top of page
IMG_20190731_120148905.jpg

DAHLIAS PICTURED ABOVE:

Light yellow bloom, upper right: SUN-KISSED

White bloom, lower right:  BRIDE TO BE

Purple blooms, center and lower left:  CREME DE CASSIS

ABOUT DAHLIAS:

 

  • Dahlias can reproduce with tubers (like potatoes).  In order for a tuber to grow into a plant, it must have at least one eye connected to the tuber by an unbroken neck.

  • Dahlias are very sensitive to cold and frost.  It is recommended that they not be planted until the danger of all frost has passed.  In our area, dahlia tubers are planted in late spring/early summer and generally flower in late summer/early autumn.

  • Because they cannot tolerate freezing  temperatures, dahlia tubers cannot survive Wisconsin winters outside.  Many people simply enjoy dahlias as annuals and buy new every year.  But others take the time to lift (dig out) the tubers in the fall and store them until the following spring.  At this time, tubers can also be divided, as they multiply each season.  If cared for properly, your dahlia stock will grow rapidly in a few short seasons.

HOW TO PLANT DAHLIA TUBERS:

  1.  Choose a site with well-drained soil (water-logged soil may cause tubers to rot), and full sun.

  2. Dig a hole approximately six inches deep, and wide enough to receive the tuber laying on its side. If you are planting multiple dahlias, give each one about 18 inches of space.

  3. Mix 1 tablespoon of bone meal with a bit of soil and place it in the bottom of the hole.  

  4. Place the tuber inside the hole horizontally, and cover it with loose soil.

  5. DO NOT water until you see green sprouts growing above ground.  At that time, water deeply.  Dahlias will need a deep soaking about 3 times a week.  If rain is not providing this, give them more.  Too little water will result in fewer blooms.

  6. Do not use any high nitrogen fertilizers.  They will cause your plant to produce lots of lush foliage, but not many flowers.

  7. Keep the area free of weeds by hand weeding.  Do not use any herbicides.

  8. For shorter, stockier plants, “pinch” (cut) the center shoot out (and discard) when the plant is about a foot tall.   This will signal to the plant to put more energy into growing side shoots.

  9. Depending on the variety, growing conditions, and soil, dahlias can grow to be quite tall.  You may need to stake your dahlias so that they don’t topple over.  

  • If you decide to lift your tubers in the fall and would like some guidance, please reach out to us.  We're happy to share what we've learned on digging, dividing, and storing your tubers at that time!

  • For more detailed information, or to browse literally hundreds of dahlia varieties for sale, check out Swan Island Dahlias based out of the state of Oregon.  They are a phenomenal dahlia resource.

HOW TO PLANT DAHLIA PLANTS TAKEN FROM CUTTINGS:

  1.  Choose a site with well-drained soil (water-logged soil may cause future tubers to rot), and full sun.

  2. Dig a hole approximately the size of the pot holding the plant.  If you are planting multiple dahlias, give each one about 18 inches of space.

  3. Mix 1 tablespoon of bone meal with a bit of soil and place it in the bottom of the hole.  

  4. Fill the hole with water.

  5. Using your forefinger and middle finger, gently cradle the seedling around the stem  at soil level, tip the transplant over and using your other hand work the container loose from the soil until it is free.  Remove the container.  The soil should mostly hold together around the roots of the plant in a clump.

  6. Carefully place the soil clump in the hole with water.  Replace soil around the seedling, filling the hole and supporting the stem.  

  7. Do not use any high nitrogen fertilizers.  They will cause your plant to produce lots of lush foliage, but not many flowers.

  8. Keep the area free of weeds by hand weeding.  Do not use any herbicides.

  9. For shorter, stockier plants, “pinch” (cut) the center shoot out (and discard) when the plant is about a foot tall.   This will signal to the plant to put more energy into growing side shoots.

  10. Depending on the variety, growing conditions, and soil, dahlias can grow to be quite tall.  You may need to stake your dahlias so that they don’t topple over. 

  • By fall, the plant should have produced a small clump of tubers underground. If you decide to lift your tubers in the fall and would like some guidance, please reach out to us.  We're happy to share what we've learned on digging, dividing, and storing your tubers at that time!

  • For more detailed information, or to browse literally hundreds of dahlia varieties for sale, check out Swan Island Dahlias based out of the state of Oregon.  They are a phenomenal dahlia resource.

bottom of page