How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Dahlias

Nancy Parker


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Dahlias are colorful spiky flowers which generally bloom from midsummer to first frost, when many other plants are past their best.

In the cold climates of North America, dahlias are known as tuberous-rooted tender perennials, grown from small, brown, biennial tubers planted in the spring. 

Dahlias come in a rainbow of colors and even range in size, from the giant 10-inch “dinnerplate” blooms to the 2-inch lollipop-style pompons. Most varieties grow 4 to 5 feet tall.

Though not well suited to extremely hot and humid climates, such as much of Texas and Florida, dahlias brighten up any sunny garden with a growing season that’s at least 120 days long. Dahlias thrive in the cool, moist climates of the Pacific Coast, where blooms may be an inch larger and deeper.


  • Don’t be in a hurry to plant; dahlias will struggle in cold soil. Ground temperature should reach 60°F. Wait until all danger of spring frost is past before planting. (We plant them a little after the tomato plants go in.)
  • Select a planting site with full sun. Dahlias grow more blooms with 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight. They love the morning sunlight best. Choose a location with a bit of protection from the wind.
  • Dahlias thrive in rich, well-drained soil. The pH level of your soil should be 6.5-7.0, slightly acidic.If you have a heavier soil, add in sand, peat moss or bagged steer manure to lighten and loosen the soil texture for better drainage. 
  • Bedding dahlias can be planted 9 to 12 inches apart. The smaller flowering types, which are usually about three feet tall, should be spaced two feet apart. The taller, larger-flowered dahlias should be spaced three feet apart.
  • The planting hole should be slightly larger than the root ball of the plant and incorporate some compost or sphagnum peat moss into the soil. It also helps to mix a handful of bonemeal into the planting hole. Otherwise, do not fertilize at planting.
  • Avoid dahlia tubers that appear wrinkled or rotten. A little bit of green growth is a good sign. Don’t break or cut individual dahlia tubers as you would potatoes.
  • Plant them whole, with the growing points, or “eyes,” facing up, about 6 to 8 inches deep. The crowns should be just above soil level.
  • Tall, large-flowered cultivars will require support. Place stakes (five to six feet tall) around plants at planting time and tie stems to them as the plants grow.
  • Large dahlias and those grown solely for cut flowers are best grown in a dedicated plot in rows on their own, free from competition from other plants. Dahlias of medium to low height mix well with other summer flowers. If you only have a vegetable garden, it’s the perfect place to put a row of dahlias for cutting (and something to look at while you’re weeding!).
  • Dahlias start blooming about 8 weeks after planting, starting in mid-July.
  • Some gardeners start tubers indoors a month ahead to get a jump on the season.
  • Do not water the tubers right after planting; this encourages rot. Wait until the sprouts have appeared above the soil to water.
  • Do not cover the dahlias with mulch or bark or sprouting is more challenging; apply slug and snail bait to avoid garden pests.


  • There’s no need to water the soil until the dahlia plants appear; in fact, overwatering can cause tubers to rot. After dahlias are established, provide a deep watering 2 to 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes with a sprinkler (and more in dry, hot climates).
  • Dahlias benefit from a low-nitrogen liquid fertilizer (similar to what you would use for vegetables) such as a 5-10-10 or 10-20-20. Fertilize after sprouting and then every 3 to 4 weeks from mid-summer until early Autumn. Do NOT overfertilize, especially with nitrogen, or you risk small/no blooms, weak tubers, or rot.
  • Like many large-flower hybrid plants, the big dahlias may need extra attention before or after rain, when open blooms tend to fill up with water or take a beating from the wind.
  • Bedding dahlias need no staking or disbudding; simply pinch out the growing point to encourage bushiness, and deadhead as the flowers fade. Pinch the center shoot just above the third set of leaves.
  • For the taller dahlias, insert stakes at planting time. Moderately pinch, disbranch, and disbud, and deadhead to produce a showy display for 3 months or more.
  • Dahlia foliage blackens with the first frost.
  • Dahlias are hearty to zone 8 and can be cut back and left in the ground to overwinter; cover with a deep, dry mulch. Elsewhere, the tuberous roots should be lifted and stored during the winter. (Some readers find, however, that dahlias will survive in zone 7 if the winter isn’t too severe.)


  • Slugs and snails: Bait 2 weeks after planting and continue to bait throughout the season.
  • Mites: To avoid spider mites, spray beginning in late July and continue to spray through September. Speak to your garden center about recommended sprays for your area.
  • Earwigs and Cucumber Beetle: They can eat the petals though they do not hurt the plant itself.
  • Aphids
  • Deer: Find a list of deer-resistant plants to grow around your dahlias.
  • Powdery Mildew: This commonly shows up in the fall. You can preventatively spray before this issue arises from late July to August.


Taking Up the Tubers

In cold regions, if you wish to save your plants, you have to dig up the tubers in early fall and store them over the winter.

Dahlias may be hardy to USDA Zone 8. There, they can be left in the ground to overwinter. In areas that get frost, including most parts of Zone 5, a killing frost—or a touch of frost—can help the bulb to shut down/go dormant. See your local frost dates.

  • Foliage should be cut back to 2 to 4 inches above ground and lifting and separating should be completed.
  • Gently shake the soil off the tubers.
  • Cut rotten tubers off the clump and leave upside down to dry naturally.
  • Pack in a loose, fluffy material (vermiculite, dry sand, Styrofoam peanuts).
  • Store in a well-ventilated, frost-free place—40 to 45 degrees F is ideal, 35 to 50 degrees F is acceptable.
  • Take out the tubers in the spring, separate them from the parent clump, and begin again.
  • If this all seems like too much bother or you do not have the right storage place, skip digging and storing, and just start over by buying new tubers in the spring.

Recommended Varieties

Wit & Wisdom

The dahlia was named for Anders Dahl (botanist), born on March 17, 1751.

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
–Lord Holland (1773–1840)

Reader Comments

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could someone please help me !!! i planted my tubers under the understanding they were dwarf type not only have the plants overtaken the space that i allocated but also swarming with blue fly cant go near them for flies!!! help :-(

Rotting blooms

Before my dahlia blooms actually open, they turn brown and rot. Any suggestions? Thanks!

dahlia rot

Overwatering can cause tubers to rot. After dahlias are established, provide a deep watering 2 to 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes with a sprinkler.

How long do blooms last?

I have a small dahlia plant in a big planter on my back deck. The plant seems to be doing well, and has many buds. I'm wondering how long an individual dahlia bloom is supposed to last? It seems that my blooms only last a maximum of 3-4 days before they turn brown and wilt away. Are they not getting enough sun?

Dog in Dalias

My dog just broke the new plant down to the tubers, it was partly my fault too. What should I do? Dig the tubers up and try putting them in the fridge, or will it resprout in the pot I have it in? I'm so sad.

Dog in Dahlias

Oh, those doggies!  It depends. If the dahlia broke off at the base of the plant, it’s fine for next year. But if the tubers are pulled off or if they break off, the buds are almost always lost and the tubers are worthless.

Moving newly sprouted tubers

Hi there,
I planted some tubers thinking I had lost my last years tubers due to a cold and wet winter. Now the old plants are growing as well as the new and they are crowed. The plants are about 6 inches tall and full is it safe to move them?

Moving the flowers...

I seriously have the same question. I bought some of the dinner plate dahlias and underestimated how big they'd get and now I seriously need to move them. Is it safe to do so?

Watering Dahlias in tunnel

Hello. This year I started to grow Dahlias in high tunnel. The summer started and I am a little bit confused about watering. I use soaker hose 3 times a week, but I am not sure how long watering should take. Would you give me any piece of advice?

watering dahlias

There’s no need to water the soil until the dahlia plants appear; in fact, overwatering can cause tubers to rot. After dahlias are established, provide a deep watering 2 to 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes with a sprinkler.

Mold on tubers 3 weeks after planting

I live in Vancouver BC. I planted my tubers ,which had small sprouts, a few weeks ago. Today I noticed there had been no growth so I dug them up. Roots have formed but the tubers had white Mold on them. I've washed them off and plan to dry them over next few days. One has a 3 inch sprout intact. The other lost the sprout but has 3 fleshy nubs on the eyes that look like they will sprout. What should I do now?

Dahlia Tuber Mold

Hi Nancy,

Unfortunately, once the tubers have become moldy, there’s no way to get rid of it. There are tips for preventing the mold from forming in the first place, but that advice is only helpful for future tubers. Continue with what you are doing however; maybe the tubers will recover. Try planting a couple of them and see what happens. Gardening is an experiment, after all. For future prevention of the white mold, dry out the tubers before storing them: Moisture is the enemy. Store them in a cardboard box filled with peat moss, keeping the temperature between 40 and 50°F. Check the tubers once a month to make sure they are not shriveled. If they are, spray a little water on them, but not too much. We hope this helps! 

Dinner plate dahlias

My daughter gave me 4 DP dahlias for my birthday. I live in zone 9a, Gulf Coast, So. TX. Temps rise to 98 plus degree, and the humidity is awful. Will I b able 2 grow these dahlias in So. TX?
Thanks for any info u can provide. Maria

dinner plates in Texas?

Dahlias are native to Mexico and Guatemala, and our sources suggest that dahlias can be grown in hardiness zone 9 (close enough) and blooms from May until October. Plus, they can be treated as perennial hardy bulbs and left in the ground (not lifted). Texas AgriLife and the Cooperative Extension services have more specific information. See here: http://easttexasgardening.tamu.edu/2014/06/26/dahlias/ Happy birthday and good luck!


I planted my dahlias in the middle of May. We had 2 no of hard frost. They were all sprouted out. Now they look like there dead. Can they come back. The bulbs are still in the ground

Gangly early shoots sprouting in shed without windows

My dahlias from last year have been left in a shed without light and most have produced pale yellow gangly shoots. Should I break them all off and allow them to restart in the greenhouse or do I leave them and hope they will turn green and produce thick stems?
I live in the south of England (Hastings)

dahlias with shoots

The general consensus is not break off the shoots and plant the dahlias as you would normally in the greenhouse. Be aware that if the tubers are dried out, they may not thrive/grow.


I never break them off they grow as new shoots, never have problem with them growing!

Dahlia's where I do not remember planting

Today is 5/5/17. I have been watching a pot that is on the side of our pool area.I remember planting Gerber's in this pot last year but they were crowed out by the Petunias.I pulled out the dead Gerber about mid summer. This spring I saw something sprout up and I assumed it had to be the Gerber though it wasn't exactly the same- but I'm no expert and just used my memory to think that is what must be coming up since I was sure it wasn't a petunia. Today I noticed that one f the buds s full bloom. It is a cold wet day...but this bloom is obviously a Dahlia. Last summer we had tomatoes pop up in our flower beds that was "gifted" by bird droppings. Can this happen from a Dahlia??? I didn't plant this and after reading all about them they aren't even hardy in zone 7 where I am in SC. Can anyone explain this? Very healthy plant. Red and very happy in its place.


ive got 6 plants grown from seed from my sister its her first year a growing dahlias, can they be planted into pots and how many should I put together as don't know how bushy they will go

Planting Dahlias in Pots

You can safely fit one dahlia in a six-inch pot, and in bigger pots, you may be able to fit two. Give the dahlias enough space to stretch their roots and be sure to use well-draining soil. Otherwise, they may become waterlogged and could rot.

