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The Red Dahlia

The Red Dahlia

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Dahlias are long-standing garden favourites for their bold, exoticflowers, producedover a long period. They are particularly valuable in late summer and autumn, blooming through to the first frosts. They have been widely bred to produce thousands of cultivars, with flowers in an array of styles, incolours fromrich andvibrant tosoft pastels, and in all sizes from5cm (2in) across up to an impressive30cm (1ft). The foliageis usuallygreen, but there are darker colours too that provide a striking contrast to the flowers.

Simply cut down the stems and cover the tops of the tubers (crowns) with 15cm (6in)of coarse mulch, such asbark chippings or garden compost, to protect them from frost As dahlias are tender, they won’t survive heavy frost, so must bekept indoors until temperatures are consistently above freezing. Garden Wonder Dahlia is a specialty Formal Decorative-type red dahlia variety. These flowers typically bloom in the range of 6″-8″ wide. The Garden Wonder Dahlia is in Class 1006. 15. Peppermint Swirl dahlia You can make new dahliaplants in springby dividing clumps of tubers or taking cuttings. Dahlia seed mixes are also widely available and easy to growif you have space indoors. Dividing clumps of tubersA cactus-form dahlia, ‘Apache’ has bright red, fringy petals and centers. Blooms are typically 4-6 inches in diameter and look fantastic in groups. Although this cultivar grows to heights of 3 feet, it holds up well in rain and wind. A big, bold star in the dinnerplate category, ‘Babylon Red’ features 8-inch, double blooms in fire engine red. Opening in mid-summer and lasting until the first frost, this cultivar is a cutting garden favorite and a cottage charmer.

Before planting dahlias outside,acclimatise them to outdoor conditions – see our guide to hardening off. If you’ve grown plants from seed, these will have developed tubers by the end of the season, which can also be left in situ or stored indoors. As seed-raised plants are genetically variable, only choose the best to keep. de Jager - Established bulb specialists with an impressive collection of dahlia tubers, in a range of colours and flower shapes. Deep red, 5-inch blooms feature rolled petals in a spiral formation. The overall effect is a rounded, ball-like head with no exposed center. You may choose to leave some or all of your dahlias in the ground over winterif you live in a milderregion orhave light, free-draining soilKeep them indoors untillate May/early June, then gradually acclimatise them to outdoor conditions by hardening them off. Thenplant into their flowering positions – see Planting, above For best effect, plant ‘Duet’ in a group of 3 or 5. It also works well in a cutting garden or mixed container arrangement. In warmer zones, provide some relief from intense afternoon sun. ‘Ellen Huston’ ‘Ellen Huston’ has bright scarlet flowers and bronze to dark green foliage. Scientific Name: Dahlia ‘Ellen Huston’ Spartacus’ has a large presence in the landscape atop stems that are 4-5 feet tall. Stake for stability and deadhead diligently to encourage repeat blooms, and this one will keep dazzling until the first frost. ‘Zorro’ This late-blooming variety produces magnificent double flowers in bright red. Scientific Name: Dahlia ‘Zorro’ If you’re planting dormant tubers straight into the ground in May, sometimes a large clump falls apart into separate pieces or can be helped with a snip from your secateurs. If there’s a green bud at the top of each piece of tuber, then you can simply plant them straight into the ground.

This is a small cactus variety dahlia that offers an abundance of 2-inch, cardinal red blooms on strong, wiry stems. Petals are spiky and circular in form. Centers are large and feature yellow streaking. This cultivar will bloom repeatedly and abundantly if deadheaded regularly. ‘Duet’ This gorgeous bicolor variety produces double flowers with wine-red petals and crisp white tips. Scientific Name: Dahlia ‘Duet’ When the shoots are about 2.5cm (1in) tall, lift the clump of tubers and divide it into several pieces, making sure each has both roots and shootsRooted cuttings growing in containers –plant a few millimetres lower than they were in the container.Space plants 50–60cm (20in–2ft) apart Dahlia foliage will be killed off by frost in late autumn or winter. Once frosted, you can either leave plants in the ground or dig them up and store the tubers in a frost-free place over winter. Dahlia ‘Peppermint Swirl’ is a bicolor red and white dahlia. The center petals are white with red bases, while the outer petals are solid bright red. Peppermint Swirl Dahlia is one of the newest red and white bicolor varieties. 16. Melody Mambo dahlia

This variety is well known as a prolific bloomer, and as such, it’s often featured in exhibits and entered in flower shows. Include it in your cutting garden as it has a particularly long vase life. ‘Apache’ Dahlia ‘Apache’ is a gorgeous variety of bright red flowers in the form of a cactus that grows up to 3 feet tall. Scientific Name: Dahlia ‘Apache’ Store in a dark, cool but frost-free place, such as a shed or garage. In very cold spells, put fleece or newspaper over them for added protection.Single flowers are best for pollinators – see our list of dahlias with an RHS Plants for Pollinators award

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