Summary: Discover how to plant dahlias from tubers or seed, as well as dahlia flower and plant care..
Dahlias are a spectacular flower to grow in your garden, offering showy and beautiful blooms from July until frost. There are thousands of dahlia cultivars and hybrids that range from 12 inches to 8 feet in height, with blooms from 2 inches across to dinner plate-sized specimens. Many gardeners are put off by the notion that they require specialized care, and are unsure exactly how to plant dahlia.
Planting Dahlias in Your Garden
Dahlias can be grown from tubers or seed. Seed-grown varieties will produce tubers during their first year, which can be dug and replanted in the same manner as other perennial bulbs, but most experienced gardeners prefer to start fresh from seeds for each new growing season.
In warmer hardiness zones, dahlia seeds can be sown directly into the garden beds where they will be grown. In more temperate zones, dahlia seeds should be started indoors six to 8 weeks prior to transplanting outdoors. Sow seeds in seedling trays or individual 4-inch pots about ¼ inch deep into the growing medium. Keep soil moist but not wet, and maintain a constant temperature between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The young plants should germinate and sprout between seven and 21 days. Once plants have established, in about five weeks, they can be hardened for transplanting outdoors by bringing the plants outside on warmer days to acclimate them. Once all danger of frost has passed they may be directly transplanted into your garden.
Tips for Dahlia Care
Dahlias should receive regular and thorough watering, and the soil around them should never be allowed to completely dry out. To promote lush growth and more flowers, pinch back the new growth on your dahlias when they reach about a foot high. To promote continual flowering, deadhead the plant by removing the flowers as soon as they begin to wilt.