First time planting bulbs

I planted 2 dahlia bulbs in march. I live in SLC Utah. the label said to plant in the spring. The weather was warm and I thought it was a good time to plant. It is now April 21 st and I see nothing growing. I think they got too much moisture. I will check tomorrow morning to see if they rotted. If so, I will buy more bulbs and try again since finding this site. I just joined the garden society and I am excited to learn more. I live outside in the spring and summer as I am obsessed with growing flowers.

Dahlia's in New Hampshire?

Last spring while shopping I discovered a pile of tubers and roots looking desolate on a shelf. My gut told me they were Dahlias. The employees were clueless as there was no bag or instructions. They gave them to me for free!

Once planted I pretty much ignored them until the shoots made me wonder. I asked friends, "Does this look like a weed to you?" I almost dug it up but was patient. I was rewarded with brilliant dinnerplate, golden dahlias!

I had to dig them up again this winter as we went through our normal 60" of snow and many nights below zero. Perhaps I'll be rewarded again when I get them from the basement and plant anew, along with some fresh varieties. I never would've guessed they would be successful in NH.

Wish me luck!


Hello! I live on the coast of VA and have Dahlia bulbs I plan to plant. Should I start them indoors? Or when would I plant them? And do I need to dig them up in the winter?
thank you for your help :)

Are my Dahlia corms/tubers healthy? And how to divide...

I live in Seattle, WA, and we've had a mild, RAINY winter. I was not able to dig my gorgeous dahlias up last fall, although I had intended to. Since I want to move them this year, I have dug them all up, and many of them have up to a dozen new tubers! Some are as large as extra-large baking potatoes, presumably full of water. I've left them out in the rain for a few days so some of the soil will was off, and want to divide them and give some away this afternoon. QUESTIONS: First- Since I began growing them only last year and the tubers I purchased will dry and shriveled, I'm wondering if there is any problem with them being wet and un-shriveled. Will they still grow? Second- I'm not sure how to divide them. I don't think they can all remain attached to the root system. May I assume that as long as they have evidence of an "eye" or two, they will still produce? THANK YOU!

dividing dahlias

Hi, Karen, We are going to recommend that you contact the Snohomish County Dahlia Society not far from where you are. They have lots of information, and shows, and gardens, in addition to specific advice on dividing dahlias here: http://www.scdahlias.org/howto/index.cgi?howto=digdivide

This could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship!


you can divide them they are like potatoes look for the eyes and split between them , then you can grow more.

How much heat and sun can dahlias take?

I live in memphis Tn, my front yard faces south but is open on the east and west - no trees no shade at all. Most flowering things I've planted in front are very short lived due to the intense heat.i just got some regular dahlia bulbs/ tubers and some of the dinner plate ones also will both or either really survive Full sun for 10-12 hours and the southern heat that comes with it? Thanks foe your advice!!

dinner plates in sun

These do best where there is at least 8 hours of direct sun. However, if you have concerns, check the packaging or even the source from which you go the bulbs, Cyndi.

Dahlia care in Wine Country, CA

Some dahlias surprised me when they bloomed in the yard at my new house. They've done well even though I ignore them other than watering. I bought several more beautiful plants and now I want to do the right thing. The San Francisco Bay area is zone 9 so they're probably fine for the winter but will they rot if I leave them in the soil?

Dahlias Zone 9

As long as you stop watering them for the winter, they shouldn’t rot. Dahlias grow as a perennial in your zone, which means they don’t need to be dug up. Once the first hard frost hits, cut back the foliage to 2 to 4 inches above soil level. Then, cover the plants with 3 to 4 inches of mulch–bark chips, pine needles, straw, or compost will work.



I live in Dallas, Tx. Zone 8......is it possible for me to move my dahlia right now or do I have to wait till spring....we have relatively small yard with 8 ft. Fence so the soil doesn't seem to freeze like it does on the outside of fence....

Lifting Dahlias in Dallas

Hi, Lora, We tend to error on the side of being safe, rather than sorry, so would recommend you lift the dahlias now. You can/should replant them between mid-March and May, as your time allows. We’re a little puzzled about soil on one side of the fence freezing and not on the other side; can’t explain it except to think that perhaps the unfrozen side is the south side and gets all the sunshine and the other side is blocked. Still, you can’t fool Mother Nature—or fence her in, so lift for the life of your dahlias.

I live in zone 8 I would like

I live in zone 8 I would like to plant Dahlis next year, what would be a month when this can be done. It does get pretty hot in Amite, La. July, Aug.and ?September. are our hottest months. I would greatly appreciate your suggestion.


I read that Dalias can be left in soil over the winter in zone 8, but I could not find a zone map, so here is my question. Can I leave my Dalias in in Brooklyn NY?

Few Flowers on Dahlias

I grow Dahlias in the same bed every year, and they do well, whether new tubers or replanted. We get plenty of Sun, a bit in the early morning then all the rest of the day after noon.
This year, I planted, indoors, in pots as I usually do, but a bit late.
I got good growth but few flowers, until late season.
This summer was hot: did they stop flowering because of the heat ?
I use a soaker hose on them regularly to make sure they water to the roots. Too much water?
Or is it the soil. I usually plant bulbs in the fall, for spring bloom, but also had a bad year because the mice/chipmunks found them. Is that the problem?
I usually amend the soil and have a good tilth, in what was clay soil: I've added sand, composted manure, and peat over the years, to get it to this friable state, but did not add anything this year.
It's a puzzle as the short varieties just did not bloom, the taller bigger sizes were tall, but very few flowers and small.
Lastly, I added a small amount of 10:10:10 when planting, but no more until late after I saw few flowers. Then I added a liquid 0:10:10 fertiliser


I planted a dahlia this year from seed, and when I dug it up today there were the tubers.
Is it possible to save them for next year?
Should I deal with them the same way as for dahlias that are planted from tubers?

Dahlia experiment

I planted my dahlias in pots this year (from MN). After a hard frost, I am going to cut them down to the dirt and place the pot, with roots in soil, in the garage or similar space. Then in the spring I will set them out, after frost has passed. I thought this would be a good experiment. My father used to dig them up and put them in vermiculite and store them in the garage in a tube with a cover. He had beautiful dahlias in the spring. I don't want to go through all that fuss, so introducing a new experiment. What are your thoughts? Thanks!

Dahlia Experiment

Experimenting can be fun, but we suggest doing so with just a few of your tubers, the rest should be taken out of the soil. You want them to be cool and dry. The soil will have moisture in it, which could cause the dahlias to rot.


when to plant dahlias for best results--Are they bulbs?


Dahlias are tubers. They should be planted in the early spring after the threat of frost has passed. In cold climates, they should be dug up in the fall and stored in a cool dry place like a garage. They can’t withstand freezing temperatures. In warm climates, they can stay in the ground year-round.

Dahlia in partial sun or filtered sunlight?

My balcony is very bright and hot almost the whole day but it recieves only filtered sunlight and no direct sunlight due to a building nearby.Does dahlia grow and bloom good in my balcony? I am from India where it is hot almost the whole year except for few days of winter and rainy seasons.

Growing Dahlias

Actually it sounds like you have the ideal conditions for growing container dahlias. They should do quite well.

When can I separate and how

When can I separate and how to I separate dahlias plants? Thanks!

Dahlia days

Hi, Tim, Most of the information you need is above—but before you look there, look here for your growing zone: http://www.almanac.com/content/plant-hardiness-zones Click on the map and figure out which zone you are in. Then look above: See the two bullet points in the “Care” section. If you are in or very near to zone 8, for example, you may not need to do anything to your dahlias. Then look at the next section, “Harvest/Storage   Taking Up the Tubers.” (Taking up is also called “lifting,” by the way.) All the steps are there. You should be good to go!

Thanks for your interest in The Old Farmer’s Almanac!


Giant dahlias

Can I move my giant dahlias now while they are in flower as they are beautifully huge.

Moving Dahlias in Bloom

Hi Lynda,

Wait until they have finished flowering to move them. In the meantime, you can do some staking to keep them from flopping over. Use garden stakes and a light twine. Try making a “star” by placing 3 to 5 stakes around the plant, tying twine to one stake and weaving in and out of the plant from stake to stake (wrapping twice around each one) in a star-like pattern. Also, be sure to dead head spent blooms to take some of the weight off.

My wife and I just purchased

My wife and I just purchased our very first dahlia plant and had no knowledge of proper care for it. After reading this site's information, we felt pretty confident about moving ahead.

Super site very pleased to

Super site very pleased to have discovered you xx

Dahilia leaves are yellow

I recently bought a Dahlia from the store that was already blooming, I replanted it in a larger pot and placed it in a spot where is gets morning and early afternoon sun. After the two flowers that had already bloomed started dying, the dahlia leaves started turning yellow and the plant looks like it is dying. There is a bud still on it, but it has not opened. Why is it doing this? Am I watering too much to little? I gave it a little everyday or every other.

Watering Dahlias

It is hard to say for sure, but it could be water related. Dahlias do best with a good weekly soaking. Light surface applications are not sufficient.

Dahlias on leafs

I left my dahlia bulbs in the same pot I had them in last year. They died off,this spring I put them out side some of them came up and are flowering the other pot have nothing. So just now,June 28th I put my hand in the dirt in the pot the bulbs are big and full but on stems or green what is wrong that they are not growing?

Dahlias Not Growing

The “eyes” or growth buds on dahlia tubers occur only in the area that connects with the underground stem. If the tubers break off, the buds are almost always lost and the tubers are worthless, which would explain why they aren’t growing.

Dahila leaves covered with whitish substance

Hi there; my Dahila is in a pot, bought it in mid May, looked great until a week ago I started seeing a white substance coded all the leaves. Also, he guide that came with the plant says it needs a spot that is half shaded. Could you please help me as to how I can revive my plant? Thank you......K.

White Growth on Dahlia

The white substance is probably powdery mildew, a fungus. Though difficult to treat, it will not harm the plant. Get rid of as much contaminated foliage as you can, including anything on the soil surface. Let your plant dry out before giving it a deep watering, then let it dry out again before another deep watering…and so on. Avoid getting the foliage wet–powdery mildew thrives under moist conditions.

Too late to plant?

