How to Start Dahlia Bulbs


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


  • 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, GardenGuides and ProFlowers, among others. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.