How to Start Dahlia Bulbs

Overview

Dahlias are perennial flowering plants native to Mexico and Central and South America. There is a variety and size of dahlia for every garden, from huge 12-inch flower heads to 2-inch mini-blooms in a rainbow of colors. Plant dahlia tubers from mid-April to the end of May when the soil temperature warms to at least 60 degrees.

Step 1

Choose a sunny location in which to plant the dahlia bulb or tuber. The plant requires eight hours of sun per day, unless you live in a particularly hot region, in which case choose a location that receives shade in the afternoon.

Step 2

Amend the soil if in the planting bed. Add 3 inches of sand or peat moss if you have clay soil and use the garden fork or a hoe to mix it to a depth of 6 inches. Otherwise, add 3 inches of well-rotted manure and mix it in well.

Step 3

Dig planting holes, 4 to 6 inches deep and 18 to 24 inches apart.

Step 4

Place the dahlia bulbs into the planting holes with the "eye" facing up. The eye is easy to locate when looking at the tuber. Cover the bulbs with soil.

Step 5

Place slug and snail bait around the planting bed. Reapply two weeks after the dahlias sprout.

Step 6

Water the bed only after the bulbs have sprouted and then water them two to three times per week. A sprinkler left on for half an hour is sufficient.

Things You'll Need

  • Sand or peat moss
  • Well-rotted manure
  • Garden fork
  • Trowel
  • Slug and snail bait

References

  • American Dahlia Society: Fundamentals of Growing Dahlias
  • Swan Island Dahlias: How to Grow Dahlias
Keywords: plant dahlia bulbs, grow dahlia bulbs, dahlia from bulbs

About this Author

Victoria Hunter has been a freelance writer since 2005, specializing in gardening-related topics and the real estate industry. She is a former broadcaster and real estate agent who has provided audio and written services to small businesses and large corporations worldwide. She writes for Ancestry.com, GardenGuides and ProFlowers, among others. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.