Is it too late to plant dahlias? I bought some a few weeks ago and haven't had time to plant them until this weekend. Did I miss the boat this year? I'm in Utah County, UT

You likely got them in the

You likely got them in the ground in time. They may bloom later than usual, but that doesn’t seem like a bad thing now does it?

All my dahlias are up and

All my dahlias are up and looking great. Can I cover the area with wood chips or sawdust to keep the weeds down, maybe keeping the wood chips away from the base of the dahlia plant?

Dahalia root planting

Again I planted my root about a month are so ago noting came up so dug it up saw a bunch of white bulbs on it but think I planted it wrong replanted it with the bulbs on top did I do worng because it stil has not broke groound and it is not deep at all. If I did not plant it right how do I plant those white tubers on top are bottom please I am desperate. I live in southern Mississippi it is starting to get kind of warm now so need to do what I have to do very soon. Again like my Peony I followed directions and did not add anything to the soil our soil is really good I think do I need to add any thing to it .Hope can get an answer soon ty

Plant the tubers with the

Plant the tubers with the growing points, or “eyes,” facing up, about 6 to 8 inches deep. The crown should be just above soil level. See more planting advice at the top of this page.


Planted some dahlia plants a bit too early and had a late frost. Will leaves come back this season?

Left a dahlia in the ground

Left a dahlia in the ground over winter thinking it would just die off in the winter (im in NY). But now, i see i have about 5 growing and coming up out of the ground in that same spot...all within inches of each other. Can i dig it up, cut the tubers, separate them and space them out, or is it too late for that. They're the big dinnerplate variety so i think if i leave them like that they'll crowd each other out when they get bigger.


It’s better to divide the

It’s better to divide the roots in the fall after your first frost. Carefully lift the plants and replant them in a bigger pot or in the garden. Add some compost or aged manure to the soil before planting. In the fall dig the dahlias and divive the roots.


How do I find out what my zone is? I live right between Kansas City and St Joseph, Mo

Search in google for: USDA

Search in google for: USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map

Click the first link. Then type in your zip code and it'll tell you.

(i tried pasting the link but this site wont let me)



I dug up dahlias and over wintered them in my basement. When I went to get them they have long shoots on them. What do I do?

Tuber Shoots

I bought some tubers that have about 3 inches of shoot.Can i break them off without hurting plant ob try to plant them the way they are

dahlias too leggy

We live in NH, have had success with dahlias for several years but they flop over and we have too many to provide support. Can we cut them back mid-season or pinch them as they grow to keep them shorter and more self-supporting. They are bright red and reddish foliage, grow to about 2-3 feet before flowering if left alone. Flowers are about 3 inches in full bloom.

droopy dahlias

If we understnad what you mean by pinching, we would be disinclined to do that, as that might mean pinching or cutting off or dead-heading the new flowers.

What you need to do is divide your tubers every three years. Or, in this case, maybe as soon as possible. This will force larger, sturdier plants, thus avoiding flopping specimens. Dividing is best done in spring.


starting Dahlias

I planted my tubers a few weeks ago. They have shot up quite quickly, however the leaves are starting to curl under and the stems are curling down. I can not see any bugs on them and I have not fertilized them yet. I was thinking I should take them out of the pot, give them new soil and cut them back, but I don't know how far I can cut them back without killing them.

how to re-pot the Dahlia? if safe to transfer to other pot

if safe to transfer to other pot

Getting Dahlia's started

I live in Maine and just purchased Dahlia tubers today and I was wondering if I should start them in containers first to establish some growth before placing them into the ground? Living in Maine you normally probably wouldn't start planting flowers until Memorial Day so my thought is to have these Dahlia's have some growth prior to planting. Is this necessary? Your thoughts appreciated. Thank you!

It’s a good idea to start the

It’s a good idea to start the dahlias in pots. This way you can move the pots into the sun and into a sheltered spot if the weather turns cold or nasty. Plant the tubers in deep pots with some good potting soil and keep the soil moist.

how do I know what zone I live in? I am in newburgh ny 1 hou

I live one hour north of nyc. Can I leave the bulbs in over the winter?

Hi Carol, You live in Zone 6a

Hi Carol, You live in Zone 6a: -10F to -5F. See the Plant Hardiness Zone Map here: https://www.almanac.com/content/plant-hardiness-zones

You will need to lift your dahlia tubers to overwinter them.

My Beautiful Purple Dahlia

Last year I planted a Dahlia it started growing in July and bloomed intolerance early Novemberetirement 2015. I did not remove Dahlia plant from the ground. Do you think it will return? I leave in Tennessee .

Hi Alice,

Hi Alice,

It depends on where you live in Tennessee. Dahlias are hardy in USDA zones 8 to 10. In zone 7, they can survive winters with a thick layer of protective mulch.

Container planting

How many clumps are recommended for a 15 inch crock? Is there a general guideline?

Dahlias vary widely in size

Dahlias vary widely in size so there is no standard guideline for spacing. One clump per pot may be best.

Roots but no sprouts?

Hi, I planted loads of tubers in 8" pots in my greenhouse to try and get a jump on the season about 12 days ago. While some of them are beginning to sprout eyes, most of them are growing roots but no eyes yet. How long should eyes take to sprout? Do roots usually start first? I planted the tubers vertically, with the crown peaking out, and I'm wondering if some of those roots are actually eyes and I should have planted horizontally...help!

Don’t worry about how you

Don’t worry about how you planted the tubers in the pots, the shoots will find their way to the surface. Some tubers don’t have eyes (small, raised white, yellow, and sometimes pinkish pimples) and are called blind tubers. These will not grow into a plant.

growing bulbs

I live in NV can I start my bulbs of all sorts in pots inside to get started. If so what is the process?

You can start dahlias in

You can start dahlias in containers indoors. Make sure to use clean pots with draining holes. Fill the pots ⅓ full with a light potting mix, do not use garden soil. Water and then lay the dahlia tubers horizontally on top of the soil. Cover lightly with potting mix. Keep the soil moist but not wet. As the dahlias start to grow fill in with more soil around the new green stems.

Cutting dahlias

What type is knife is better to use when separating

quarry about dehlia

in a country like Pakistan we grow it in December, while the article says the weather is in Summer in USA for Planting, As we can not store it in hot days like May to October.

Winter Storage Alternative

I live in British Columbia where the ground freezes and the Dahlia tubers need to be dug and stored. Unlike what is advised here and in other places, I dig up the ball whole, and place in a bag that can breath, and store in a cool place (40-50°F) until spring and plant. I have been doing this for 35+ years without any adverse effects. Are there any drawbacks to this technique? I don't see any rot, and it keeps the bulbs from shriveling.

Hi! I just read your comment

Hi! I just read your comment and am very interested in your storage technique. My Mom used to have dahlias every year and this is the first year that I have tried to overwinter mine. My Mom used to water the bulbs early in the spring to encourage them to bud. Do you do this? If so, when do you do it? My Mom used to keep the roots in cellar where it was dry and dark and they were absolutely fantastic every year (although a fair amount of work also)! Thanks for your input. Wish me luck....

Centipede larve

I have quite a few different tubers but this year I noticed that I had little hard centipede looking bugs have a meal on the tubers which then stressed them out and then I got attacked by some type of lime green leaf hoppers that I could not get rid of. I really enjoy growing Dahlias and would love to know if anyone has any suggestions on how to rid my dirt of these nuisances and these lime green jumpers. I live in British Columbia and cannot find any info on them at all, and I really do not want another season like this one.

We are not sure what the

We are not sure what the “centipede” bug is. Next year plant the dahlias in a new location or plant them in containers. For the leaf hoppers use a forceful spray with water or soapy water (mix 1 tbsp. liquid soap with 1 quart of water) up to 4 times a week.

Pill bugs

Pill bugs resemble centipedes and eat roots.

Soap? Or Detergent?

By "liquid soap" do you mean dish or liquid laundry detergent? These are not really "soap". Chemically they are quite different from "soap" but people often use the term "soap" when referring to them. Or do you mean some kind of genuine liquid soap?

DIY Garden Insecticide

By liquid soap, we prefer a castile liquid soap, one that does not contain additives such as fragrances, moisturizers, or additional chemicals)

Dahlias in the tropics?

I've just gotten into gardening and I found dahlias really attractive. I bought some seeds, specifically the Dahlia variabilis 'Early Bird' variety of dahlias. Thinking that they'll grow in the tropics because of their Mexican origins (I mean, it is hot there right?), I thought that they'd grow. They haven't sprouted yet, I just planted them, but I keep on getting that bugging feeling that they might not grow and flower.

I just need to know, will they grow AND thrive here where most days have temperatures soaring up to 30°C+ daily, dropping ever so slightly at night to about 27°C, always humid and with very frequent rain?

I really hope they do, cause most tropical plants are just so boring (in my opinion).

Thanks for your reply in advance.

Very interesting article on

Very interesting article on Dahlia's. I have around 6 Dahlia tubes and they were showing an abundant of flowers during the summer.
My question is (a)should I remove them from the ground? (b) and if so, where should I cut the stalks? and (c) when is the best time to replant them?

Look forward to any answers that might be forthcoming.

Regards - Alan from Cardiff, Wales

So I live in North Reno,

So I live in North Reno, probably about a zone 6 or 7. My Dahlias are just about to bloom. First time all summer, and i planted them in pots in the spring. Can I just bring them indoors for the winter? Is it better to dig them up and store them? Don't want to give up on them because they are a beautiful variety!

When frost threatens you can

When frost threatens you can bring them indoors to enjoy for a little longer. They may blossom for a while but dry house conditions and low light are not conducive to blooming and they will start to die down. When that happens cut off the tops, stop watering, and pull them out of the pot to dry. Store for the winter in a cool, dark place.

My dahlias seem to be going

My dahlias seem to be going dormant even though it is only mid-September. I have been having trouble with mites. Is it ok to dig them now?

It's better to leave them in

It's better to leave them in the ground as long as possible. We suggest that you wait for the first fall frost and then dig them up and discard the brown stalks.

i have large tubers mine have

i have large tubers mine have all bloomed out but now i am seeing new growth coming out on them is this normal or do i need to do something. Fall is coming and i would be digging them up and storing them for the winter but i am not sure what to do now because of the new growth

Hi Steve, Leave the dahlias

Hi Steve,
Leave the dahlias in the garden until the tops have turned brown from the first fall frost. Then dig the tubers and remove the frostbitten tops before storing.

I used to have a tuberous

I used to have a tuberous dahlia plant and I had it in the shade and from there it would grow. But wehn i moved it to full sun, it started to lapie back and fade away , then I put it back in the shade and it got back up and became erect and slender. In early june, the dahlia plant had died, what happened to it that made it become accustomed to shade. Also, when I mean shade I put in my patio.

I have a dwarf dahlia plant

I have a dwarf dahlia plant that has been blooming periodically all summer. It has been very hot in Southern California the past few weeks and my dahlias have dried out and now the whole plant looks dried up and dead. Is there a way to save it or is it time to dig it up and plant a new one?

