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Dahlias...

kgurekkgurek Posts: 2

I've bought some dahlias to plant into the pots on my balcony. I don't have a big garden, so they are rather small plants. They are so pretty and full of flowers I would love to keep them through the winter to bloom next year. Are they annual plants?If not, how to keep them? Anybody? :-) image

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  • BobFlannigonBobFlannigon Posts: 619

    Dahlias form tubers on their roots, they are perennial but extremely frost tender.  Kept in pots it's fairly straight-forward; after the first frost has killed off the leaves move the pots to somewhere that's well away from frost.  They don't need any light or water now, you can just leave them somewhere like a garage.  

    Then, next year, when the last frost has gone, bring them back out (into the light) and give them a little water.  You can do this a few weeks earlier if you have somewhere warm that frost can't get them (e.g. a conservatory or greenhouse).

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,850

    A very cheering display.
    They'll appreciate some tomato fertilizer if you can get some every week or so and will keep the blooms coming until the frosts. Keep removing the dead flowers too to prolong the display.
    They are often treated as annuals as they're easy to grow from seed each year. But by the end of the season when the frosts arrive and the stems go black, cut it all back to the top of the compost. Ideally then just keep them somewhere away from frost and keep them dry (maybe just undercover on your balcony will do)
    Next year in early spring, tip the lot out and you'll find lots of tubers that the plants are making underground now. Replant the tubers in some fresh compost, give them a little water but keep quite dry until you see shoots appearing, then you're off again.. You'll have more tubers than will fit in that trough though :)

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • kgurekkgurek Posts: 2

    Thank you all for your advices :) I shall keep them in mind. It would be a pity not to keep those beauties for the next year! Bees are coming to them and this is a nice sight to see.

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