Dahlias Planting, Growing, And Care Instructions

Dahlias Planting, Growing, And Care Instructions

Emma DowneyByEmma Downey
Updated on 8/13/2022

Dahlias are stunning flowers that begin to bloom in the middle of summer and continue to do so well into the fall. They are available in a kaleidoscope of colors and a range of sizes, from little pompoms measuring only 2 inches in diameter to enormous "dinner plates" measuring 15 inches in circumference. Most types may grow to a height of between 4 and 5 feet.

Check out our comprehensive guide for more information on planting, growing, and caring for these astonishingly beautiful, multicolored blooms that bloom from the middle of summer through October, when many plants are beyond their prime.


  • Botanical Name: Dahlia spp
  • Type of Plant: a Flower
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Seasons of Flowering: Summer and Autumn
  • Flowers come in a rainbow of colors, including orange, pink, purple, red, white, and yellow.
  • Hardiness Zone: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

About Dahlias

Asters are members of the Asteraceae plant family, including sunflowers, daisies, chrysanthemums, zinnias, and many other flowering plants. One of the members of this family is the dahlia.

Those who come into contact with a dahlia cannot help but be filled with awe and happiness. Growing vegetables? Dahlias can be planted in a row along the edge of the bed so that they do not cast any shade on the edible plants growing there. When cut into flower arrangements, they have a very appealing appearance.

Dahlias do best when grown in environments that are both humid and somewhat stable in temperature. Dahlias have a growing season at least 120 days long, allowing them to brighten up any sunny garden. Even though they do not perform well in scorching locations, dahlias thrive in sunny gardens (such as the southern part of Florida or Texas).

about Dahlias

The tubers are placed in the ground and planted around the end of the spring growing season. This plant species is referred to as a tender perennial in North American regions with a more moderate climate. They will survive the winter in hardiness zones 8 to 11, but gardeners in zones 6 and 7 may also have some luck keeping them in the ground. In locations with a colder temperature, dahlias can be planted as annuals, or they can be dug up after the first frost and brought indoors to overwinter. Either way, they are beautiful flowers. In any case, they will need to have part of their growth trimmed back. (Find out your hardiness zone by doing the test!)

Going through a box of buttons is more manageable than attempting to pick out your favorite dahlia. There is a wide variety of possible sizes for dahlia flowers, from tiny "lollipop-style" pompoms reaching about two inches to massive "dinner plate" blooms of over fifteen inches in diameter. Flowers known as dahlias can be found in a diverse range of colors. The vast majority of species may grow to reach between 4 and 5 feet tall at their full maturity.


Each day, dahlias need anything from six to eight hours of direct sunlight, with the early sun providing the most benefit. They do best when protected from the wind because even gusts of moderate strength can knock over towering dahlias if they are not appropriately managed. After the seeds have been planted, you must consider their eventual maturity and size.

The optimum soil for growing dahlias is high in organic matter, has enough drainage, and has a pH level that falls in the range of 6.0 to 7.5. who should treat heavy clay soil with aged manure or compost to lighten the soil's texture and make it looser to promote drainage? That will allow water to go through the ground more quickly.

When Should You Start Planting Your Dahlia Seeds

  • For dahlias to thrive, the temperature of the soil must be higher than 50 degrees. You are free to sow your seeds after the earth's temperature reaches sixty degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius), and there is no longer any possibility of frost.
  • Dahlias should be planted in the ground a few days after tomatoes have been planted in the background. That is an excellent general rule to follow as a general rule of thumb.
  • Some gardeners begin planting tubers inside containers one month before the start of the growing season. That allows them to get a head start on the growing season and gain an advantage over their competition. When cultivated in containers, dahlias that are of a size ranging from medium to dwarf will do exceptionally well.

How To Cultivate Dahlias In Your Own Garden

  • When planting dahlia tubers, it is recommended to avoid using ones that are wrinkled or rotting since this will reduce the likelihood of successful growth. The emergence of pink "eyes" (buds) and even the tiniest bit of green growth are considered favorable signs.