Hi Jen, Cut the dried stems

Hi Jen,
Cut the dried stems and leaves off the plant and dig up the tuber. If the tuber looks OK and not dried up you can replant it and it will grow new leaves after a resting period. Make sure to water it frequently if the weather stays dry.

I bought left over tubers

I bought left over tubers from the store. They have not been planted this year and I'm sure in the north east it is too late to do so. Is there anything I should do differently in storing them this winter? Any suggestions?

Dahlias need a lot of light

Dahlias need a lot of light to grow and bloom, so planting in house over the winter is not really an option. Store the bulbs in paper bags in a cool (but not freezing) dark place. It's very possible that they will dry out and be of no value, but what have you got to lose?
We've all done this at one time or another. . . Next season, buy at full price, plant both the new and old tubers and see what happens. That way, you won't be waiting another whole season for their beautiful display.

Is it to late in the year to

Is it to late in the year to plant, I live in Phoenix Arizona, and the temperature is around 110

Yes, it is too late to plant

Yes, it is too late to plant dahlias in Phoenix. Tuberous Dahlias and Begonias are to be planted in Early Feburary, to be Viable.

A friend planted white

A friend planted white dahlias from seed. Dug up and stored the tubers over winter (we're in PA) and planted the following spring - but the blooms were yellow instead of white. I also got asked that question at a local Master Gardener Q&A so I know it's happened more than just the once. Any insight?

Hi I have the dahlias bulb.

Hi I have the dahlias bulb. They have been coming up every year, but for some reasons this year when I see new sprouts I water them everyday. Now all the sprouts dried up and died. Did I overwater my dahlias? How often should I water them now? I live in Washington and this year the weather is quite warm

The tubers may rot if the

The tubers may rot if the plants have been overwatered. It is suggested that you water dahlias deeply 2 to 3 times a week. You can gently dig up a tuber and see if it is rotten or if it has any new growth showing. Water only when the soil is very dry and see if you can get some new growth started.

Help please! My dahlias that

Help please! My dahlias that are about 4 feet tall with a thick stalk just got blown over and broken off above the soil by a storm in Wisconsin. Am I able to replant at all or will it regrow? Thanks in advance.

There will still be regrowth

There will still be regrowth from the dahlia tubers and roots left behind. With the broken stalks, you could try to take a cutting of one of the growth tip branches, dip the end in a rooting hormone and plant in soil.
As you may know, dahlias do not have a long tap root and will get blown over in the wind. Staking dahlias is essential. Stake next to the tuber hole when you plant so that you don't later ruin the tuber. Stakes should be 4 to 5 feet tall. If the stalk breaks, it can not be replanted.

Thanks for your help. I have

Thanks for your help. I have learned my lesson and from now on will stake them!

I live in Woodinville WA. I

I live in Woodinville WA. I failed at storing my dahlia tubers and all 16 didn't make it through the winter. It is now mid-June and I bought some beautiful Dahlia plants at a nursery- already in bloom in 1 gallon pots. My question is whether or not I can plant them in their forever home, in the ground?
thank you.

I am trying my first planting

I am trying my first planting of dahlias - and have a quick question. I thought I did everything right... Good soil - good tubers etc. I planted them about 5 weeks ago and a few have barely started to sprout above ground but that's it. Most of them have not even broken the soil yet. Here in Seattle we've had a very hot spring - many days above high 70s and 80s - but all of that I have read says don't water them. I have watered once or twice just because I was worried but have not tried to water very often or for very long. Should I just be patient or did I do something wrong?

Hi Jennifer, Dahlias usually

Hi Jennifer,
Dahlias usually take about 8 weeks from planting to bloom. Your dahlias will start growing faster as soon as they break ground. When you see the new growth you can start watering a bit more.

I had planted some dahlias

I had planted some dahlias last summer that were so beautiful so I dug up the tubes and stored them in a bag of moss. Well I accidentally thew them out and I must not have dug up all the tubes cause I now have a great big dahlia growing there now, it has"nt bloomed yet but its getting ready! I am shocked given the harsh winter we had here in northwest Ohio.I have my dahlias next to my hibiscus and the old stems from them help support my Dahlia. I also have them planted where there was an old tree trunk that I have dug out and the wood from the roots and tree make the soil a perfect spot for any plant, that spot will grow anything. It is very light and airy. Good luck on your Dahlia.

I am in MI and purchased

I am in MI and purchased dahlias in full bloom and replanted them in a planter for my porch a week ago. The weather has been sunny in 77-80 degree weather. Over the weekend it was sunny, then it rained, then the sun came out, then it rained again. The temp dropped to mid hi 40s low 50s. When I check on my dahlia, a few of them were brown in the center and the petals had blown off, the leaves were still green. What should I do?

If I send someone a picture

If I send someone a picture can you tell me what type of Dahlias I have.

Send your picture to us here:

Send your picture to us here: AlmanacEditors@yankeepub.com We don't have a research service but we'll take a look!

Hi, Can you bring Dahlias


Can you bring Dahlias inside after the summer and continue to grow them in the Fall through the Spring, etc.

We've never grown dahlias

We've never grown dahlias indoors because they need a lot of sunlight to bloom.
The normal thing is to allow them to die back naturally (do not cut them down!), remove the foliage, and let them dry in the sun for a day. Then brush off the dry soil and store them for the winter.
Plant or pot the following March after dividing the tubers so that each one has an "eye" or bud.

Hi, I live in S. California,

Hi, I live in S. California, Los Angeles.
up until 3 days ago, the weather was 80-85,
but last 2 days we had plenty of rain!
Today I purchased a potted dahlia, from a nursery. It is yellow 8" diameter & 40" height.
-Which part of the yard do I have to keep it?
-How often should I water?
-Should I plant it in the garden or keep it in the pot. it has plenty of blooms.
- It requires sunny or shady?

Thank you,

Hi Emiloo, You can keep the

Hi Emiloo,
You can keep the dahlia in a container if you like. Dahlias need lots of sun so place it in the sunniest spot you have. Please see our planting and care advice above for best results.

I have a dinner plate dahlia

I have a dinner plate dahlia that just sprouted and I accidentally broke it. It only had one sprout. My question is will it get anymore new growth, or did I ruin it?

If the dahlia tuber is big

If the dahlia tuber is big enough it will send up new sprouts.

I'm in the Greater Pacific

I'm in the Greater Pacific Northwest Washington area and I left my Dahlias in the ground over winter, it's now late April and I just started to dig up a few plants to divide but I'm starting to wonder if it's too late to be doing this since most of the plants are starting to grow out of the ground. I don't want to shock the plants so I'm thinking I should just leave them alone.

mahendra dev Durham NC usa

mahendra dev Durham NC usa

in my enthusiasm after my return from a visit to india I went to garden center and purchased 7 packs of different dahlia and planted them in ground in first week of April and covered them with soil . I have planted dahlias in past and they are flourishing.
April gets lot of rain and temp stays in 60 -70 during day 40 50 at night. None of the new one have sprouted whereas old plants have come up with leaves.
WILL TUBERS will rot or come to life when in may temp rises to 75-82? I should have known better but mistake do occur

please advise

It is better to wait and

It is better to wait and divide the dahlias in the fall. You can divide the tubers in the early spring before they start growing. It's important to let the cut surfaces dry out before planting back into the soil.

I'm from Pennsylvania, and I

I'm from Pennsylvania, and I took out my Dahlia's in the fall after the leaves started to go. The tubers looked good. I put them in a paper bag in the basement for winter. Now I'm ready to plant again but the tubers are all shriveled up and look awful. I don't know if there is any hope but I did put one in the ground with what's left of the stem up. Is there any hope? They really looked dead and there are no eyes on them.

Hi Barry, It sounds like your

Hi Barry,
It sounds like your tubers dried up over the winter. It's best to dig the dahlias in the fall after the leaves have turn black from frost. The tubers will then have had time to prepare for winter and will less likely dry out. The temperature for winter storage should be 40 to 45 degrees. If it is warmer the tubers will dry. You can plant the tubers and maybe you'll get one of them to grow.

I'm curious how did your

I'm curious how did your plant turn out? Im also from PA,so I'm happy to hear that you were able to plant them the year before. This is my first year for planting just bulb plants. so we'll see how I do.

I want to grow dahlias at sea

I want to grow dahlias at sea level in Maui (Kihei), would this be possible? If so please advise how....

i live in moses lake

i live in moses lake washington and i was wanting to know if i have to dig the dahlias up in the winter also how tall will the dinner plate dahlias get also when i planted them the box said plant 3in deep was that write or wrong? will the grow flower this year or the next year

Dahlia eyes heat-damaged in

Dahlia eyes heat-damaged in SW Colorado.
I was pre-sprouting my dahlias, they had just small eyes showing. They got very hot, out in a high tunnel, and all the sprouts and eyes got crispy black. Will they recover and re-sprout or do I need to start over with new tubers?

Hi Marje, The tubers may

Hi Marje,
The tubers may still sprout new growth. Plant them in soil in a warm spot (in a pot or in the ground) and water only if the soil is dry.

I work in a nursery in Napa

I work in a nursery in Napa California. I took home a red and yellow dahlia plant that partly broke on the main stem. I am trying to help it get stronger again and I believe I have over watered it. The flower shriveled and the petals turned dark. The leaves are dragging down.The two other blooms are drooping. I have it in the plastic container it came in. It is March 29. I understand that it is too early to have one, but I am trying to save it. Is it done for or is there a way I can save it? I thought it needed shade but I realize it is full sun.

Hi Krystina, Plant the dahlia

Hi Krystina,
Plant the dahlia in a bigger pot with new fresh well-draining soil. Only water if the soil is bone dry. Place it in full sun.

I live in Alaska and took my

I live in Alaska and took my dahlias out of storage and this year with our warm winter most of my dahlias have growth on them some very long stems. I winter them in a crawl space in boxes with wood chips. Do I plant them in pots as they are or do I do cut back or cut off the stem before planting. I start my dahlias in pots in my house until they can be potted outside for the summer. Thank you

Plant the tubers in the pots

Plant the tubers in the pots without cutting the stems. When the dahlias start growing and show some leaves you can decide if you want to prune the stem.

Hi I live in North West

I live in North West England.
I have several pots of dahlias which produced beautiful blooms last year. When they finished I cut back the dead foliage to the soil level.
Is there anything I should be doing to produce good blooms this July?

Live in northern MI planting

Live in northern MI planting zone 4
New to planting dahlias this year
Should I dig up my dahlias in the fall and replant in the spring

Your winters are too cold for

Your winters are too cold for dahlia tubers in the ground. Dig them up in late fall after the tops have turned brown from your first frost.

