Dahlia 'Arabian Night'
A black-red, decorative dahlia with lots of vibrant, not-too-large double flowers - a staple for most dahliaholics - including me
- Position: full sun
- Soil: fertile, humus-rich soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: June to September
- Hardiness: half hardy
Showy, flamboyant and available in a range of brilliant colours and strong shapes, dahlias are becoming popular again, as a way of adding bold splashes of colour to the garden in summer. 'Arabian Night' has masses of fully double, dark wine-red flowers with slightly incurved petals from June until the first frosts. Under certain light the petals of this small dahlia appear almost black. An ideal companion for plum-coloured flowers and foliage plants, it needs a sheltered, sunny site with fertile, humus-rich soil.
Garden care: Stake with canes or brushwood as it becomes necessary. Deadhead and feed regularly to prolong flowering. Provide a high-nitrogen liquid feed each week in June, then a high-potash fertiliser each week from July to September. Once the first frosts have blackened the foliage, carefully lift and clean the tubers and allow them to dry naturally indoors. Place the dry tubers in a shallow tray, just covered with slightly moist potting compost, sand or vermiculite. Store in a frost-free place, checking frequently over the winter months. In warmer areas, tubers may be left to overwinter in the ground, although they may suffer from slug damage, particularly in heavy clay soils.