Planting and Care of Dahlia Flowers

Planting and Care of Dahlia Flowers

There is little question as to why dahlias are a flower garden enthusiasts’ favorite. Proper care of planting and care of dahlia flowers make show-stopping garden additions.

Planting and Care of Dahlia Flowers

Many of the dahlia species evolved from wild species in Mexico. The area near Mexico City had extremely hot days and but cold nighttime temperatures due to the ravines they were growing in.

This might explain why the flowers bloom profusely during the Autumn months.

In the late 1800s, the double varieties were produced in Europe. Today, we have plenty of choices when it comes to selecting dahlia flowers.

General Information

Plant TypeBulb, Perennial
HardinessZones 8-11
ExposureFull Sun
Height1 to 4 feet
Spread1 to 2 feet
Bulb Spacing18 – 24 inches
SoilLoam, Sand, Clay
Bloom TimeSummer to Fall

Location & Soils To Grow Dahlias In

Dahlias grow well in full sun to partial shade. They should get six hours of sunlight a day. In warmer climates, afternoon shade can help the flowers by keeping them cooler. Afternoon shade can also improve the color and reduce fading in some blooms.

Storing Dahlias Over Winter

The dahlia is a fall-blooming plant & the location is best suited in your yard is where late autumn frost is light.

Prefer somewhat sandy soil but will grow nicely in heavy clay too.

Lighten soil with wood ash, sand or coarse manure.

Starting Tubers

Tubers should be started indoors about April 1st in a shallow box of sand or light soil. Place the box of tubers in a window that has good filtered light.

When young shoots begin to show, they should cut so that one or two eyes are allowed to remain on each piece; the eyes form on the collar.

Time and Distance For Planting Tubers

Planting Dahlia tubers in the flower garden
 F.D. Richards

Once all danger of frost has passed, plant them in their garden location.

To plant, dig a large hole 6 to 12 inches deep.

Add compost, or well-rotted manure and mix well into the bottom of the hole.

Supporting & Growth Development

The average root will make several shoots. Allow them to grow until they make the first set of leaves, by that time the strongest can be selected and the others cut away below the surface of the soil.

1.) The rule is that one shoot is sufficient, but no more than two.

2.) Tie the shoot to a stake when a foot high.

3.) When you want the plant to branch out, pinch out the tip.

4.) It is best to only allow 6-8 branches on each plant.

Winter Storage

Digging up and storing dahlias over winter.
F.D. Richards

When the autumn frost arrives in October and kills off the foliage of the plant, it is time to pull up the tubers.

Many types of dahlias do not survive the snowy cold winters.

We have to lift them out of the dirt or purchase new ones come spring. I wrote up a quick guide to digging up and storing dahlias over winter.

Excellent Cut Flower Arrangements

Dahlia flowers have proven to make wonderful vase arrangements indoors.

1.) Cut the flower stalk in the morning.

2.) Place the stalk in water up to the height of the flower and placed in a cool location

3.) If you have a hard stem variety place the stems in hot water and allow the water to cool naturally. After the water has cooled, replace the water with fresh cold water.

Varieties To Look For

There are thousands of varieties of dahlias.

Margaret Haggo

This genus has upright and bushy, early summer and early autumn flowering, tuberous, deciduous annuals, and perennials.

They bear pinnatifid or pinnatisect, mid-green leaves, and disc-shaped flowers.

Gor Bilmey

A Dahlia from Dr. Keith Hammetts weird and wonderful selection

This green-leafed dahlia has orangey-red flowers with a lemon collar and yellow eye.


A dinner plate variety – and most certainly a fitting name. The flowers can grow up to 40 inches high and the blooms 12 inches wide.

Oreti Rebel

A cactus-type dahlia that blooms in a raspberry red with the tips appearing to be dipped in white paint.

Shop On Amazon:
Pompon Dahlia
Dinnerplate Dahlia
Cactus Dahlia

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