Plant Dahlia Tubers

These flashy, colorful jewels can become an essential feature of the mid- to late-summer border, as well as inject life into tired fall gardens.
Bright Red Dahlia

Bright Red Dahlia

Photo by: DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Garden Design, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

When to Plant: Late spring
At Their Best: Midsummer to fall
Time to Complete: 30 minutes for planting

Materials Needed:

  • dahlia tubers
  • organic matter, such as finished compost
  • slug rings or organic pellets
  • stakes and twine for staking
  • wooden boxes
  • potting mix
  • plant labels

Plant the Tubers

Once the danger of frost has passed, dig a hole 12 inches deep and add a layer of organic matter in the bottom. Place the tuber in the hole with the buds pointing up, as well as a stake for support, and carefully refill with soil.

Planting Tuber

Planting Tuber

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Pinch Out Shoot Tips

Provide slug protection as young growth appears. When stems are 12 inches high, pinch out the top bud to encourage bushiness and lots of flowers.

Pinch Out Top Bud To Encourage Flowers

Pinch Out Top Bud To Encourage Flowers

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Frost Protection

As soon as the first light frost has blackened the leaves, cut off the foliage and dig up the tubers. Place them somewhere airy and frost free, so the stems can dry out fully.

Newly Dug Tubers

Newly Dug Tubers

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Storing

When dry, brush the soil off the tubers, label them clearly and plant them in wooden boxes or large pots of dry potting mix. Keep them in a cool, dry, frost-free place until you can plant them out again the following spring.

Store Tubers Until Spring

Store Tubers Until Spring

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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