How To Cultivate Dahlias in Your Own Garden

  • It is best to develop enormous dahlias and dahlias that are grown just to be cut as flowers in a separate plot devoted to them. That will ensure that the presence of other plants does not negatively impact them. Prepare the rows for the tubers, leaving a spacing of three feet between each row. When planted around one foot apart, dahlias may be used to produce a lovely floral hedge that will also support and nourish its growth.
  • Because dahlias typically grow to a height of between one and three feet, you should position them among other summer flowers at an altitude of between one and three feet. Put a spacing of two feet between them so that they may talk.
  • You should plant dahlias grown from seed with a gap of 9 and 12 inches between each plant when used as bedding.
    Dig a hole that is anywhere from 6 to 8 inches deep to start the process of planting the tubers. That will be the first step in the procedure.
  • Insert a tube into the hole so that the emerging tips, sometimes called "eyes," are facing upward.
  • It is essential that the tubers of individual dahlias not be cracked or cut in any way (as you would with potatoes).
  • A layer of earth between two and three inches thick is recommended to be put on top of the tuber. (Others think that one inch is sufficient in this case.)
  • When the stem grows, fill the gap with dirt until it is the same level as the ground around it.


  • When you are ready to water the tubers, you should wait a short period after placing them in the ground, and this helps the decaying process by contributing to it. Please wait until the plant's first sprouts have breached the earth's surface before you start watering it, and that will give you a better chance of success.
  • It is advised that the planting hole be created slightly larger than the root ball of the plant, and you should supplement the soil with either compost or sphagnum peat moss before the plant is placed in the hole. Before you begin planting, putting some bone meal into the planting hole is a good idea; this will help the soil retain more moisture. If this is not the case, there is no requirement to fertilize the soil during planting.

Growing Dahlias In Containers

It is possible to successfully cultivate dahlias in pots of a medium to dwarf size as long as the containers have drainage holes and are large enough to support the plant after it has reached its full maturity. In the vast majority of circumstances, a container with dimensions of 12 inches by 12 inches will be enough.

  • Use a soilless mix with co-polymer moisture-retaining crystals, as instructed in the product box. You may find the instructions on the back of the packaging.

  • Always make sure that the depth requirements are being followed.
  • You should apply a layer of the soil-crystal mixture a few inches thick on top of the tuber.
  • If necessary, spray water on the tuber to keep it wet until the growth process begins, and you should only do this if it is essential.
  • If moisture is located one inch below the surface of the soil, you do not need to water the plant since it will not require it.
  • Throughout the summer, make sure to apply fertilizer following the guidelines that you supplied.
  • If the roots become exposed, it is necessary to add extra soil.

Have a look at our video to get more information on cultivating dahlias in your garden:

How to Grow Dahlias - From Tubers to Gorgeous Blooms - A Complete Guide // Northlawn Flower Farm


After the dahlias have been established, they will require watering two or three times each week or even more frequently if the weather is scorching and dry. It is essential to have the means to tend to plants either before or after it rains to ensure their health. Blooms that are exceptionally huge and open have a greater risk of being suffocated by water or harmed by the wind.

  • The beginning of flower production for dahlias occurs typically around the middle of July, around eight weeks after the plants have been planted in the ground.
  • It is suitable for developing dahlias to use a low-nitrogen liquid fertilizer, such as one with a ratio of 5-10-10 or 10-20-20. This type of fertilizer has been shown to promote healthy plant growth. After the seeds have germinated, apply fertilizer to the soil, and then continue this procedure about once every three to four weeks from the middle of the summer until the beginning of the fall.
    Caution: If you feed your plant too heavily, particularly with nitrogen, you risk causing it to decay, have few or no blossoms, and have weak tubers.
  • When the plants are around one foot tall, pinch out three to four inches of the central branch to encourage bushier plants and increase the number of stems and the length of the stalks.
  • The process of disbudding is an effective method for increasing the size of the bloom. Remove the two secondary buds found on either side of the primary bud in a flower cluster. These secondary buds are placed in the center of the flower cluster. The plant will direct all of its energy and resources into generating a much smaller number of blooms that are each of a much larger size.


