Stop in the name of love!

Dahlias are my favourite flower and this year is the first year I’ve grown them. There’s named varieties from tubers, some started in containers in the greenhouse in February which are now in flower (the rest were planted in the ground in early May), and some from the seeds that Maureen sent to me. Whilst I’ve left a few of the plants to their own devices you have to be cruel to be kind to get the best out of these super plants. By pinching out the central stem, and others if you’re growing from tubers, a process known as “stopping”, this switches the plants energy from producing buds to concentrate on new growth from the leaf axils. Although you’ll need to wait longer for them you get twice as many!

So I now have the best of both worlds, a few early flowers to admire and some plants bulking up nicely for later in the season. With careful watering, mulching and staking I should have a cracking display through August and September. Fingers crossed.

This one is Babylon Bronze which is a lovely apricot colour and quite a large flower.

This one is labelled as Bristol Stripe and has a deep purple colour, although it doesn’t seem to match the photos of this variety on the net. I’ll wait for some more flowers to appear but it looks to be a different variety than the label.

Japenese variety, Atika, is my favourite so far.

The ones I’ve grown from seed are much smaller plants but have pretty little flowers in a variety of colours.

There’s another dozen or so varieties to come into flower and I’m looking forward to a great display of blooms over the next few weeks.

13 responses to “Stop in the name of love!

  1. Lovely. Dahlias are one of my favourite flowers too. The only thing that lets them down for me is the lack of perfume.
    Tracy

    • Hi Tracy they are beautiful and the lack of perfume suits me – I’ve grown sweet peas for the first time this year – cut some and brought them indoors, not so long afterwards my eyes were streaming and I was weezing etc – seems I’m allergic to the scent! So I now give them away or put them in a vase on the garden table.

  2. They sure are beautiful flowers! I don’t grow them but I have several plot neighbours who do so I get to see lots of wonderful colours and varieties.

  3. They’re all lovely. I’ve grown a few from seed this year and they’re just coming in to flower.

  4. We grow lots but leave them to their own devices – they are treated rough even having to stay out over winter – amazingly most survived under the polythene and straw last winter. We were rather late uncovering them so they are still just small plants but will soon set off at speed – I hope!

    They are great cut flowers although need a bit of bleach in the water or they become really really smelly!

    • Hi Sue, they are great plants. Good tip for the cut flowers although after finding out I’m allergic to sweet peas after bringing loads into the house I think I’ll be leaving them in the garden!!

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