{ Dahlia Pinnata }


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About Dale

Dale has long been stealing hearts. Hailing from Mexico - and the official flower of his native country - this stunning plant was favoured amongst the Aztecs, who grew him as a food crop and medicinal plant. He was introduced to Europe in the late 18th century, and quickly became the star of several botanical gardens across the continent. The Director of the Royal Gardens Madrid, Atonio Jose Cavanilles, gave some of Dale's seeds to Lady Holland of London on one of her official visits. She then planted them in her garden at Holland House, much to the delight of her husband, Lord Holland, who sent her this note:

"The dahlia you brought to our isle

Your praises for ever shall speak;

Mid gardens as sweet as your smile,

And in colour as bright as your cheek."

Cute, right? It's no wonder Dale made the Hollands feel all fuzzy - his electric-coloured flowers, which begin to bloom in mid-July and stay for the rest of the summer, are like a riot of brilliant colour. We offer a mixed variety here - his buds can have one colour or many, they can be encircled by a single row of petals or several. You never really know what to get with Dale - and that's just part of the fun.

Quick facts:

Botanical name: Dahlia pinnata

Nicknames: Dahlia

Plant type: Herbaceous perennial / Outdoor

Toxic?: Toxic to pets

Current height: 20-40cm

Nursery pot: 17cm

Pro level: Medium

How to care for Dale (Dahlia)

The basics

Dale loves basking in the sun, so make sure you put him in a spot that gets at least six hours of light a day. He'd also prefer to be protected from strong winds, as well.

Dale will be happy in well-drained, rich soil. If you're replanting him in a decorative pot or in the garden, then our multi-purpose compost should work perfectly.

If you're planting Dale in the garden, wait until spring to do it - he's sensitive to cold soil and won't grow if the ground isn't warm enough.

Dale is a thirsty guy - make sure his soil stays consistently moist, but never soggy. You can also apply some organic mulch (such as shredded bark) around the base of the plant in the spring to ensure his soil retains moisture.

Dale gets pretty hungry during growing season, so give him a bit of liquid fertiliser once a month throughout spring and summer. You can use some of our all-purpose plant feed.

Going the extra mile

Cut off sickly buds during growing season (spring-summer) to encourage new growth. Use a pair of sanitised secateurs or scissors to snip them off right above the leaf node (the place where his leaf connects with his stalk).

Container-grown Dales can be taken indoors and placed near a sunny window over the cold months.

Need a pot? Fits great in:

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