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Dahlia tubers

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How to plant and care for Dahlias

Dahlia tubers like to be planted at a sunny location in a light well drained Soil. You can give the Dahlias a kickstart by sprouting them in a crate indoors

How to plant: fill the crate with a thick bottom layer of coarse sand and potting compost. Place the tubers onto this layer and cover the tubers with the same mix, the old stem of the tuber should just peak above the Soil mixture. Keep it moist and moderately warm in daylight (glass plate over crate in daylight at a sunny location). When the plant has developed sprouts with a length of 5-8 cm(2-3"), remove the glass plate and allow them harden off for a few days. After which you transplant the tubers into the border. Dress with organic fertilizer on top and around the plant. By doing so you get a head start of some weeks as you can beat the late night frosts which might hamper the tubers planted in the border without pre sprouting.

You can also plant direct in the border; anytime after April, give the plants in frost prone areas a mulch over the top so they are protected. Plant them so that the old stem is just below the surface in well prepared loosened Soil. Give some organic fertilizer on top.

Please note that Decorative - Cactus and Ball shaped Dahlias can grow rather big, so keep this in mind when planting. Top Mix and Dahlia Nova varieties remain dwarf, (12-14"), and are suitable for pots and planters.

Remove old flower heads and if plants become leggy, a hard trim will restore size - shape and flowering. Fertilize Dahlias with a compound fertilizer during early June and late July. Use a 12% nitrogen 10% Phosphorus and 18% Potasium (12-10-18) compound or something similar.<.p>

How to Plant Dahlias in planters

Dahlias in planters : Dahlias are wonderful border plants available in every shape and size imaginable. A number of Varieties are also great for growing in large decorative planters to enhance your Patio or decking. The following Varieties are great for planters: Top Mix Dahlia Varieties, and some of the Anemones flowering Dahlia types and some of the dwarf growing Decorative Dahlia types.

Plant them half way down the planter in a good mixture of potting compost with 1/3 of sand for better drainage. Place the planter at a sunny location and keep it moist at all times. Fertilize with some organic fertilizer on top of the Soil. Plant them around late April and early May. Remove old flower buds regularly to encourage more flowers to grow, trim the plant down to 1/3 during the season if they become leggy.

They are not winter hardy so they need to be lifted and stored after the first winter frosts. Let them dry out completely, dust off excess Soil, wrap them in Newspaper and store them in a cool, dry frost free place until next spring.

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