These colossal bloomed Dahlias are grouped together as Dinner Plate Dahlias due to the sheer size of their flowers, which can grow to up to 30cm (12in) across. The giant blooms appear in late summer when many other plants have ceased to perform. They make stunning cut flowers for the home. The sturdy stems hold aloft their magnificent flowers making a delightful focal point for the rear of our borders, or in large containers. These impressive plants can also add an exotic, jungle style appearance to a sunny border.
As with other Dahlias, the Dinner Plate varieties should be planted into their position after the worst of the frosts are over, usually around April, depending on where in the U.K you live. Alternatively they can be started off in approximately three litre pots in a frost free greenhouse from March, to establish. They can then be planted out after the frosts. Plant at a depth of around 15cm (6in). Water and apply a liquid feed throughout the growing season.
These heavier flowered varieties may require staking for support. Pinching out the growing tip of each stem will encourage bushy growth and a higher number of blooms. Those of you who wish to have the most gigantic blooms, but fewer of them, to impress the neighbours may wish to disbud the plants to have one huge flower to a stem. Taking great care not to damage the main bud, remove the side buds by snapping of where the stalk meets the stem of the plant, so the plant’s energy goes into producing the largest of blooms. Whether you do this is purely a matter of choice.
To propagate new plants from the tubers read our article Dahlias – increasing your stock from softwood cuttings
In all but the warmest areas, Dahlias require lifting in autumn. For more information read our article How To Lift And Overwinter Dahlias
To view Dinner Plate Dahlias at Van Meuwen click here
All images copyright Van Meuwen
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