Beautiful blooms in a variety of colours and shapes, these Central American natives are having a moment. Here CSL’s answers whether you should plant Dahlia Tubers or Seed.
WHAT Dahlias are a great choice because of their beautiful, colourful blooms that come in shapes from large saucers to pompom, to delicately small pinwheels.
TUBER After last frost date in spring, make a hole 15-20 cm deep and place tuber directly in soil or in a pot in direct sun. Dahlias prefer well-drained soil and do not require watering until shoots appear when they need deep watering. As they grow larger varieties require staking.
SEED Preferably start indoors in 4-6 weeks before last frost and keep in moist potting mix in a sunny, warm spot until ready to plant outdoors. Alternatively, when nighttime temperatures are reliably above 10°C, sow in a sunny location with rich soil 1.25 cm deep and 20 cm apart. Keep moist but not wet until germination. Then water evenly. These will produce tubers (follow same directions for tubers).
STORE Once the first frost occurs in fall, dig up the tubers, cover with peat moss or coir and store in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place.
MULTIPLY In spring, divide tubers from the mother plant, each new tuber must have an eye, which appear as a small pink bulge at the base of the stem, and a neck, which is a slight tapering in just below the eye. Even in one year of growth, dahlias will multiply. Repeat planting directions with these new tubers.
1 Dahlia Babette, $6.99; West Coast Seeds, westcoastseeds.com
2 Dahlia Otto’s Thrill, $6.99; West Coast Seeds, westcoastseeds.com
This original healthy living article first appeared in the Summer 2022 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.