Home > Plant care and Growing Guides > Dahlias


Family: Asteraceae
Native to: Central America, Mexico & Columbia
Bloom season: Summer and Autumn for many, many weeks
Bulb type: Tuber
Size: Mini/Bambino are approx 30cm tall and wide. Dahlias are 100-150cm tall & wide
Planting time: After the Spring frosts, ideally between August and November.
Soil: Rich, well drained, loamy; but any soil properly dug and prepared in advance with the well-rotted farm manure, compost or blood and bone. If using blood and bone, do not plant the tubers directly on top of it.
Position: Sunny, protect from strong winds.
Preferred climate: Cool to Tropics.
Planting depth: Plant with 5-8cm of soil over the tubers. Lie the tubers length ways with the "eyes" pointing upward.

  • Mini/Bambino: 30cm apart
  • Large varieties: 90-120cm apart

Water: Keep soil slightly moist whilst plants are actively growing.
Frost: In cold areas frost will trigger dormancy.
Fertiliser: An annual application of blood and bone or other complete fertilizer plus bi-weekly liquid feeds during active growth for a better performance.
Pests/disease/hazards: Mildew can be a problem, so in humid conditions allow extra spacing between plants for better air ventilation.
Cutting: Dahlias make superb cut flowers and picking the blooms (or removing the spent flowers) promotes continuous flowering.
Digging: Should be done in winter every 2-3 years. Cut off yellowed or frosted stems to within 10-15cm of tubers and allow to dry out for 3-4 days. Once dug, brush of the soil, remove the large old tubers, then divide remaing clump, including a section of the old stem, from which comes next years growth.
Storage: You can leave the tubers in the gound unless over crowding occurs. If lifting up the tubers, cut off yellowed or frosted stems to within 15cm of the ground before digging and leave to dry in the sun before storing in a cool, dry place.
Comments: A mulch will help to keep the soil cool and moist during Summer.


Last Reviewed: 13/02/2004 11:30:33 AM
Keywords: Dahlias, plant care, garden care, garden tip, plant guide, garden guide, perennial, flower bulb, spring bulb

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