Tag Archives: Cactus Dahlia

24 New Dahlia cuttings (NDC) – planting on

Yay! my 24 New dahlia Cuttings arrived!

You may remember I got a tad excited on a wet grey miserable gloomy November day last year and ordered 24 new Dahlias from the National Dahlia Collection…when I wasn’t even sure I had room for them in the new garden!:


Well they arrived and I unpacked them with eager anticipation! I’m not sure why as I knew they would look like 24 identical green cuttings and there would be no inkling of their future colour….but for some reason I still got excited at the prospect of new Dahlia flowers!

They arrived in small flat cardboard boxes each individually labelled with a number on a white label.

The cuttings are all different sizes so I identified the smallest 10 cuttings and placed these in smaller pots in prime position on the kitchen window sill where I could monitor these and the other 14 I placed near my patio doors in trays.

Firstly I printed off colour labels for each plant and geekily laminated these labels for the garden. I bought  some white label holders from B&Q and these come in packs of 10 for around £2.50 I think? These are OK, but the labels do fall out….I think they are good whilst the plants are in pots, but once they have been moved outside its better to tie the laminated labels onto the actual plant supports to stop them going missing! So  hole-punched the labels as well so these could be tied onto the plant supports.

I also purchased 2 new trays and 1 pack of capillary matting sheets from B&Q which contained 5 sheets. I used 2.5 sheets per tray which fitted perfectly and used these to place the individual pots into whilst they are growing indoors. I wanted to maintain some moisture and stop the cuttings drying out, whilst preventing the pots leaking all over my floor!

I think this system worked quite well on a small scale, but its certainly not perfect as the pots do move around when you pick up or move the trays, so there is room to experiment again next year!

I have been growing dahlias for a few years now, but this is only the second summer of having a proper garden as before I was constrained to a concrete yard with pots. Now I have 2 fairly large flowers beds that I have created especially for Dahlia heaven! So every year my techniques evolve and change as I experiment with different methodologies. So my way of doing things isn’t necessarily right, its just me trying to improve my success with growing dahlias. In previous years I’ve been guilty of starting dahlias off inside too soon and they become tall and spindly and leggy, so this year I didn’t start my dahlias until late April and it seems to have worked much better.

After a month or more inside, I planted the cuttings outside at the end of May, beginning of June, when all risk of frost in the Northwest of England, UK had passed. These have all been outside for 2 weeks now, so I will write you an update of their progress very soon!


If you have any hints or tips for growing dahlias please let me know 🙂



Looking forward to Dahlia season!

I can’t wait for Dahlia season! It’s snowed pretty heavily today in Manchester covering my garden and I’ve been looking out of the window for weeks now wishing for some warm weather so I can get out in the garden. I probably won’t be able to plant Dahlias here in the North of the UK until the end of June, so will probably start last years tubers off in doors towards the end of April.

I moved house last year and went from having a tiny yard, where I had to grow my Dahlias in pots to a huge garden with lots of space. We got the keys in June 2015 and I managed to get my dahlias in the new garden (you can see 2 pics below of the new garden, versus the one pic of the old house yard).

Now I have a big garden to play with, I’ve got a bit excited and ordered 25 Dahlia cuttings from the National Dahlia Collection in the UK. I’m not a massive fan of cuttings and prefer tubers as I’ve found cutting weaker and more slower growing. However the National Dahlia Collection has a huge selection and cuttings are cheaper so I’ve decided to buy from them again. If some of the 25 cuttings don’t grow that well, it won’t matter as I already quite a lot of dahlia tubers from last year.

