Image by Noël Zia Lee
By Kathleen Mierzejewski
Planting dahlias is not very difficult. They are either grown from seed or tubers or bulbs. They come in a variety of colors and sizes, and are quite versatile in the garden. Nothing makes your garden stand out more than planting dahlias. Keep reading to learn more about how to plant dahlias.
How to Plant Dahlias
If you start planting dahlias from seed, you should start them indoors or directly in the garden so long as the temperatures are warm enough. Dahlias will germinate in five to seven days. Once they germinate, you will want to keep an eye on them and make sure that they are watered enough, but don’t soak the soil.
You can also take existing dahlia plants and use them for planting dahlia tubers or planting dahlia bulbs. All you do is dig up the root ball of the dahlia and then separate the tubers or bulbs so you can transplant them. Make sure each of the tubers has one eye. Take your cuttings and place them one half to one inch into the soil. Make sure you are planting dahlias where there is enough sunlight but also some shade. They like five to six hours of daylight each day, but that’s about it. You should see life from the tuber you planted within a week. If not, the tuber did not germinate.
When it comes to fertilizing you dahlias, you can use a 5-10-15 or 5-10-10 fertilizer when planting dahlias, at a rate of about 2 pounds per 100 square feet.
When to Plant Dahlias
A common question first time dahlia growers have is when to plant dahlias. Planting dahlia tubers can be done first thing in the spring. Remember that when doing some dahlia planting, you should plant your larger dahlias about three feet apart. Smaller ones, of course, require less space and can be planted closer. You will want to keep the area as weed free as possible. Mulch can help with this regard.
Some dahlias will grow quite large. After planting dahlia tubers, you will want to watch them. When they reach about a foot tall, you can tie them up to a stake so they can grow straight. As they get taller, you can add ties. Further, when the plants are about 15 inches tall, you will want to start picking off suckers so the plant doesn’t suffer. If you leave the suckers on the dahlias, you will rob the plant of nutrients and it will be a weaker plant.
So, as you can see, dahlia planting can be done pretty easily. They are somewhat pest free so long as they are cared for. You should have no trouble enjoying your dahlias now that you know how to plant dahlias.