DAHLIA (Bedding Dahlia)
The knee-high Bedding Dahlia with its 2 in. blooms has to look up to its tall and illustrious cousin the Border Dahlia, with flowers which can be as large as dinner plates. The lowly annual varieties should not be regarded as poor relations, however, as they are as bright and long-lasting as anything in the flower border. Dead-head faded blooms but do not disbud the plants. VARIETIES: The old favourites are the ‘Coltness Hybrids’ – 1½ ft, very free-flowering single blooms in a wide colour range. if you want double flowers and a more compact plant, pick ‘Rigoletto’, the bronz-leaved ‘Redskin’ or the early-flowering ‘Figaro’. ‘Dandy’ (2 ft) has collerette flowers – large petals with an inner collar of quilled petals. SITE &SOIL: Any well-drained garden soil, but medium or heavy land is preferred. Choose a sunny spot. PLANT DETAILS: Height 1-2 ft. Spacing 1ft. Flowering period July – November. PROPAGATION: Tubers may be lifted and overwintered for planting next year.