It is widely believed that Anders Dahl, a Swedish botanist, had the Dahlia named after him. Dahlias originate from the uplands and mountains of Mexico and South America. There are many varieties but what they all have in common is their exuberant colour. There are wonderful examples from Gunvor’s allotment garden at Egebergløkka.
Rather than seeds, they are tubers that need to be planted almost completely submerged in soil. This is their high growth period and they’ll want to grow rapidly now. Here are mine, just over a week old with their first shoots already pushing up!
As you can see the pots are overfilled right to the brim. I had to top them up with more soil after I noticed roots growing laterally a few days ago and wanted to protect them being exposed to the sunlight.
Top tips for growing Dahlias:
- They come as a bunch of tubers all connected by a central stem. Hold them by the stem and plant them so that the bunch is dangling down. Don’t try and squeeze them into a small pot, plant them in a big pot, ideally one that is least a 3 litres (18cm) big.
- Plant them so you only just see the top of the stem poking above the soil.
- Water them liberally and put them in a warm and sunny position. Don’t let them dry out.
And that’s it! Wait for the shoots to appear and hopefully you’ll have wonderful flowers come this summer!
Note: You may find Dahlias called Georgine or Georginedilla- these names seem to be used interchangeably with Dahlia in Norway.