Dahlia 'Karma Choc' (PBR)
decorative dahlia tuber
- Position: full sun
- Soil: fertile, humus-rich soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: July to September
- Hardiness: half hardy (may need winter protection)
The combination of the near-black, dark red flowers and the bronze-flushed foliage is a winner. The flowers, which keep appearing throughout the summer (especially if you keep picking them for the vase), are chocolate-scented and look like velvet - really plush and lovely. Plant it with other late summer bloomers with rich purple and plum coloured flowers. It also makes a wonderful contrast to silvery tones.
- Garden care: Dahlia tubers can be planted outside after frost, or started off in pots under glass in late winter to early spring. Plant them horizontally approximately 12cm deep, making sure the ‘eyes’ are uppermost. Allow enough room between each tuber so the plants can grow and spread to their full size without being over-crowded. While in growth, provide a high-nitrogen liquid feed each week in June, then a high-potash fertiliser each week from July to September. Stake with canes or brushwood if it becomes necessary. In mild areas, leave them in situ over winter, but protect the crown with a generous layer of dry mulch. In colder areas, carefully lift and clean the tubers once the first frosts have blackened the foliage and allow them to dry naturally indoors. Then place the dry tubers in a shallow tray, just covered with slightly moist potting compost, sand or vermiculite and store in a frost-free place until planting out again.
- CAUTION do not eat ornamental bulbs