A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Beautiful Dahlias: Tips and Tricks


If you’re looking for a beautiful and vibrant option for your garden, dahlias are a great choice. These stunning flowers come in a wide variety of colors and shapes and can really make a statement in your garden. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of growing dahlias from cuttings or bulbs, potting and planting them, and caring for them throughout the year.

Dahlias love a sheltered spot in your garden that gets plenty of sunshine. The best time to plant them is in late spring or early summer, once the risk of frost has passed and the soil has reached a temperature of at least 15°C. When planting your dahlias, note that the tubers should be planted about 15 cm deep and spaced about 45-60 cm apart.

One important thing to keep in mind when growing dahlias is that they have strong, upright stems that can get quite tall. To keep them from flopping over, it’s a good idea to stake them, especially if they are in an exposed windy area. You can use garden canes or stakes and string to support the plants as they grow.

Dahlias are heavy feeders and will benefit from regular fertilizing. A multi-purpose fertilizer that is high in potassium and phosphorus will help encourage strong stem growth and beautiful blooms. You can begin fertilizing your dahlias once the plants have reached about 30 cm in height, and continue every 2-3 weeks throughout the growing season.

Watering is also important for the health and overall growth of your dahlias. They like to be watered regularly, especially during dry spells, but be careful not to overwater as this can lead to rot and disease. To ensure the soil is consistently moist, mulching around the base of the plants can help retain moisture and suppress weeds.

Another thing to keep an eye out for is earwigs, which love to nibble on dahlia buds and flowers. You can control earwig populations by trapping them under pots or mats filled with straw, or by stringing up sticky traps near the plants.

Overall, dahlias are a popular choice for many gardeners due to their stunning blooms and ease of growing. With the right care and attention, you can enjoy these beautiful flowers in your garden year after year.

Growing Beautiful Dahlias

When it comes to growing dahlias, there are a few things you should do to ensure that you have beautiful, healthy plants. Here are some tips that will help you along the way:

Planting dahlias: Dahlias prefer well-drained soil, so be sure to dig the hole deep enough to provide plenty of drainage. You can also add compost or other organic matter to enrich the soil. Plant the dahlia bulb with the top of the bulb about 2 inches above the soil level.

Watering: Dahlias need regular watering, especially during the hot summer months. Water deeply and thoroughly, making sure the soil is moist but not overly saturated. Avoid watering too much, as it can lead to diseases and rot.

Staking: As your dahlia plants grow, they may need some support. Use stakes or cages to prevent them from flopping over. This will also keep the foliage off the ground, which helps prevent disease and insect problems.

Fertilizing: Dahlias are heavy feeders and benefit from regular fertilization. You can use a balanced fertilizer to promote healthy growth and abundant flowering. Feed the plants every 2-3 weeks during the growing season.

Pruning: To encourage more flowering, pinch off the first set of buds when they appear. This will direct the plant’s energy to produce more blooms. Additionally, regularly remove any spent flowers to promote continuous blooming.

Pest control: Dahlias can be susceptible to aphids, slugs, and other common garden pests. To help control these insects, you can use organic pest control methods or introduce beneficial insects, like bees, to your garden.

Harvesting and storing: Dahlias make beautiful cut flowers that can last a long time. When the blooms have fully opened but before they start to fade, cut the stems just above the foliage. Place them in a vase with fresh water and keep them away from direct sunlight and drafts.

Overwintering dahlias: In colder climates, dahlias need to be protected during the winter months. After the first frost, dig up the dahlia bulbs and remove any excess soil. Let them dry for a few days, and then store them in a cool, dry place until the next growing season.

Resources for growers: If you want to learn more about growing dahlias, there are many online resources available. These websites and videos can provide you with more in-depth information and tips from experienced growers. Here are some useful links to get you started:

– “Dahlia Growing Tips and Tricks” video on YouTube

– “The Dahlia Grower’s Handbook” book by Bill McClaren

– “Dahlia Society of America” official website

By following these tips and taking good care of your dahlias, you can enjoy beautiful blooms year after year. So get started and watch your dahlias grow!

Grower’s Note

If you have arrived at this page, you are most likely a dahlia lover or heard that dahlias are amazing flowers. And you are right! Dahlias are one of the most beautiful flowers you can grow in your garden. They are available in many different colors and varieties, making them a popular choice among gardeners.

When you receive your dahlia tubers, it’s important to store them properly until you are ready to plant. Keep them in a cool, dry place where temperatures are above freezing, but not too warm. Make sure to check them regularly and remove any tubers that show signs of rot or mold.

