How to Plant Dahlias En Masse


Dahlias are perennial flowering plants native to Mexico. They bloom in mid- to late summer in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes. A bed of dahlias, planted en masse, presents a striking focal point in the summer garden. For these types of plantings, choose cultivars that grow 12 to 24 inches high to avoid having to stake them. Plant the dahlia tubers when the soil warms to at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 1

Choose a sunny location in which to plant the dahlia bed. If you live in an area that gets particularly hot sun, provide the dahlias with afternoon shade.

Step 2

Mix 5 to 6 inches of compost into the top 12 inches of soil. Rake the dahlia bed until it is level and smooth.

Step 3

Use a gardening trowel to dig planting holes at a depth of twice the length of the tubers. Space them 18 to 24 inches apart, depending upon the size of the cultivar. Rows should be spaced 3 to 5 feet apart.

Step 4

Place each dahlia tuber in the holes with the eye (on the ridge, where the tuber joined the stem) facing up. Cover with soil.

Step 5

Water the dahlia bed only if the weather has been particularly dry. Depending upon variety, the dahlias should begin to sprout within six weeks.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel or gardening fork
  • Rake
  • Gardening trowel


  • The American Dahlia Society: Fundamentals of Growing Dahlias
  • ‭"‬The Well-Tended Perennial Garden:‭ ‬Planting‭ & ‬Pruning Techniques‭"; ‬Tracy DiSabato-Aust‭; ‬1998
  • "Taylor's Master Guide to Gardening"; Roger Holmes, Rita Buchanan; 2001
Keywords: dahlias en masse, grow dahlia beds, lots of dahlias

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.