  • Bedding dahlias need no staking or disbudding.
    Cutting off the center stalk located just above the third set of leaves is necessary to get a bushier appearance.
  • When the blooms begin to wilt, cut off the spent blossoms to stimulate new growth.
  • Putting mulch around the plants is unnecessary and unnecessary work. On the other hand, Dahlias would rather have sunshine reach their roots than slugs, which can seek sanctuary under the mulch.
  • To cultivate taller dahlias, stakes should be placed in the ground when planting. By giving the plant a slight pinching, disbudding, disbranching, and deadheading, you may create a beautiful show that will continue for at least three months.
  • As soon as the first light frost of autumn arrives, the dahlia plant begins to shed its leaves and eventually dies down to the ground. It is necessary to prune back the plant and leave it on the basis for the winter for dahlias to thrive. Dahlias are reliably hardy in USDA Hardiness Zone 8 and warmer. It is recommended that a substantial layer of dry mulch be spread over the area.
  • In latitudes farther north, the tuberous roots must be dug out and stored away during winter. That is necessary since they are susceptible to freezing. (However, some readers find out that dahlias may survive in Zone 7 or even Zone 6 as long as the winters aren't very severe.) Please refer to the part below this page titled "Harvesting" for additional information on this topic.

There are around 60,000 recognized kinds of plants and 18 registered flower types. Some of these certified flower types are waterlily, cactus, peony, anemone, star, and collarette. The American Dahlia Society recognizes this flower's 15 distinct hues and color combinations. Here are some widespread options:

Recommended Varieties

  • "Bishop of Llandaff" has crimson and quite powerful blooms, and the foliage is a rich burgundy color.
  • "Miss Rose Fletcher" is the name of a beautiful, spiny, pink cactus plant with globes 6 inches in diameter and are made up of long, quilled, shell-pink petals.
  • 'Bonne Esperance,' also known as 'Good Hope,' is a dwarf plant that grows to one foot and produces rosy-pink blooms measuring one and a half inches across the summer. These flowers are evocative of Victorian bedding dahlias (though they debuted in 1948)
  • "Kidd's Climax" is the pinnacle of incredible beauty, with "dinnerplate" blossoms of ten inches in diameter covered in hundreds of pink petals infused with gold.
  • "Jersey's Beauty" is a pink plant that can grow up to 7 feet tall and has blooms that are the size of hands. It gives the fall garden a lot of vitality.


Dahlias As Cut Flowers

If you cut dahlias many times, they will respond by producing an increasing number of blooms; also, dahlias appear quite pretty when they are arranged in a vase. If you want to build a bouquet, you need to start by cutting the stems early in the morning, before the heat of the day, and then you need to put them in a bucket filled with cold water. After removing the bottom leaves of the stems, you should place the flowers into a vase filled with water. If you want the vase to keep its form, you must store it somewhere cool and out of the sun. Check the water regularly to make sure it is safe to drink. It is estimated that the aroma will continue to have a pleasant air quality for approximately seven days.

Digging And Storing Dahlias For Winter

Dahlias need to be dug up in late fall unless you live in a warmer area (USDA Hardiness Zone 8 or higher), in which case you can keep them in the ground. If you live in a more relaxed environment, you must dig up dahlias in late autumn. The dahlia, a flower native to Mexico, is killed if it is exposed to temperatures lower than freezing. The procedure of digging up and preserving dahlias is pretty quick and straightforward, and it will help you save the money you would have otherwise spent on purchasing fresh ones each year. The method takes quite a bit, but it is pretty simple.

  • The advice that gardeners who live north of Zone 8 should dig up and store their tuberous roots during the winter was offered to those gardeners recently.
  • Some growers in Zone 7 believe that dahlias may survive the winter in the ground as long as the temperature does not fall below a specific threshold. That is a risky strategy, but these growers say it is possible. They cannot withstand temperatures lower than freezing, and as a result, they will expire. You should prepare to dig them up if you reside in a zone that is colder than 6; they won't survive.


  • Wait to dig up the dahlia tubers until the top growth of the plant has died back or until it has been killed by the first frost that is particularly severe. If the top growth has died back, the plant has been killed. Please look at your fall frost dates to understand when it is typical for frost to form in your area throughout autumn.
  • When the first frost arrives, the dahlia leaves will change color to a dark brown or perhaps a black hue. Please take it as a warning to begin digging up (lifting) dahlias. Obtain a favorable conclusion before the temperature starts to drop significantly.
  • Because the stems of dahlias are hollow and can store water, you should hold off cutting them until just before you start digging. If you missed the branches earlier, you risk fostering crown rot and tuber decay; doing this will prevent this.
  • Take off any parts of the leaves that have been burned and leave between two and four inches of the top growth.
  • When you dig around the tubers with a pitchfork, garden fork, or shovel, you need to use extreme caution. Keep clear from anything that has the potential to hurt them. When digging, you risk injuring the delicate "neck" of the dahlia tuber, which is found at the very top of the plant. That can happen if you dig too deeply.