I purchased 8 Dahlia it's

I purchased 8 Dahlia it's March and we still have snow. I read some where that you can start your Dahlia inside that transplant them outside in May if so how should it be down.

Plant your bulbs in a flower

Plant your bulbs in a flower pot make sure the stolk is up and bulbs are down. I'm growing mine in side now as well , put the pot next to a window with full light
Transplant when no frost will be present

I live 2 hours from Toronto

I live 2 hours from Toronto Canada I purchased 8 Dahlia today it is March 7 we have lots of snow still. I read somewhere that you can start them early in the house then transplant them into your garden in May.

Hi Debra, Yes, you can start

Hi Debra,
Yes, you can start dahlias in containers. If you plant them in big containers you don't have to transplant them into the ground. See more helpful tips at www.dahlia.org/index.php?page=...

Hi I live in northern India

Hi I live in northern India today I brought a dahlias seeds and I have no idea about planting dahlias from seed please help out

Dahlias are easy to start

Dahlias are easy to start from seed and they should germinate in 5 to 7 days. Use a good light potting mix and move the seedlings into bigger pots as they grow. Dahlias started from seed will bloom this summer but the plants may be smaller than dahlias planted from tubers.

My dahlias never blackened.

My dahlias never blackened. Should I just cut them back?

Oh...I'm in southern Texas,

Oh...I'm in southern Texas, zone 8/9.

Hi Leslie, Yes, cut any old

Hi Leslie,
Yes, cut any old stems back to 6 to 8 inches tall.

I live in Southern Washington

I live in Southern Washington and was told to move my potted Dahlias into the garage for the winter which I have done. Do I need to cut them back and do I continue to water or do I dig them out, let them dry and repot next spring?

Hi Shirley, You can leave the

Hi Shirley, You can leave the dahlias in the pot if you keep them in a cool dark garage. Cut off any brown stems and leaves. Only water occasionally during the winter months. Or, you can dig them up and dry the tubers before storing. See our storing advice on this page.

I am going to attempt to grow

I am going to attempt to grow my own dahlias for my wedding in early September (labor day weekend) and I live in NH (sorry, not sure what zone # that is). Should I still plant in April to get started or should I wait a bit - not sure how long they take for first blooms or if they get better after each trimming?

Hi Ryane, Start the dahlias

Hi Ryane,
Start the dahlias as soon as possible in the spring, after your last spring frost. The longer the growing season the bushier the plants will get and the more flowers you will have. Remember to start cutting flowers to produce more buds and flowers. Good luck!!

Thank you! This answered my

Thank you! This answered my question exactly -- I have a wedding in August, and my dinner plate dahlias are already blooming in mid-July (beautifully!) and I want to make sure I have some for late August. I will cut them now and hope they produce more!

This was my first year

This was my first year planting dahlias and wow was I impressed with the amazing flowers and leafs these guys produce, today I decided it was time to dig out the bulbs and while doing so accidentally I cut the stem right from the bulb on one of the plants I had I decided to continue took as much dirt off and brought them inside to dry... I hope that by cutting the stem from the bulb the bulb will still survive for next year
I have one question tho: there were many (8) little individual bulbs around the big Bulbs will those work for next year? Thanks

The stems should be cut back

The stems should be cut back to a height of about 6″ before storing the tubers. The one tuber with no stem should be OK. You can divide the tubers next spring before planting. Even the smaller tubers will grow into beautiful plants.

I have read to dig up the

I have read to dig up the tubers, shake off soil and lay out to dry before packing them away for winter. I live in CT. It is November. Temps get down in the 20's at night. I have the tubers spread out on an outside table to dry. First, is it too cold at night to leave them outside? How do I know they are "dry" and ready for packing up?

Hi Katy, It is too cold to

Hi Katy,
It is too cold to leave the tubers outside. Bring them indoors to dry. You can tell that they are dry when there are no more wet spots on the tubers and any dirt left on them is dry.

Thanks :)

Thanks :)

I live in Southern California

I live in Southern California where it is still 85-90 degrees in November. Will there be a dormant time where I need to cut down my dahlia plants for the winter or can I leave them full grown since the weather never really drops below 50? This is the first year I'm growing plants and many instructions talk about first frost but we don't really have anything like that in SoCal so I'm not sure what to do with my plants in the "winter".

In southern California you

In southern California you can wait until December to dig up your tubers and keep them stored until planting time again in early spring. Please see link below for some good advice.

I am in the Pittsburgh area.

I am in the Pittsburgh area. We had a killing frost the other night. I believe it was three nights ago. My Dahlias all died back and the foliage and turned black. So, today I cut back the stalks. I hadn't read all this yet. I dug up four of the plants tubers today after I cut the stalks, I never let these four, "eye up". They are huge tubers much larger than the original tuber I planted in the Spring. They also broke apart a bit, I mean the clump of tubers broke apart into separate tubers. I stopped digging them up when I realized, I really didn't know what I was doing. So, now, I have all of these healthy looking tubers but none of them have eyes (or new growth). Should I put them in a box and cover them with soil? Not sure what to do. I will wait at least a week to dig up the others. They are all pretty healthy looking with roots but no green. Also, Does it damage them if they break apart from the clump? Help!

Hi Hilary, Dig up the tubers

Hi Hilary,
Dig up the tubers and shake off as much soil as you can. Let the tubers dry before storing in a box or paper bags. You can wrap the tubers in newspaper or cover them with some light materials. See our suggestions under Harvesting/Storing on this page. Don't worry about pieces that break off. Store all the pieces and tubers and next spring when you take them out you'll see the "eyes" new growth.

I moved I to a house in WA

I moved I to a house in WA and there is a huge garden of Dahlias. They all fell over due to high winds. Then then started growing up from the flat stalks. I tried to stake and tie them up to bo avail. Did I just kill all of the plants by cutting them down and preparing for winter?

It's recommended to cut

It's recommended to cut dahlia stems back after a frost has hit the plants (the stems will turn brown). Depending on where you live in WA you may or may not need to dig the tubers for winter storage. If you live in the warmer regions of WA you can cover the plants with a thick layer of straw or other mulch. If you are unsure dig the tubers and follow our advice on this page for winter storage.

I'm in Oregon and we have had

I'm in Oregon and we have had high winds. My dahlias (over 100) are heavy with flowers and foliage. I usually winter them over and we haven't had a frost yet so I haven't cut them back. Right now, our weather is about 50-60 degrees--unseasonably warm-- but the wind and rain are here now.

Can I carefully lift out the tubers and not disturb the roots the ones that are tilting from the wind and replant now? Some I was hoping to move anyway. Or would it be better to cut back the foliage a bit until a November frost (if we get one this year)? Thanks for your help.

My dahlia bulbs were

My dahlia bulbs were mistakenly pulled out much earlier than they should've been, still all green, healthy, & covered w/blossoms. I don't ever pull them out 'till well into Nov. as I live by the ocean & frost comes later to us.I have no idea what to do w/all the pulled clumps to keep them safe for next planting season in May. I am afraid they will either dry out, or rot from sitting in too warm an atmosphere, there is no where to store them "cooly" for now. What do I do? Should I put them back in the ground for a month? I went through all the comments and couldn't find a problem similar to mine. HELP! I have quite a few bulbs @ stake here & would hate to lose even one. Thanks! Paula J Bolis

Hi Paula, Put them back in

Hi Paula,
Put them back in the ground if you can. Otherwise put them in big containers with soil and leave them outside until you have your first frost. Then dig them up and store as usual. Good luck!

I did not know what I had and

I did not know what I had and I basically dumped a bunch of bulbs in a spot in my garden and turns out they are dahlias. However I did this in late sept and now I have these beautiful blooms and we are expecting frost. I'm in Ohio. Is there pictures with instructions on how to dig up and store these guys? I think some i might have planted upside down:-( I'm new at gardening.

Congrats on your beautiful

Congrats on your beautiful dahlias. We don't have pictures at this time, but here's what  you do: Allow the tops to be nipped by the frost. That shuts everything down. Then dig and clean them by hand, but don’t use water, and dust each one with powdered sulfur for insect and disease protection (ask your garden center). Store the dahlias in paper bags in a dark, cool location that will not freeze. Plant them again in the spring when the danger of frost is past.

Your general article said to

Your general article said to dig the tuber before frost, but your reply said to allow nip. ? I am in zone 5.

Hi, Bob, Dahlias may be hardy

Hi, Bob, Dahlias may be hardy to USDA Zone 8. There they can be left in the ground to overwinter. In areas that get frost, including most parts of Zone 5, a killing frost—or a touch of frost—can help the bulb to shut down/go dormant. Foliage should be cut back to 2 to 4 inches above ground and lifting and separating should be completed.
We'll review the notes above. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

where do i find the seeds

where do i find the seeds once the flower dies off and can it be rooted from a cutting??
thank you Beverly Shivers

Allow the flower to dry

Allow the flower to dry thoroughly. The flower head can then be "harvested" for seeds. Simply pull the dry flower head apart and separate the seeds. You will quickly recognize them. I grew plants from seeds last year and developed 25 plants that all flowered throughout the summer. It was just an experiment but what great results. I will be digging them up soon and am anxious to see what sort of tuber development I have. Good luck to you.

I am from Exeter Pa 18654.

I am from Exeter Pa 18654. Please clarify. Should you remove before 1st frost or after 1st frost. 2nd after winter storage should you seperate tubers before spring planting. I usually wait till June 1st

Hi Edward, You can wait to

Hi Edward,
You can wait to dig the tubers after the first frost. It is OK to divide the tubers before planting in the spring. Just make sure that each piece has a couple of "eyes" or buds.

It is mid-September, and I

It is mid-September, and I just bought some dahlia tubers on clearance at my local grocery store. We live in a zone 6 area, and it is getting cooler earlier than it usually does here this year. Should I plant them outside anyway..or in a pot? Not sure how much time they will have to grow before it is too cold. Or, would they stand a better chance if I wait until spring (late May?) Thanks for your time!

The dahlias will not have

The dahlias will not have time to bloom this fall. Store them in a dry dark place over the winter months and plant them in the spring (containers or in the garden).

Some of my dahlia blossoms

Some of my dahlia blossoms rot before they open completely. They have not been overwatered. What could be the cause and how do I fix it?

If it's not a watering issue,

If it's not a watering issue, you most probably have thrips (small bugs) eating your dahlia buds. If you store your bulbs over the winter, first dust them with powdered sulfur. Then spray with Orthene, an insecticide, as new growth begins next season. That will get rid of the thrips.

I live on long isl . I

I live on long isl . I planted dalias from tubes in April I have beutiful purple flowers all summer and fall .

Hello I'm moving into a new

Hello I'm moving into a new house throughout the month of September /October in Anaheim ca, I would like to plant dahlias out front as I've always wanted these beautiful flowers, is this a good time to plant? How do I start ?

