Dahlias – more information

Dahlias are an iconic garden plant, sending forth their dazzling, dish plate sized blooms from late summer through early autumn until the first frosts. Whether you grow your dahlias in the cut flower garden to display inside the house as the stars of the summer border, or in patio containers, there's a variety for you. With so many varieties to choose from it's no wonder dahlias are a firm favourite.

When to plant dahlias

Dahlia tubers are available to plant in early spring. They don't like frost, so either plant your tubers under cover or wait until the last frost date in your area to plant directly into the ground outdoors. Garden ready dahlia plants are suitable for planting from late spring onwards.

Are dahlias perennials?

Dahlias are perennial flowers. They die back at the end of autumn, storing energy in underground tubers to sprout again when temperatures rise in spring. If you live in an area that receives heavy frost, it's best practice to 'lift' your dahlia tubers at the end of autumn to store them. These tender perennials don't tolerate frost damage. Re-plant your stored tubers again in spring. Alternatively, add a thick covering of well-rotted manure as mulch over the ground above your tubers in areas that typically see a mild winter.

How to plant dahlia tubers

Plant your dahlia tubers in fertile, well-drained soil. Choose a sunny position that's sheltered from strong prevailing wind and away from frost pockets. To plant your dahlia, dig a hole around 10cm deep and lay your tuber on its side in the hole with any visible growing 'eyes' facing upward. Backfill the hole and gently firm the soil over the tuber before watering to settle the soil in. Always remember to mark your planted dahlia tuber with a label showing both the variety name and planting date.

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