  • The clump needs to be raised, and then the dirt needs to be removed by gently shaking the elevated lump. Alternately, you may remove any clumps of soil that may have gathered on them by swishing them about in a pail of water or using a garden hose. Both of these options are available to you. It is to your best advantage to get rid of as much dirt as possible since it contains bacteria that can speed up the decaying process while it is being stored. The food you keep could go wrong if you don't do this.
  • Take out any tubers that have developed a foul odor.

How To Store Dahlias In Winter

  • After being removed from the dahlia plant, the tubers must be allowed to air dry and mature for some time before use. If you only put the clumps in an inverted posture outside in the sun, it will take many days for them to dry naturally in the natural environment. Alternately, you might transfer the dahlias to a position that provides sufficient ventilation, has a temperature between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and is sheltered from direct sunlight.
  • After they have been allowed to dry, place them in a porous medium with a fluffy texture, such as vermiculite, dry sand, Styrofoam peanuts, or wood shavings. Any one of these solutions will do what you need. Put the tubers in cardboard boxes or plastic bags filled with material that will keep the area around the tubers moist while still allowing air to flow around them. That will help keep the tubers moist while allowing air to circulate them. It is recommended to cover them with an extra storage medium before putting them away in a location that is maintained at a chilly temperature.
  • Place at a location protected from freezing temperatures and has sufficient ventilation: The temperature should be between 35 and 50 degrees Celsius. However, anything between 35 and 45 degrees is OK, and the temperature should be between 40 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit.


Tuber clumps can be managed in one of two ways: either the tubers inside the cluster can be left undisturbed over the winter, and then the clump as a whole can be divided in the spring, or who can break the tubers within the chunk apart in the fall. Some gardeners feel that the fall is the ideal time to divide plants since it is easier to do at that time of year, but the divisions themselves are also simpler to store.

You must remember to check on the dahlia tubers regularly during the winter. Getting rid of any tubers that have already started decaying is necessary so that the rot does not spread to those still healthy.

The Beginning Of Summer

The Beginning Of Summer or When spring arrives, you need to separate the healthy tubers from the parent clump and eliminate any wrinkly or rotting tubers. Develop a plan to hide the last few people who have managed to escape.

The plant that develops from a tuber that does not have at least one "eye" or component of the crown linked to it will not be able to generate flowers. Flowers require at least one element in height. The "eyes" of the plant are the teeny-tiny pink lumps that you may find near the base of the stem.

The Beginning of Summer

If you believe that all of this will be too much of a headache for you, or if you do not have a location that is ideal for keeping the tubers, you may decide to avoid digging and storing them entirely and instead begin the process all over again by purchasing new tubers in the spring.

Wit And Wisdom

  • Anders Dahl, a Swedish botanist who was born on March 17, 1751, is honored with the naming of the dahlia.
  • In some regions of Mexico around the 16th century, you may see dahlias growing wild on the slopes of the hills. There, the Spanish are credited with having "found" them; they noted on how beautiful the plant was.
  • Flowers and tubers of the dahlia plant may both be eaten. The tubers have a flavor that is reminiscent of a combination of a radish and a potato.


The Dahlia you brought to our isle
Your praises forever shall speak
‘Mid gardens as sweet as your smile
And colour as bright as your cheek.


  • You should use bait two weeks after planting and continue throughout the season to deter slugs and snails.
  • Spider mites: To protect yourself from spider mites, start spraying at the end of July and keep doing so through September. Talk to the associates at your local garden center about which sprays are appropriate for your region.
  • Even though they do not harm the plant, earwigs and cucumber beetles can cause damage to flowers by eating the petals.


  • Aphids
  • Please find a list of plants resistant to deer and cultivate them near your dahlias. Deer.
  • Powdery mildew is something that typically appears in the autumn. Spraying as a prophylactic measure is something you may do between the end of July and the beginning of August.

The dahlias bloom begins amid the summer and continues long into the fall. These gorgeous blooms start to open their petals in the middle of the summer. They are offered in a rainbow of colors and various sizes, ranging from tiny pompoms with a diameter of only 2 inches to giant "dinner plates" with a circumference of 15 inches. The majority of species have the potential to reach a height of between 4 and 5 feet.