Dahlias are indeed a stunning

Dahlias are indeed a stunning flower. In your area, plant in the spring, preferable after April 1 so the soil's not too cold.

Hi, We are from India.We

We are from India.We purchased Dahlia tubers in Bangalore.How can we store the tubers to grow in the next year(may)
Thank u.

I just bought a house, and

I just bought a house, and now I Would like to move my dahlias to my new location. can I dig them up while they are flowering and will they survive if I replant them? thank you Ron Rudolf

This is so seldom done, we're

This is so seldom done, we're going to suggest this: Dig them with a fair bit of soil around the tubers and as little disturbance to the roots as you can manage, and put them into suitably large pots. If the flowers are mature or just past that stage, clip them. As you no doubt know, tubers should be lifted in fall, so you will have that part done. After the first frost, prepare them as usuall for the winter respite. Plant as usual next year.

My Dahlia bloomed from March

My Dahlia bloomed from March to May and then all the blooms fell off and it now is just a green bush. It's pretty but is not blooming anymore. Is there something wrong with it? I live in eastern Washington State. Thank you.

We are not sure if there are

We are not sure if there are any issues, however, we can advise that pinching encourages larger blooms. Also, notice that dahlias send out three buds; if you remove the two side buds and keep the center bud, you will have better quality blooms.

Just purchased 6 Dahlia bulbs

Just purchased 6 Dahlia bulbs on clearance, it's late July in Wisconsin. should I plant them now and dig them up again, or should I take them out of the plastic and try to winter them already.

You can plant them in the

You can plant them in the ground. If your area has a warm Sept/Oct, you will be rewarded with a beautiful dahlia display.

My dahlias started off

My dahlias started off growing well. Then stopped growing and have not flowered. They have been this way for a month.

If the plant and the buds

If the plant and the buds appear healthy, the most common reasons that dahlias do not bloom are: 1) they are not getting enough direct sunlight or 2) they are getting too much nitrogenous fertilizer.

Hi,I bought a dahlia plant in

Hi,I bought a dahlia plant in a plastic pot from my local greenhouse and planted it in a flower bed...it did beautifully and I had lots of blooms. But one day my dog snapped the whole thing off right above ground level. The foliage was a dark purple color but know I think I have a new sprout coming up except it's green. Is that my dahlia coming back to life or just weeds? Thank you!

Hello; I get a lot of white

I get a lot of white spots on the leaves of my dahlia plants. Should I worry?

Your dahlias may have powdery

Your dahlias may have powdery mildew. Remove the leaves with white spots and check with your local nursery or garden store for an antifungal agent.

I have gorgeous new dahlia

I have gorgeous new dahlia growth/foliage including buds on one plant! I didn't realize until now that deer eat dahlias and I have the majority of mine planted outside a fenced-in area. Can I move the dahlias without causing trauma or do I just keep my fingers crossed Bambi doesn't dine on them?

Try sprinkling Milorganite

Try sprinkling Milorganite around the plants. Deer don't like the smell and avoid the plants. This has worked well for me with my dahlias, hostas, and other deer magnets.

I have not planted my dahlias

I have not planted my dahlias this year due to heavy rainfall, can I store them over this blooming season and upcoming winter to replant next spring? Will they not survive if they skip a planting this year?

Do the best you can to get

Do the best you can to get them into the ground. Survival as you describe is quite risky.

I bought a hanging basket of

I bought a hanging basket of dahlia's (my late mother-in-love's name, by the way) and nothing I have read tells me what to do with the spent blooms. Do I pull the brown part out of the still green holder or do I trim the stem down or what?

I bought some Dahlia tubers,

I bought some Dahlia tubers, along with many spring planting bulbs, on sale from Menards 2 years ago at the end of the season. Thought I would wait until the following spring to plant, but didn't have time to plant anything last year. This year, I dug out all the tubers I had stored in our basement and am set to plant, but all the bulbs and tubers look to be completely dried out. Don't want to waste my time planting them if they won't produce. Is it possible for them to still produce?

It doesn't sound promising,

It doesn't sound promising, Tasha. Wrinked and/or shriveled tubers have missed their opportunity.

I really, really want to grow

I really, really want to grow dahlias for my mid-March wedding in Florida (Zone 9b) - I know they're not very cold hardy, and I saw that they should start blooming around 8 weeks after they're planted (assuming planted from tubers or seed?), but do you think it's possible to start them in early January indoors in Florida with grow lamps and then move them outdoors (in pots probably so if it does drop in temp they can move back inside) once it warms up - what temperature would outside need to be at to get them going?
Thanks so much!

This is a relatively

This is a relatively complicated process (that is, relative to planting in ground) but apparently quite do able.
Gardeners in Alaska do it, as shown in pictures here (http://www.alaskamastergardene...); note that specific lighting details are not provided.
Gardeners in Nove Scotia do it: More info on lighting is here https://sites.google.com/site/...
And a gardener in Colorado does it and provides a lot of detail here: http://www.dahlias.net/seabox/...
Hope this helps!

I purchased a dahlia from my

I purchased a dahlia from my local nursery. It is 1 1/2 ft tall and established. It came in a plastic pot. I wanted to get it in to a bigger clay pot for the summer. When transplanting the small roots stuck to the sides of the pot so I had to pull it from the plastic pot. It is now living in a clay pot plenty big enough, in the sun and has been watered. It is NOT happy. Is it in "shock"? and will it come back. I fear I have done something wrong. Thanks in advance for your advice.

The dahlia is probably still

The dahlia is probably still in shock from being transplanted and moved outside into a sunny location. Wait a few days and see how it is doing.

Hello there. I was wondering

Hello there. I was wondering if I could trouble you for some advice. I am attempting to grow flowers for my friends wedding and need all the help i can get. i bought dahlias from a local farm. They were in four packs and were about one 1/2 feet-2 feet tall and some were just starting to bloom. I am reading that you have to plant dahlias two feet apart at least. Is this true for the dahlias I bought, or is this more when you start them from tubers....

I have two options. One is a raised bed which is only about four feet by four feet and seven inches deep. The other is to plant dahlias in five gallon buckets. I was thinking one to each bucket though right now that seems insane to me. If I used the raised bed I'd space them about a foot apart, but don't want to crowd them.

Any advice you can provide is greatly appreciated. I would like to at least have some flowers as filler for the wedding.

Another thought: Consider the

Another thought: Consider the size of the flowers when determing the space between dahlias, and that can be gleaned from the variety of the plant. Ask the folks at the local farm what type of dahlias they sold. "Dinner plate" dahlias produce very large blooms, for example, and would benefit from a lot of space between each.

Hi, Mig, Your dahlia could be

Hi, Mig, Your dahlia could be in shock so give it a little time. Ideally the soil in the "new" pot is a combination of sterilzed potting soil (you don't want to contribute pest or problems to the mix), peat moss, and perlite. And you have set the tuber 1 to 2 inches deep, horizontally in the pot. And the tuber is not soaking wet. And it should get sun.
Hope this helps—

My dahlias looked healthy (I

My dahlias looked healthy (I planted them early this spring) but after a few days of rain, one of them is wilting. I checked the soil and it is still wet from when the rain stopped about 2 days ago. I live in Tampa Fl and the plants are somewhat shaded from the heat of the afternoon sun. Should I be worried and what can I do to keep my dahlias (dinner plate) healthy? I've seen them sort of wilt a little bit then pops right back up.

Dahlias do best in

Dahlias do best in well-drained soil and don't like "wet feet". You can try to amend the soil with compost to make it drain better.

I just bought several boxes

I just bought several boxes of Dahlias from the Grocery Outlet in Petaluma for $5.99 each. The brand is TotalGreen and they are supposedly from Holland. They are enclosed in black plastic bags. I cut one of these bags open and see that the tuber has lots of spindly growth--maybe 4 white shoots about 16 inches long to 8 inches long a piece and they look like white asparagus, extremely anemic, but the actual tubers are ok, meaning not rotted or dried out. Should I return them? Should I pinch all this off and stick them in the ground. If so how would I know which direction to plants them in? The colors on the box looked fabulous but if they are too compromised to bloom this year, I am not interested in keeping them. Any advise is appreciated.

Hi Geneva, Plant the tubers

Hi Geneva,
Plant the tubers in the ground as soon as possible. Don't cut the shoots. This is normal and these are the beginnings of the new growth. The shoots are white because they have been enclosed in a black bag and not seen light.

Should those shoots be plant

Should those shoots be plant above ground of below?

I live in zone 5 and my

I live in zone 5 and my sister wants to try for dahlias at her September wedding. When is the best time to plant for mid-September blooms?

Hi Angela, Plant the dahlias

Hi Angela,
Plant the dahlias early June for late summer blooms. When they start blooming keep cutting the flowers and the plants will grow bigger and bushier and produce more blooms.

thank you for the response;

thank you for the response; this is very helpful!

I now have a weelbarrow full

I now have a weelbarrow full of dahlia tubors from 3 years of growing. Started with about 30 from my mother. Both she and I have had the same problem. The colored ones seem to all become white in subsequest years. We have added new varieties and they all seem to eventually become the same variety. Are there more dominant varieties / colors that take over the genetics? By the way, the all seem to become white as years go by. Odd

I planted I think 9 clumps of

I planted I think 9 clumps of dahlias , in several pots , never doing this before in was confused by different instructions , I did use some small pots but mostly larger one but not huge pots , I read some where where it said about 2 inches of soil on top , then. I watered them , now I read something different ,I shouldn't have watered them , I live in florida on west coast , I used the miracle grow plant soil as down here the soil is sand n I never see flowers in ground mostly grown in pots ! I went to a lot of trouble , but now I'm concerned that I did everything wrong ! I guess I'll just have to wait and see , as I don't want to dig them all up again, I'm a young 75 but I wanted some easy I know I need or will need stakes as they grow high ! Wish me luck n hope I'm doing something right !

Hi Phyllis, Your dahlias will

Hi Phyllis,
Your dahlias will be fine. They do need some water so check them often to see if the soil is dry. Hopefully by now you already have some dahlias growing.

I started my dahlias a few

I started my dahlias a few weeks ago and have been putting them out each day and bringing them in at night. Last night I forgot! Most of the leaves have turned black but stems still look viable. Should I just peel off the black leaves and wait to see if new growth comes or should I cut back them stems?

The dahlia foliage is blacked

The dahlia foliage is blacked by frost damage. The roots, however, are still alive. Remove the frost kill and see if the plant recovers. If not, you may still be able to lift the roots and store.

I just bought 2 dahlia

I just bought 2 dahlia twynings smarties bulbs. Purple and white. I want to plant them in pots that I have painted to glow in the dark. But I'm not sure how they will do in pots. I live in sc.

We think of dahlias as

We think of dahlias as flowers that do best in the ground, however, here is an article on The American Dahlia Society site all about how to grow dahlias in containers.
Hope this helps!

