life and drama to any outdoor space. But for me, the reasons to love dahlias go far beyond their undeniable beauty. They’re surprisingly easy to grow, reward you with endless blooms throughout the season, and are surprisingly affordable, especially if you source your dahlia tubers like I do! 

Cost-Effective Colour:

One of the biggest advantages of growing dahlias is their affordability. Unlike some flowering perennials that can break the bank, dahlia tubers are readily available at a very reasonable price. My secret source? Peter Nyssen! They offer a fantastic selection of dahlia tubers, all priced around £3 each. For that price, you get a powerhouse of potential blooms, making dahlias a budget-friendly way to add serious colour to your garden. When one £3 tuber can give you about 30 or more flowers a week from June to November, that’s alot of flowers. I usually cut buckets of flowers from the garden every week to restock  all the vases in our house, saving me a small fortune when compared to buying fresh flowers or having a subscription, and I always have plenty of flowers left over each week to give to friends and neighbours. 

Effortless Elegance:

The beauty of dahlias is undeniable, but their charm extends beyond just aesthetics. Dahlias are surprisingly low-maintenance flowers. Once established, they only need to be watered once or twice a week, preferring to be on the drier side. This is music to the ears of busy gardeners like myself who don’t have hours to dedicate to watering. And they survive heat waves well, so when we have a dry hot summer they require little support. 

From Tuber to Triumph:

Growing dahlias is surprisingly simple. I start mine off in 3-litre pots, giving them a head start indoors for about six weeks. This allows them to grow strong roots before I transplant them outdoors well after the last frost, usually around June 1st. The key here is to be patient and wait for the risk of frost to pass completely and for the ground to warm up and be consistently mild and hopefully sunny.

A Season of Blooms:

One of the most rewarding aspects of growing dahlias is their extended flowering period. Unlike many flowers (like peonies for example that only flower for 3-4 weeks) that offer a fleeting burst of colour, dahlias are true marathoners. They continuously produce blooms throughout the entire growing season, right up until the first frost arrives. This means you get to enjoy their beauty for months on end, and your garden will be a constant source of vibrant colour. 

Cut Flowers Galore:

One of my favourite ways to enjoy dahlias is to cut them and bring them indoors. Not only does this add a touch of summer flair to your home décor, but it also encourages the plant to produce even more blooms! Cutting dahlias is simple: just use sharp pruners to remove the stem at an angle, ideally just above a leaf node. Place them in a clean vase with fresh water, and they’ll brighten your home for days.

A World of Variety:

If you’re worried about dahlias being too uniform, think again! These versatile flowers come in a dizzying array of shapes, sizes, and colours. From giant dinner-plate varieties to delicate pom-poms, there’s a dahlia to suit every taste and style. This allows you to create a truly unique and personal display in your garden, no matter what your preferences are.

More Than Just a Flower:

For me, growing dahlias is more than just adding colour to my garden. It’s a source of joy, satisfaction, and a reminder of nature’s beauty. With minimal effort, you can cultivate these stunning blooms and enjoy them in countless ways, from beautifying your outdoor space to adding a touch of summer sunshine indoors. So next spring, consider adding dahlias to your garden. You might just discover your own love affair with the undisputed queen of the summer garden!

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