These are the pictures of the 25 new dahlias I’ve ordered and I can’t wait for them to arrive:

New Dahlia cuttings ordered – Feb 2015

OK so I’m bored, away from home and I’ve run out of things to Google. I’m not a big TV fan and wishing winter would pass and spring would come. So what else is there to do other than be a complete and utter garden nerd/geek and Google pretty dahlias to buy. I promised myself (and possibly my husband) that I wouldn’t buy any more as our tiny garden yard doesn’t have the capacity for any additional plants. But then I was bored plus we might be moving house this year to a property with a big garden and thought why not, so chose another 7! My thinking was that lasts years cuttings grew really slowly so they shouldn’t take up much room and hopefully we will have moved into our dream home by summer 🙂

I also said I wouldn’t buy any more cuttings as I was so disappointed with them last year. However after searching the Internet for dahlia tubers I concluded no one stocked a good range here in the UK so I gave in and bought from The National  Dahlia Collection again as they have over 1500 varieties in stock. Fingers crossed they do better this year 😉

Too many Dahlia’s to choose from!

I love looking at all the different types of Dahlias and variety of colours available. The only problem I have is deciding which ones to order. I love the cactus and decorative and pompom/ball dahlias.

I don’t really have any room for anymore as I have a tiny garden, in fact we’re looking to move house just so I can have a proper garden and fill it with Dahlias! So I shouldn’t really be buying anymore!

So I am currently looking at peachy pink coloured dahlias plus I want a white one and a yellow one There is just too many to choose from! Does anyone else think there are too many varietys and so many of them look identical! Check out the peachy pink dahlias below and how similar some of them are.

These are my favourites so far! Can’t wait for spring/summer when I can start growing my dahlias and dig out my tubers which are currently in storage.

PART 4: Final Verdict on Dahlia Cuttings 6 months later – ‘National Dahlia Collection’

So the Dahlia season is at its end up here in the North of the UK, with the first frost anticipated to be mid-October. It’s been a mild summer, so I’m not actually sure of when the actual date will be. I’ve read that you should leave your dahlias in the ground and wait for the first frost to blacken the foliage before digging up, as this prompts the dahlia tubers to get ready for the following year. I haven’t seen any blackened foliage yet, so I need to wait a little longer. Most of my dahlias have stopped flowering, apart from the odd cutting which has finally produced its first flower after waiting over 6 months! So here’s my update.

I ordered 7 cuttings from the National Dahlia Collection which arrived 28th Apr 2014, and have reported on their progress over the last 6 months:
Part 1: https://stunningdahlias.wordpress.com/2014/05/20/part-1-7-dahlia-cuttings-from-national-dahlia-collection/

Overall, I’ve found growing dahlia cuttings tough and disappointing. 2/7 cuttings did well but the other 5 were small, flimsy and struggled to produce flowers. Most also seemed to have powdery mildrew or some other problem. I definitely prefer growing tubers which seem to produce more flowers and grow much stronger. So here is a run down of the 7 cuttings…

1. Alvas Doris (Small cactus)

Dahlia Alvas Doris (Small Cactus) 2603

This never did grow more than 1ft high, and after 6 months never produced a flower. I will be intrigued to dig this up and see if it produced a tuber and if it did, I will be even more intrigued to see if it grows next year?

2. Amberley Joan (Small Decorative)

Dahlia Amberley Joan (Small Decorative) 1016

Amberley Joan produced a flower very late (End August) albeit the wrong colour! It should have produced a lovely pink flower but instead produced a white flower – so very disappointing.

Amberley Joan 22 Aug 14c Amberley Joan 22 Aug 14e

3. Amorangi Joy (Small Cactus)

Dahlia Amorangi Joy (Small Cactus) 2725

Amorangi Joy never did grow more than 1ft high, and after 6 months never produced a flower. I will be intrigued to dig this up and see if it produced a tuber and if it did, I will be even more intrigued to see if it grows next year?

4. Bergers Record (Medium Semi-Cactus)

Dahlia bergers-record (Medium Semi-Cactus) 3069

Bergers Record grew beautifully and produced lots of lovely vivid flowers, this was one of the 2 cuttings which did well. As more flowers grow over the summer, the flowers change from a vibrant red, to an orange colour, more in keeping with the advertised website photo above.

