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Dahlias - good for Autumn show?

On one of my recent excursions I noticed an impressive display of Dahlias outside a particular house. Unfortunately the owner was not in as I wanted to ask for a few tips. Living a fair distance away, asking at that door is no longer an option so I thought I'd raise the issue here.

Are Dahlias well-known for Autumn flowering?  I'd never noticed them before anywhere putting on such a show... and will clearly be carrying on well into November. For many years I've been looking for something which would extend some colour into the dead months beyond summer bedding and the usual perennials. This might be a contender!

Comments

  • WeAreGhosts
    WeAreGhosts Posts: 3,099 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic First Post
    edited 30 October 2020 at 5:52PM
    Yes, mine will flower right to the first frosts, which here in a fairly sheltered garden in Yorkshire tends to be mid-November, but they can be affected by the wet and their flowers not as vibrant as they were in September.
    My favourite this year has been Mick's Peppermint, but there are so many to choose from. If I had the space I would have hundreds. 
    In my opinion, the only downside to them is what to do with them in winter as they suffer in the ground. I usually dig them up, dry them off, and then put them in new compost or sand in buckets in the garage, checking on them occasionally. I might keep one or two in the ground this year though, mulch them, and see what happens.
    All mine have come from J Parkers

    If it's autumn colour you're after, there's others .... try Rudbeckia - mine flower from August - November. My Gaura are still flowering, as are my Verbena Bonariensis, my Echinacea are clinging on, too. Also grasses give good colour (like Calamagrostis) in autumn and winter.

  • What a good answer. Many thanks. Will bear all of that in mind. Have tried Rudbeckia in the past with no great success - our soil is very heavy and that may have something to do with it.
  • Davesnave
    Davesnave Posts: 34,741 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    edited 1 November 2020 at 7:52PM
    What a good answer. Many thanks. Will bear all of that in mind. Have tried Rudbeckia in the past with no great success - our soil is very heavy and that may have something to do with it.
    Rudbeckia and Echinacea do need fairly regular division to maintain vigour and they sometimes die out, even on our light soil. Winter wet may well affect some plants negatively if there are no breaks in it for an extended period.
    As for dahlias, we usually get away with leaving some in the ground, but they too seem to vanish over time. No matter, I like to raise my own dahlias with saved seed from favourites, discarding any with poor leaf colour or habit at an early stage.

  • 25_Years_On
    25_Years_On Posts: 3,029 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    In my opinion, the only downside to them is what to do with them in winter as they suffer in the ground. I usually dig them up, dry them off, and then put them in new compost or sand in buckets in the garage, checking on them occasionally. I might keep one or two in the ground this year though, mulch them, and see what happens.

    This seems to depend a lot on variety and location. One of my clients said leave them in the ground. They have about twelve. I covered them with molehill sized piles of compost and all but one survived fine and were really good this year. I'll be doing the same thing this year. I thought the wet might get them and it was a wet winter and no trouble there. It probably depends a lot on where you live. It's safer in the less frosty south. Compared to the whole digging up and storing business it's a much easier option.

  • Is there any variety people would recommend specifically for putting on a good, late show? And any advice as regards trying to raise from seed would be useful, which is something I've always tried to do if possible.
  • Nobbie1967
    Nobbie1967 Posts: 1,473 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Chrysanthemums are good for autumn colour. Just tried some myself this year. Bought a collection for cutting and they have been giving lovely colour in the garden as well as cut flowers.
  • Omar_Little
    Omar_Little Posts: 89 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    edited 17 November 2020 at 12:11AM
    I bought three Salvia 'Hot Lips' quite late in the season, June I think, and after planting in medium pots they grew to 2ft each and are still flowering profusely. https://!!!!!!.com/y4nrpbak





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