To successfully grow dahlias, you will need to provide them with the right conditions. Dahlias prefer a sunny location with well-drained soil. Before planting, make sure to prepare the soil by incorporating some organic matter. This will not only improve the drainage but also provide essential nutrients for the plants.

The best time to plant dahlias is when the soil has warmed up in early spring. It’s recommended to soak the tubers in water overnight before planting to ensure they are well-hydrated. Dig a hole about 6-9 inches deep and place the tuber with the eye facing up. Cover it with soil, leaving about an inch above the soil surface.

Dahlias require regular watering, especially during hot and dry weather. It’s important to water them thoroughly, making sure the soil is moist but not waterlogged. During the growing season, dahlias should be watered at least once a week, or more if the weather is particularly dry.

As the plants grow, you may need to provide support to keep them upright. Many gardeners use stakes or cages to corral the stems and prevent them from falling over. If you want your dahlias to produce better and more flowers, you can also pinch out the growing tips when they are about 6 inches tall. This encourages the plant to branch out and create more flowering stems.

After the first fall frost, it’s time to dig up your dahlia tubers. Carefully dig around the plant, trying not to damage the tubers. Once dug up, shake off any excess soil and cut the stems about an inch above the tuber. Let them dry for a few days in a cool, dry place, and then store them for the winter. To prevent mold and rot, it’s important to store the tubers in a well-ventilated area with temperatures around 40-50°F (4-10°C).

Now that you have a guide on how to grow dahlias, you can start planning your dahlia garden. Whether you want to buy tubers or start from seed, dahlias are sure to bring a pop of color and beauty to your garden. So, get out there and start growing!

How to Grow Dahlias

Dahlias are beautiful flowers that bloom in a wide range of colors and sizes. If you’re interested in growing dahlias, here’s a step-by-step guide that will help you succeed.

Planting Dahlias

1. Start by planting dahlia tubers in the spring. Place them in pots and keep them in a warm place, such as a windowsill, to sprout. You can also plant them directly in the ground if the conditions are right.

2. When planting dahlias, make sure to choose a sunny spot with well-drained soil. Dahlias prefer a pH level of 6 to 6.5, so it’s important to test the soil before planting. If the soil is too acidic or alkaline, you can add amendments to adjust the pH.

3. Dahlias multiply quickly, so make sure to give them enough space when planting. A spacing of about 18 inches is recommended for most varieties.

4. Dahlias grow best in warm weather, so you should wait until after the last frost of the season to plant them. In colder climates, you can start the tubers indoors and transplant them outside when the weather warms up.

Caring for Dahlias

1. Dahlias require regular watering, especially during dry spells. It’s important to keep the soil consistently moist, but not waterlogged. Mulching around the plants can help retain moisture and prevent weeds.

2. To promote the growth of more blooms, deadhead the spent flowers regularly. This will encourage the plant to produce new flowers and prolong the blooming season.

3. Dahlias are susceptible to disease and pests, such as earwigs. To prevent this, keep the area around the plants clean and free of debris. You can also use organic insecticides or traps to control pests.

4. For large, double blooms, dahlias need to be pinched. This means removing the center bud of each stem when the side buds start to form. This will redirect the plant’s energy to the side buds, resulting in fuller and more abundant blooms.

Storing Dahlias

1. If you live in an area with harsh winters, you should dig up the dahlia tubers before the first frost. Cut back the foliage to about 6 inches and carefully dig up the tubers. Allow them to dry for a few days, then store them in a cool, dark place for the winter.

2. Before storing dahlias, you can divide the tubers to create more plants. Simply separate the tubers with a knife, making sure each division has an “eye” or a bud. This will allow the tuber to sprout new growth in the following season.

3. To prevent rot, sprinkle some fungicide or dust the tubers with sulfur powder before storing them. This will help protect them from fungal diseases.

Buying Dahlias

If you’re new to growing dahlias or want to try different varieties, buying tubers from reputable growers is a good option. Look for varieties that are known for their long-lasting blooms and disease resistance. You can also refer to gardening guides or watch instructional videos, such as those by Alan Titchmarsh, for more information on specific types and growing techniques.

Now that you have a comprehensive guide on how to grow dahlias, it’s time to get started. With the right care and attention, you’ll soon be enjoying the beauty of these stunning flowers in your own garden.

✿ Read More: Gardening Tips and Advice.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.