Saturday, May 19, 2012

Dahlia Tree

May is the month when Dahlia Trees (often mistakenly called Giant Dahlias) flower in Adelaide, South Australia.

And to my absolute delight I discovered that this year my Dahlia's have attracted a wonderful sight: honey bees.

Their little pollen sacks were stuffed full! I have never seen bees so happy at this time of year (late Autumn).

Bee with very full pollen pocket!

If you want to grow a Dahlia Tree, it couldn't be easier. They come back year after year.

To multiply your plants, lay a branch cutting on the ground, cover lightly, keep watered from time to time and new branches will sprout.

They respond amazingly to Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food (pellet fertiliser). 

During heavy rains Dahlia Trees absorb a lot of water into their branches and become heavy. Branches have a tendency to fall forward or over. If you choose to prune any over laying branches, be aware of the water inside the branches as you cut. They really are full of water; they store up for dry periods. You may choose to simply tie the branches up until flowering season has finished.

Prune back as branches die back, leave a few nice branches if you wish. New branch stalks will appear next growing season.

Dahlia Trees have a great height and cheery colour to brighten up a cold autumn/winter garden and create a safe place for the chickens and cats to roam around under especially during rain.

And as I have just discovered, they attract bees to the garden, especially in the colder seasons.

I have never had a problem with pests or diseases on my Dahlia Trees. Simply gorgeous!

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