Cactus Dahlia Tubers

Cactus dahlias come in several forms and are sub categorised into, semi cactus, straight cactus and incurved cactus dahlias. The petals on a dahlia are called florets, and on a cactus the florets are rolled tightly creating a long thin tube. This group of dahlia flowers are all double but the florets can take on different shapes depending on how involute they are. Incurved cactus dahlias have very long florets that bend away from the centre of the flower making a wonderful swirling motion.

The name cactus comes from the pointed form of the flower. These dahlia tubers come in a range of colours, often blending bright yellows and pinks. The rich velvety blacks are not to be missed either. A mid sized dahlia with strong bushy green foliage, cactus dahlias don’t need to be staked because the flowers tend not to hold water in the tightly curled tubes making them much lighter. This also makes them ideal as a cut flower.

Planting cactus dahlias

Plant dahlia tubers in pots from mid spring and place into a frost free warm and sunny environment. A cold frame, green house or window ledge to get an early start. However, they can be planted straight into the ground from April once the frosts have passed. Dahlias are not frost hardy and will need to be lifted again in November. The young leaves are vulnerable to slugs but as the plant gets older they tend to leave them alone. Once the dahlias have started shooting leaves you can take cutting by taking a little of the stem along with some good foliage and repotting.

Caring for cactus dahlias

Once the dahlia is established in the garden, remove the first few buds of flowers. This will help promote the growth of many more flowers. Plant in a sunny position in rich soil and keep well watered. A weekly dose of vegetable food will also help with the display. You will get a constant supply of flowers until the first autumn frosts, maybe even into November.

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