How to Plant Dahlia Tubers

Are you new to planting dahlias?

Let us show you how we do it at Triple Wren! Despite being a large scale grower, all our dahlias are lovingly prepared and planted by hand. This lets us keep our literal fingers on the pulse of our dahlias’ health and gives us the ability to curate our fields into a beautiful maze of blooms.

Before you get started, you’ll need to gather the following materials:

  • Digging knife or trowel
  • Fertilizer
  • Dahlia tubers
  • Stakes
  • Bone meal (optional)

After danger of frost has passed, choose a site to plant your dahlia where it will receive at least 6-8 hours daily of direct sun. (Don’t know your last frost date? You can find that here!) Dig a hole 3”-6” deep in well-draining soil.

If you wish, amend hole with calcium (bone meal) before you put the tuber into the hole.

Plant your tuber lying sideways, with eyes up. The eyes should be at least 1” below the surface of the soil. (If you have no idea what we’re talking about when we mention tubers having eyes, scroll down to the end of this post for a quick tutorial!) Your tuber doesn’t have to be perfect or big to grow well. Every variety grows tubers differently, and as long as you have a good-looking eye, your dahlia should grow well!

If you know the variety name of your dahlia, add a plant label now. 

Insert a sturdy stake in the ground next to your dahlia. (Adding a stake now helps prevent accidentally damaging your tuber by stabbing it with a mis-aimed stake later, and gives your dahlia a shoulder to lean on all summer.)

Cover and top dress with a balanced granular fertilizer or compost, then mulch to suppress weeds.

TIPS: 

Happy growing!!! 🌱

Bonus: Dahlia Tuber Eye Tutorial

Dahlia eyes?! I’m sure you’ve heard of eyes of potatoes, but perhaps not on dahlias. Let us show you how to find the “eye” on your tuber.

Unlike potatoes, the eyes on a dahlia tuber are not all over the tuber. They are only located on the area that connects the stem, known as the neck. This means if a tuber breaks off without any of that neck area, it won’t grow.

To find the eye of a tuber, look toward the top for a small protrusion. It’s like a tiny bump with texture around it. It could be slightly purple or green but sometimes it isn’t. If it hasn’t started sprouting, the eyes can be tough to identify! Here are some pictures to help you identify the eyes on tubers. The more you practice looking for the eyes, the better you’ll get at spotting them.

1 thought on “How to Plant Dahlia Tubers”

  1. Your posts are very helpful, especially since I am just planting dahlias for my first time.
    Can these be planted in a 6mm clear plastic / film hoophouse? Are the planting methods the same as in outdoor garden areas? Thank you.

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