Dahlias: Everything you need to know about our favourite retro flower

The retro charm of dahlias make them the perfect way to add a spiky burst of colour to your home. Here’s why these low-maintenance flowers are our pick for February

Dahlias: Everything you need to know about our favourite retro flower

Why are dahlias such a favourite in the late-summer garden? Could it be because they flower for months and need little attention? Or the enormous variety of colours and shapes, from pompom to dinner plate? Dahlias form woody tubers that need to be lifted in autumn and cold stored for planting out again in late winter/early spring. They like plenty of sun and shelter from strong winds. Feed weekly with liquid manure, remove old flowers regularly and stake tall plants.

We used to call them nana flowers, but now these long-flowering Mexican perennials are appearing in all the right gardens, especially varieties with vibrant colours and fancy shapes. Bright, spiky dahlias are often associated with weddings or formal arrangements but these flowers have a natural beauty that also suits wild displays.

When selecting flowers for the vase, choose blooms that are nearly or fully open and cut stems just above a leaf axil to allow a new flower to grow on the plant. For the wild look, grab a few buds, too. Change water daily for a gorgeous, full display that should last 5-7 days.

Words by: Carol Bucknell.

Home experts are just a click away