5. Clair Obscur (Small Cactus)

Dahlia Clair Obscur (Small cactus) 2578

Clair Obscur produced 2 flowers in total, 1 in Septemeber and 1 in October. They are gorgeous striking flowers – I just wished it had produced more. Some of my dahlias from tubers have produced 50-100 flowers. This cutting has produced 2 flowers in 6 months!

IMG_6340-2 IMG_6344-2

6. Firebrand (Small Cactus)

Dahlia firebrand (Small Cactus) 2630

Firebrand grew beautifully and produced lots of lovely vivid flowers, this was one of the 2 cuttings which did well. Interestingly as new flowers are produced over the time, the colour of the flowers does change from a bright red to a yellow-red colour.

7. Mini Red (Miniature Cactus)

Dahlia_Mini Red (Miniture Cactus) 2808

Mini Red finally produced a flower in October! It took 6 months to produce a 1 small flower! Lets see how it does next year – providing it has produced tubers to carry it on next year.

So overall:

2 dahlias didn’t produce any flowers

1 dahlia produced a flower of the wrong colour and shape

2 dahlias produced only 1 or 2 flowers

2 dahlias grew well

So overall I conclude that I don’t like dahlia cuttings – or certainly not the ones I purchased. I would rather buy dahlia tubers in future which seem to do better depending on where you purchase them from. I had a great experience with tubers bought from Wilkinsons and private nurseries, yet Taylors Bulbs dahlias were awful and very poor quality producing the wrong colour and variety of dahlias.

Can’t wait to replant my dahlias next year 🙂

Dahlia’s Wrong Colour & Type?

I wonder how many of you have been sent Dahlia’s the wrong colour and type? Or how many people have experienced this with other types of flowers?

I was shocked this summer, out of 13 new dahlias purchased this summer (6 tubers & 7 cuttings), at least 4 of them were the wrong colour! That is a phenomenal error. Three varieties still haven’t produced a flower yet so the result could be much worse.

I think the Quality Control (QC) and Assurance (QA) process is crazily poor, imagine buying something from a shop, getting it home and it not matching the description or colour? Yet the suppliers think this is acceptable. Taylors bulbs even holds the Royal Warrant crest, yet its QC is poor and its customer service dissapointing. See previous post where I wrote to them regarding being sent the wrong tubers:


Here are pics of dahlias I should of been sent (picture on left) versus the actual flower produced (picture on right).

Amberley Joan cutting – should have produced a pink flower – but produced a white flower

Amberley Joan Colour

Bergers Record Cutting – shows Orange flower, but it is more red (minor difference)

Bergers Record colour

Linda’s Baby Tuber – should have produced baby pink flower, instead produced minuscule purple flowers. Linda's Baby Wrong Tuber

Chocolate & Candy Tuber – Should have produce peach flowers, instead produced purple cactus style dahlias.Choc & Candy wrong tuber

Has anyone else had this problem? Is this more common than we imagined?



5 months ago I purchased the following 2 dahlia tubers:

  1. Purple gem (Cactus) Dahlia from ebay.co.uk
  2. Natal Red (Pompom) Dahlia from Wilkinsons online.

Both tubers have grown great!

For Part 1:

For Part 2: https://stunningdahlias.wordpress.com/2014/07/05/part-2-progress-of-purple-gem-cactus-natal-red-pompom-3-months-on/


1. Purple gem (Cactus) Dahlia

I love Purple Gem, possibly my best growing Dahlia this year and in my top 3 for visual impact. This will definitely feature in my garden next year and I would buy again from the ebay farm-shop I purchased this from. The only negative is it isn’t purple like the packet, but more of a pinky purple.

Here is Purple Gem growing in my garden.

This is what Purple Gem should look like according to the packet.

Dahlia_Purple gem (cactus)


2. Natal Red (Pompom) Dahlia

Natal Red Grew really well and produced tonnes of flowers. This will definitely feature in my garden next year and I will definitely buy Dahlia tubers from Wilkinson’s again.