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Do Dahlias Need Full Sun?

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Wondering whether to plonk your dahlias in a sunny spot, or wondering if they would prefer a little shade? Don’t worry, I’ve got your back.

Do Dahlias Need Full Sun
Do Dahlias Need Full Sun

Do Dahlias Need Full Sun?

Dahlias are warm country plants, and as such, they like the sun. To be honest the vast majority of flowering plants would prefer a sunny spot over a shaded one.

When it comes to Dahlias though they are actually found quite often in woodlands, which tells you they can tolerate shade.

What Dahlias really don’t like is dry roots, so as long as they have sun for some part of the day and their roots are kept damp then they should do just fine.

Gardening is often over complicated with everyone telling you that you must do this or that, in the end, though a lot of plants are very flexible. They might not grow just as large or flower just as brightly if they are not in constant sun but they will still look amazing!

What Soil Do Dahlias Like

Dahlias will grow in heavy clay soils, but they much prefer light well-draining soil. If you can improve your soil by adding compost then this will definitely help them.

The lighter the soil the more chance Dahlia tubers also have of surviving winter by being left in the ground. In thick, wet, clay soils the whole tuber is much more likely to freeze and die off.

They also like a lot of rich soil, so putting a load of compost into the soil where they are to grow is a really good idea.

Even with a lot of compost, you will still need to feed your Dahlias during the growing season if you want a really amazing display.

Most multi-purpose feeds will work well, I just use this organic feed below from Amazon for everything in my garden including flowers, fruit and veg.

My Choice!
Apsley Farms Natural Plant Food Organic
£17.50 (£3.50 / l)
  • All new natural formula
  • Not just your average NPK liquid fertilizer
  • Trialled and tested
  • Soil Association Approved
  • Organic
  • By-product of green energy
  • Contains macronutrients and beneficial microbes.
  • Does smell a little
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12/09/2023 12:04 am GMT

More on Dahlias

Dahlias are simply stunning summer flowers, the pop pop head produces amazing displays. The plant is a member of the Asteraceae family along with daises, asters and marigolds.

Usually grown from a tuber but they can also be grown from seed. The tubers require special care over winter here in the UK and many growers end up with an almost fanatical devotion to their dahlias.

Despite not being able to survive winter outdoors in most of the UK they actually thrive in our summer conditions. The moderate but wet climate we have is absolutely perfect for them.


Dahlias make the perfect container flower and are commonly grown this way. Growing them in containers also makes preserving the tuber over winter a lot easier.

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