Growing Tips: Dahlia

Quick Reference:

Annual, a plant that completes it’s life cycle in one season. Tubers may be dug before the first frost in the fall for bloom a second season. Germinates in 5 to 10 days at an optimum soil temperature of 75 degrees F. Cover seed with 1/8 inch fine soil spaced ½ to ¾ inches apart. Ideal spacing in the garden is 12 to 16 inches. Plant height: 12 to 16 inches.

When and where to plant:

In Alaska it is recommended that dahlias be started indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost for bloom over a long season. Fill a container that has drainage holes with a sterilized potting soil, sprinkle seed on soil surface, cover seed with fine soil, water well for good seed-soil contact and keep moist at all times until seedlings emerge. When seedlings show their first green leaves, water with a liquid solution of plant food. Soon after the seedlings have their first true leaves transplant to individual plastic pots, water with a liquid solution of plant food every two weeks and grow in a sunny area until the garden is ready. Select a sunny location with rich, well drained, moist soil, enrich with plant food and organic matter and transplant seedlings to the garden after last frost.

Care:

Keep well watered and fertilized. Cut blossoms to prolong bloom season.

Storage:

Tubers are produced during the first season and may be dug in the fall before they freeze. Store tubers over winter in a plastic bag partially filled with dry peat moss and kept in a heated cool area. Plant tubers in spring for early bloom the second season.