A little guide how to plant, grow and care for Dahlias

Jora Dahl

Planting Dahlias

Once you have received your dahlias from us, it is important to quickly remove them from the bag or gift box and store them properly until planting. This is best done in a cool, frost-free place such as the basement or stairwell. Take an air-permeable box and put the dahlias inside. 

There are two ways of planting dahlias: Either you can grow dahlias in pots from March or April and plant them in the garden from mid-May. Or you save yourself one step and plant them in the bed directly after the Frost Saints. The advantage of the first option is obvious: pre-pulled dahlias bloom much earlier, sometimes as early as June. I pre-plant part of my dahlias in light pots in the garden from April, and the other part I later plant directly. If there are still frosty nights in April, I put the dahlias into the stairwell for those nights.

But it is also enough to plant all the dahlias from mid-May. They are summer and autumn flowering plants and will delight you for months with hundreds of lush flowers, so there is no hurry.

You should plant dahlias in good quality and loose soil in a sunny place. Dig a wide hole 5-10 cm deep and plant the dahlias with the stalk end up. The stalk itself should be minimally covered with soil. That’s all you need to pay attention to at first. As soon as you see the first green of the dahlias, you can water them for the first time.

The Dahlia is growing …

Once the dahlia gets going, you should start thinking about how you are going to support it. From my experience, this is an absolute must, especially for large flowered dahlias. The smaller ball or pompom dahlias sometimes grow well without support. I just stick a bamboo stick next to each plant and once it’s 50 inches tall I tie it to that.

An important tip: once the dahlia has a stem of about 50 cm, you should cut it above a leaf rosette to about 30 cm. This is called end-tipping and will give you double the amount of flowers, as the dahlia will branch at this point. Be confident to do it, even if you can already see the beginnings of a flower. It is really worth it!  

Caring for Dahlias

The most important thing is to regularly clean out the dahlia to get the longest possible flowering. Cut flowers generously for the vase and remove withered quickly. You will see, after a short time the plant produces new flowers and continues until the first frost. I fertilize my dahlias regularly every two weeks with an organic liquid fertilizer. In the fall I stop doing this to let the tuber mature better.

Digging Dahlias

Dahlias are perennial, but do not tolerate frost. The usual way looks like this: after the first night of frost carefully dig up the tuber with a digging fork and clean it from the earth. Dry it a little and store it in a frost-free cool and dry place, for example, a cellar in air-permeable boxes or cartons. Temperatures of no more than 10 ° are ideal, if stored too warm, the tuber can quickly dry out.

But there is another way, which works more and more often: due to climate change, winters are getting warmer and in temperate regions of Germany, for example in the wine-growing climate or in NRW, dahlias can certainly stay in the ground through the winter. The ideal place is important: in a very sheltered location, for example on a warm house wall or near water, it can succeed. It is important to provide a good cover. I accumulate about 30 cm of compost and leaves. Likewise, you can wrap the stalk of dahlias in sheep’s wool. Even if the thermometer drops below 0° at night, it does not mean that frost will really penetrate the soil in a microclimatically favorable place. But you should still expect losses, of course. I now leave about two-thirds of my tubers in the ground and at least half of them come back.

During the winter storage dahlias should be divided, otherwise they simply grow too large. Division must be done so that each piece of tubers still have so-called eyes, through which they can sprout new. It is best to watch a short video tutorial on the Internet. This usually explains it better than long written descriptions.

I can only encourage you to give these fantastic plants a try! Dahlias really only have one problem from my perspective: once you start planting them in your garden you become addicted. They bring such opulence and abundance over so many months that nothing compares to. And our particularly beautiful varieties in fantastic delicate colors are a real asset in the city garden, in the country as well as on the balcony. Dahlias, of course, can be planted in large tubs.

They just always fit. And your vases will not remain empty from July to October;)

Here, you can find our dahlia collections!

Here, you can find all our dahlias in single packs!

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