semi-cactus dahlia tuber
- Position: full sun
- Soil: fertile, humus-rich soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: July to September
- Hardiness: half hardy (may need winter protection)
This stunning cactus dahlia is a prolific bloomer, which produces masses of magenta-purple flowers, each up to 15 cm across, for a long period from midsummer. When in flower it will grab centre stage with its jaw-dropping display. It is particularly effective amongst other bruised-toned, summer flowers, or when potted up on a sunny patio.
- Garden care: Dahlia tubers can be planted outside after frost, or started off in pots under glass in late winter to early spring. Plant them horizontally approximately 12cm deep, making sure the ‘eyes’ are uppermost. Allow enough room between each tuber so the plants can grow and spread to their full size without being over-crowded. While in growth, provide a high-nitrogen liquid feed each week in June, then a high-potash fertiliser each week from July to September. Stake with canes or brushwood if it becomes necessary. In mild areas, leave them in situ over winter, but protect the crown with a generous layer of dry mulch. In colder areas, carefully lift and clean the tubers once the first frosts have blackened the foliage and allow them to dry naturally indoors. Then place the dry tubers in a shallow tray, just covered with slightly moist potting compost, sand or vermiculite and store in a frost-free place until planting out again.
- CAUTION do not eat ornamental bulbs