Although I have a lot of

Although I have a lot of experience planting bulbs, I have never planted dahlias. I live in Petaluma CA in Sonoma county. On impulse I bought two bags of 10 each dahlias at Costco.
Now I see they are tubers! I had planned on putting them into two large pots (like I do bulbs), but reading here you seem to suggest 1 tuber per pot! EeeeK! Really?
Do you have any ideas about how to handle 20 tubers short of putting them in the ground? This soil is solid clay!
The tubers are: Blue Bell, American Dawn, Karma Pink Corona and Karma Corona.
Any help would be seriously appreciated!

Dahlias are best grown in the

Dahlias are best grown in the ground. If you try containers, use a pot size no smaller than 12 x 12 inches per tuber. For pots, dwarf dahlias work best not standard sizes. Use 2 parts garden soil, 1 part potting soil that has not been treated in any way. Water and keep your soil slightly damp. After plants are 12 inches high, potted dahlias will require extra watering and fertilizing to promote proper blooming.

Dahlia's do not do well in

Dahlia's do not do well in pots unless they are big pots. They need at least 12' diameter of loose soil to grow properly and healthy, meaning 12" diameter at 8 to 10" deep, not just 12" diameter at the top of pot. If grown in small diameter you will get thick stem but only one or two and low flower productivity. Loose soil is important, hard pack soil is terrible for these flowers, not too much nitrogen either. They say you need to dig up every year, I find I get 3 to 5 years per plant and they keep producing without digging up as long as soil is loose and not hard pack. Best to grow in ground but remember, do not choke their room off underground, If you have hard clay dig a hole at least 12" deep and 12" diameter to the bottom and fill with good loose topsoil.

Has anyone ever tried in

Has anyone ever tried in Arizona deserts? I just planted 6 Dahlias a week ago, have them in garden where they will only get am sun as to try and protect them, if they come up I will likely start shading them by end of March. I know I will need to dig up, like I do my Rannanculas-my question ism can they survive that long out of the soil? Or would it be better for me to dig up and put in pots and bring in house once it is too hot outside for storage until next spring?

Although growing dahlias in

Although growing dahlias in very hot areas can be a challenge, some people have had success. Be sure that your dahlias are one of those varieties that are more heat tolerant. As you have, choose a site that is out of direct sun for part of the day, and be sure the soil is well-drained and rich. Shade during periods of high heat. Provide thick mulch (about 2 to 4 inches) to protect the roots. Mist during the day, to keep up the humidity, and water regularly. (The soil should be moist but not waterlogged.) Some gardeners in Zone 9 and warmer areas do not dig up the tubers except for about every 2 to 3 years to divide them. To overwinter in the ground, cut the stalks back to about 1 inch. (Some people place plastic or tin foil over the stalks to help prevent rot.) Then cover the stalks and tuber with about 6 inches of mulch. Water the area occasionally in winter, as needed, to prevent the tubers from drying. In spring, remove the plastic/tin foil covering (if using), and most of the mulch.

Thank you

Thank you

Just thought I'd chime in to

Just thought I'd chime in to let you guys know that I experimented with Dahlia tubers last year here in hot and quite humid Lahaina, in Hawai'i. I planted seven tubers, all in terra cotta pots that were big and deep. I am fascinated by the dinner plate type that produce huge blooms! I staked the pots as I knew they could get tall...low and behold, in 90 or so days, I had Kelvin Floodlight flowers that were as big as my head! Behind that, came the purple, not as big but still beautiful 8" blooms and so on... I left them in the sun all day long, but watered in the early am. and then again early pm. I have since removed all the grass from my front yard and have started 75 plants this year! yup, I am going crazy over "Dahlias"... Aloha!

WOW! I would love to see a

WOW! I would love to see a picture of your dahlias you have started in your front yard!

I would love to see pics of

I would love to see pics of your Dahlia garden

Kevin Floodlight Dahlias.

Glad to know of your success. In my teenage years my family lived in a city called Lahore in Pakistan
some 45years ago and we grew beautiful dahlias in pots because the soil was clay and hard. Our gardener used mulch and watered them in early morning & after sunset,as daytime temperatures were in the 75-80F . I currently live in Toronto Canada and have adjusted to overwintering the tubers by
digging them up after the first frost,washing the soil off the tubers and with a sharp knife making a hole through where the stalk meets the tubers.This allows the moisture to drain as I store these in my cold
area of the basement. One year I left the newspaper wrapped tubers in the garage only to find then rotten in the spring, due to freezing conditions. Thought I would share this with you. It is hard to find
dinner plate dahlias in Toronto,& that is my spring challenge.Maybe a drive south to NY or Buffalo may
get results. Enjoy your Dahlias Happy Gardening. Ashley.

Hi donata! How did the

Hi donata! How did the dahlias grow here in az? I purchased some bulbs and there is a lot of mixed answers to whether or not they will grow here and when to plant. I would be very interested to know if you had any success and any advice you could give me we be much appreciated! I also have some ranunculus bulbs that I am unsure of when to plant. Hearing that you have had success with yours gives me hope!

Hello, I have a quick


I have a quick question regarding growing dahlia tubers in pots. I'm in zone 9 (Central Cali). I recently purchased some tubers, and I'm planning this weekend to dig up my selected growing area (nice morning sun, a protected a bit from the hot hot afternoon heat) and add compost for help grow. We have terrible soil in this area. Would it be a good idea to start my tubers in pots inside now, so when everything is ready, I can just plant them quickly?

Thank you :)

Oops, forgot to mention,

Oops, forgot to mention, size! Is a pot slightly bigger than the tuber or is larger more ideal?

For full-size dahlias, a pot

For full-size dahlias, a pot about 12 to 20 inches wide and deep (or wider) works well. (Taller varieties will do better with the larger sizes.) Ideally, plant only one tuber per container, although some gardeners have had success with more than one in a pot.

Terrible soil and California

Terrible soil and California and not found in print with the rare exceptions of people who say they are from Cali. Chances are you garden on top of fill dirt in long but narrow beds. Since you live in a development and not a neighborhood, you lack the shade from mature trees.
Just amend your soil and watch the refractive heat from the side of your building

I live in Prince Edward

I live in Prince Edward Island, Canada(zone 5b). My daughter wants dahlias for her wedding(Cafe Au Lait a preference). The wedding will be mid July. If I start the tubers inside can I hope for bloom by mid-July? How early should I start them? (First frost-free date June 15.) Thank you so much if you take the time to answer. It is very difficult information to find.

It's a good idea to get an

It's a good idea to get an early start by planting the tubers in containers indoors and then planting them outdoors when the soil is nice and warm. Dahlias start blooming about 8 weeks after planting. Make sure to use large containers and keep them in a sunny warm area.

I am new to flowers, and I am

I am new to flowers, and I am planning on growing dahlias for cutting. I live in the north napa valley, zone 9. I ordered a variety of heirloom seeds.should I start them indoors now? Should I direct sow them? Do they take longer from seed than from tubers? If I had a vegetable garden in the plot last year, do I need to amend the soil? It's valley floor here, so it's got some clay in it. Thanks

Hi Jessica, Now is a good

Hi Jessica,
Now is a good time to start the seeds indoors. Dahlias are easy to start from seed and they should germinate in 5 to 7 days. Use a good light potting mix and move the seedlings into bigger pots as they grow. Dahlias started from seed will bloom this summer but the plants may be smaller than dahlias planted from tubers.

I just bought Dahlia bulbs at

I just bought Dahlia bulbs at the store and I live near napa ca. Should I wait to plant? The package says between feb and march.

I just dug up my plants and

I just dug up my plants and separated the tubers from the clump before storage. Will I have a problem the next time I plant?

You'll be fine. Honestly,

You'll be fine. Honestly, every gardener has a different approach. Here's more detail from a page that we like by the WSU extension: http://skagit.wsu.edu/MG/2007A...

I agree you'll be fine. I

I agree you'll be fine.
I live in Michigan having moved from the UK. The whole digging up for winter thing was new to me last Fall and when I dug up I split the clumps. I'd planted 2 tubers originally. This year I'll be finding space for 14! It's fine to split the tubers before storing! :)

Quick question! I live in

Quick question! I live in zone 7A, pretty close to the 7B border....in the Piedmont area of NC. Should I dig up my dahlia bulbs in the fall, and if yes, how should I store them? Thanks!

Your dahlias may survive in

Your dahlias may survive in the ground with an added thick layer of mulch, but digging and storing is a safer bet. See our information about storing the tubers on this page.

Can you propagate dahlias

Can you propagate dahlias from cutting? If so how is this done? I live in Jacksonville, FL."

Yes, you can. Usually,

Yes, you can. Usually, dahlias are propagated from dividing the dahlia's clump of tuberous roots. That would be our preferred method. The reason to propagate from a cutting is to Propagating dahlias from cuttings is usually to preserve a valuable variety. You start roots indoors and take a cutting when the new shoots develop and there are two sets of leaves. Plant the cutting in a moist medium such as vermiculite at 1/2 inch to 1 inch deep. Keep the medium moist and warm at all times.

If I am looking to have

If I am looking to have Dahlia's for my wedding centerpieces in mid-August in Central Oregon, would that work for the timing of when they bloom? From what I can tell, it would. Also...any suggestions on where to buy large amounts of bloomed dahlia's for my wedding in central Oregon in the summer?

Yes, dahlias bloom in August

Yes, dahlias bloom in August and it's a perfect flower for special events.
You can contact a cut your own farm like this one in Portland, OR.
or check out other gardens that sell flowers in bulk for special occations.
http://www.lemeragardens.com/ is one example.
You can also ask your friends and family to plant dahlia tubers in the spring and then cut the blooms for your wedding in August.
Good luck!

How do u get seeds from the

How do u get seeds from the flower?

I have 2 pots of dahlia's (1

I have 2 pots of dahlia's (1 tall pink and 1 short red & white) that I have put on my deck for 2years now. In the fall I bring inside and store pot and all in a cool room and only water once a month. The foliage stays nice until about January then dies off. Around March the new foliage starts and end of April I put back on my deck. I live in southern NC and am still getting flowers now mid-Oct.

I planted 2 10 pots each with

I planted 2 10 pots each with a Dahlietta Louise plant this year. They did very well and I just cut them back to the soil. Any chance I can just store them in the pots for the winter in my unheated garage in central New Jersey and they will come back next year?

You can store the dahlias in

You can store the dahlias in the pots. Just make sure that the garage doesn't get too cold in the winter. You can cover the pots with a blanket or tarp to give the bulbs a bit more protection. Also make sure that the soil is not too wet.

I live in Portland Oregon and

I live in Portland Oregon and I'm going to risk leaving the dahlias in overwinter. When is it a good time to cut them back into what height?

