How To Grow Dahlias

November 10, 2023

tubers in crates

Upon arrival of your tubers, open package immediately. Either store them or pot them up indoors in early spring/late winter. In storage, keep tubers in a dark space that will not freeze like a basement or garage. Tubers will wake up at 60F or above.

1. Dahlias require full sun or at least 8 hours of sunlight daily. Southern growers may need to provide shade if summer temperatures are regularly extreme (above 80F).

2. Dahlias should be planted after all risk of frost has passed and when the ground temperature is around 60F. Select a spot with free draining soil and prepare it before planting. Think of planting dahlias with you plant your tomatoes.

3. Amend beds with a few inches of compost and balanced fertilizer. Mix all ingredients into soil evenly.

4. At planting, dig a hole 4-6 inches deep, sprinkle a tablespoon of bone meal into hole, then place the tuber on its side so that the growing eye is facing up. Refill the hole with soil. Space multiple plants at least 12-18 inches apart.

5. Dahlias should not be watered until a green sprout emerges from the ground. Overwatering before seeing growth can result in the tuber rotting. Once established, dahlias require consistent watering, so install soaker hoses early on or make sure access to water is available. Watering in the morning is best.

6. Once your plant reaches a foot tall, snip the central stem 3-4 inches. This will improve growth and increase stems per plant.

7. Dahlias often need support. Once they grow to waist height, use a metal/wooden stake or cage to prevent the plant from falling over.

8. Harvest flowers when fully open and petals are firm, but not overly mature. Check the back of the flower head for ripeness.

These steps ensure healthy growth and vibrant blooms. Remember, patience and careful attention to these details are key in successfully growing dahlias.

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