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


Dahlias can be grown in hardiness zones 3-11, and in zones 8-11 the tubers may be left in the ground year-round. They are sold as single tubers or a clump of tubers around a stem. Tubers will look vastly different depending on variety, so don’t worry about the size or shape of your tuber, these factors don’t determine the plants success.

Dahlias should not be planted outdoors until after all danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed to 60 degrees F. If you garden in a cold climate, you can get your dahlias tubers started 4-6 weeks early by planting them in pots — either indoors or in a greenhouse. For more information on starting Dahlias inside visit

Dahlias need full sun and loose, rich, well-draining soil. Before planting, add a generous 2-3 inch layer of compost into the bed. Next, dig a hole that is 4-6 inches deep and place the tuber in the hole with the eye of the tuber facing upwards, and then cover it with soil.

If you’re growing a dahlia variety that will be more than 3 feet tall, the plants should be staked at planting time to support the stems and flowers as they grow. Place a strong 5-6 foot stake near the tuber, and as the plant grows, use twine to tie the stems to the stake every 12-18 inches.

Don’t water the tubers upon planting. Since the tubers have no roots at this time, watering immediately after planting can cause the tubers to rot before they are able to sprout and grow roots. It’s fine if it rains, but no additional watering is necessary until you see the green sprouts emerge from the ground. Depending on the variety and growing conditions, it can take a few weeks to a full month for a tuber to sprout.

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Once you see green growth emerge, you can start to water your dahlias. Give them a weekly soak of 1-2 inches of water if the weather does not provide it naturally. In the extreme heat of summer biweekly watering may be necessary. Watering needs will vary based on location, weather, and soil.

Pinch your dahlias to encourage more branching and therefore more blooms. Once the plants have 3-4 sets of leaves, snip the top of the plant off right above a set of leaves. This pinch will cause the plant to send up multiple stems from below the cut, which will result in more flowering stems and a bushier plant.

Keep your Dahlias producing loads of flowers by deadheading spent blooms regularly, or cut bunches of blooms to bring inside and enjoy. Dahlias are truly a cut and come again flower. The more you cut the more they come!

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