Make sure your plants have

Make sure your plants have good drainage, and that they are set deep enough (6" or more). When the stalks brown and die around November, you can cut them back to just below ground level. Place plastic sheeting over the area, to protect the tubers from rot from winter rain. Next, add about 3 to 4 inches of mulch over the plants. In March, remove the mulch and plastic.

i have the european dahlias

i have the european dahlias and they were growing amazingly well! but for some reason parts of the branches started turning yellow and slowly dying. i live in zone 9 southern california. It has been really hot lately but we have watered them everyday. i dont know what to do help. I am trying to save them, please let me know what i can do.

Yellowing leaves could mean

Yellowing leaves could mean several things, such as a fungus or virus, an insect pest (such as leafhoppers or aphids, which can spread viruses), or a cultural problem, such as heat or drought, or even overwatering. Make sure your plants have plenty of air circulation, good drainage, and only water when the soil feels dry down to about 1 inch below surface--the tubers can rot if overwatered. The soil should be dry, but not overly so. If a heat wave comes, try sheltering the plants with shade cloth or a screen of some kind. For fungus troubles, ask a garden nursery for the best control. For viruses, there is no cure, and the plants are best discarded. For leafhoppers or aphids, try applying insecticidal soap. For more advice about controls, you might check with a garden nursery.

my sister just bought 2

my sister just bought 2 dahlias not realizing they were not perennials. It is last day of August and she does not want to plant them. Can she keep them in the pots over the winter and then plant in spring?

We doubt they will survive in

We doubt they will survive in pots if you bring them indoors. Store the tubers (see above) and plant the following spring.

I started dahlia seeds spring

I started dahlia seeds spring 2013. Now have gorgeous plants approximately 30" and well branched and blooming. Question is, will I have any tubers? Or is the seed sold by seed houses of a different type of dahlia.

Yes, you will get tubers the

Yes, you will get tubers the first year. You can then propagate that plant via tubers in later years to get offspring of the same type. If you collect seed from your seed-grown plant, however, they will likely not be the same as the parent (in other words, not come true). Some people enjoy the variable results when growing 2nd generation seed, and save the newly formed tubers of those plants to grow in future years. Others prefer the predictability and quality of the plants when grown directly from tuber divisions (or also, cuttings). Note: The type of dahlias offered in seed packets are usually of the smaller bedding or dwarf variety, good for cut flowers and in borders and containers. If you want show-quality, huge blooms, go for cuttings or tuber divisions.
Note: We'd like to say thank you to the reader who disagreed with our original comment; we have corrected our response!

WOW! So much great info in

WOW! So much great info in one paragraph! Just the answer this beginner was looking for, plus one or two things I would have never guessed about growing Dahlias from seeds.

I thank you and my garden thanks you :)

Mendocino Coast, CA

Uhm, just one

Uhm, just one question:

Exactly how far removed from "true" are third generation Dahlia seed pods?

Does their beauty just become more unpredictable? Or should I not fall asleep near them?


I have the biggest dahlia

I have the biggest dahlia plants but no flowers. What am I doing wrong?

Assuming they were planted

Assuming they were planted correctly, you could use a high phosphorus fertilizer to encourage bloom. D not use a fertilizer containing nitrogen--it inhibits bloom, weak tubers, or rot.

I planed dhalias in the

I planed dhalias in the spring and we have had many many days of rain and storms During the most recent storm lots of my stems broke from the plant and I need to know how to cut back some of the other stems that seem too tall and heavy to survive another storm. My plants are about 3-4 ft now.

It's a good practice to pinch

It's a good practice to pinch (or prune) the center growth stalk. This will allow more laterals (side shoots) to grow and you'll get more flowers. For bigger blooms remove more stems and only keep three to five flowering stems per plant; for smaller blooms keep seven to ten stems.

I have about 20 or so Dahlia

I have about 20 or so Dahlia tubers I bought from local stores like Menards but didn't get them in the ground yet and it is middle of August, should I still plant them or put them in the box with packing peanuts and store them for the winter and plant them next spring? Could I put them in pots and grow them in the house over the winter, what is the best thing to do?

As they are still tubers,

As they are still tubers, store your dahlia tubers in a cool, dry place and plant in spring. See more comment on this page.

I have the dahlia starsister

I have the dahlia starsister red and white in a pot on my deck and they are blooming beautifully. I live north of Atlanta. I don't really want to store them dry, so I was wondering if I should plant them in the ground in the fall or if they will survive the winter in the pot outdoors.

It's better to plant the

It's better to plant the dahlias in the ground before winter. After the first freeze cut the tops off and add a little mulch. Put a stake next to the dahlias so that you don't dig them up by accident next spring. Good luck!

I have a long stem plant and

I have a long stem plant and last week the leaves started wilting. It has bloomes all season until the leaves wilted. I am in North FLorida and we have had alot of rain but the pot drains well. Is there any way to rescue it?

Dahlias usually wilt because

Dahlias usually wilt because they are overheating with too much sun and warmth. Water regularly and move them to a location with less afternoon sun.

I have some dahlia tubers ,

I have some dahlia tubers , should I keep them till spring or plant them in my veggie garden now , the tubers are in plastic bags with sawdust. I live in BC canada

At this point, store your

At this point, store your dahlia tubers in a cool, dry place.
We wouldn't use plastic. Put in a brown paper bag or layer in a cardboard box with newspaper. Sprinkle each tuber with some garden sulphur to eliminate any fungus or mold while they over winter. Plant in the spring after all danger of frost has passed and the soil temperature in the top 6 inches is at least 50 degrees or you risk decay and rot.

My Father was given several

My Father was given several different colored dahlia bulbs from a neighbor. Last year they all bloomed beautifully. He followed all wintering and planting suggestions again and this year only the red bloomed. Any idea what the problem might be? Thanks

Anne, it's not clear if you

Anne, it's not clear if you dad's other dahlias grew but did not produce flowers, so we will assume that's the case.
Nonetheless, there is no easy answer. It may be that the nonbloomers got too much nitrogen (first number of the three on a fertilizer package should be low) and/or not enough light. Basic top soil is adequate.
That said, at least one source recommends giving the plant/s fish emulsion.
Another: Grow in morning sun, and be sure they get 6 hours of sun per day.
That's all we can say about this. The color factor is a puzzle. Why not ask the neighbor if he/she ever had this problem.
Best wishes!

Thanks so much I will pass on

Thanks so much I will pass on the suggestions and ideas. Unfortunately his neighbor is no longer gardening or available to ask. Appreciate your help!

Possibly the tubers where

Possibly the tubers where eaten,rotted,have not been divided.

I have these huge pink

I have these huge pink dahlias that just bloomed. Plate sized. About 2 weeks ago. I live in Wisconsin. I see no problems with the greenery or stems or anything. But the flower itself is starting to look like its dying already? Are dahlias only supposed to last a couple weeks? Or is something wrong? Am I not feeding it enough? Watering it enough? We have had fairly good weather. Minimal rain. But last week, all week it was almost 100 every day with heat index. Could that have been it? It lasted for almost 4 days. Then dropped back down to normal temps of 70's-80's. But is getting really cold at night. Last night down to 40's. could the weather be killing the flowers?
Thank you!

Dahlias are known for having

Dahlias are known for having a long blooming season. Each dahlia tuber will produce many blooms. After one flower is spent, be sure to deadhead the spent bloom which will encourage more flowering. Once established, dahlias like a deep watering 2 or 3 times a week with a soaker hose. You should add a nitrogen-soluble fertilizer every few weeks. In terms of hot weather: It's can make them limp along, but adding mulch and misting the plants can help them get through it. If you live in a warm place, buying heat-tolerant varieties is also a good idea!

Deadhead them. It will

Deadhead them. It will rebloom. If it does get cold put a plastic tarp over them.

i live in northern utah. Do i

i live in northern utah. Do i need to dig up the roots in the fall??

Dahlias are hardy to zone 8

Dahlias are hardy to zone 8 where they can be cut back and left in the ground to overwinter. In zone 7b, dahlias sometimes overwinter in the ground depending on the severity of the winter. It is recommended the tuberous roots be lifted and stored during the winter. Northern Utah has several different zones. See the USDA Hardiness Map for your zone: http://planthardiness.ars.usda...

I have several dahlias in my

I have several dahlias in my yard that are growing great, with no effort. I planted more in a different area and the new buds that form turn black! Also some of the new tubers are very slow to grow and obviously wont flower this year. What am I doing wrong?? We live in Sonoma Co., Calif. Thanks

We're not familiar with a

We're not familiar with a disease or pest that causes black buds. Perhaps you want to dig up one and see if you have rot? Sometimes dahlias are slow to grow when adjusting to a new place and survival rate is low for the first planting. Be sure to avoid nitrogen fertilizer until plants are close to flowering. 

Thank you.

Thank you.

I talked to a commercial

I talked to a commercial dahlia grower in my area; he said the buds were burned from the extreme heat we had for a few days.

I bought a lovely small

I bought a lovely small Dahlia plant with lots of buds and pink flowers, I watered it a little each day in the pot for a week till I was able to plant it. After a few days it started to wilt. I then planted it in a sunny but protected position away from windy weather, it quickly declined and the leaves wilted, the flowers wilted and eventually became crisp and soggy. What did I do wrong please? What should I do with it now to rescue for another year? Please help, as it was very beautiful.

There could be several

There could be several reasons why a potted dahlia might wilt.
* Does the pot have good drainage? You don't want any water to sit in the pot at the base, which will encourage rot. Do you think that the store where you purchased it gave it reliable care, not overwatering it to start root rot (that is just now showing up in symptoms)?
* Was there a hot spell recently? Depending on where you live, where the pot is (on hot pavement or cool grass), and what the weather has been like, the plant may have gotten too much heat.
* There are several wilt diseases (fungal, viral, or bacterial) that appear first as wilting of lower leaves. Do the stems have any black or mushy areas? Are there any yellow streaks/veins on leaves or stems? If this is fusarium or verticillium wilt, or a virus, you should destroy the plant, and get rid of the soil (the pathogens live in the soil). Botrytis blight can cause browning of flowers. Stem rot causes leaves to yellow and wilt, roots to rot. To avoid disease, disinfect your tools with a dilute solution of bleach before you use them on each plant. Rotate where you plant dahlias each year (because some diseases overwinter in the soil). Provide good air circulation; allow soil to dry a bit before watering. If your soil is heavy, lighten it by adding some peat moss or similar soil amendment. Check tubers before winter storage for any signs of disease or insect problems; cut out any affected parts.
* Check for insects; entrance holes at the base of the stem; or tiny spots along the petals, base of the flower, or along the leaves. Sometimes thrips, aphids, or other sap-sucking insects can cause damage, such as ragged or brown areas on the flower, or wilting leaves. Borers can tunnel into the stems.

My brother gave me tubers and

My brother gave me tubers and just plant it last week.. i live in n.j.Is that ok.


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