How to Grow Dahlia Tubers


Dahlias are beautiful flowers that bloom in the summer until the first frost in the fall. They can grow to be 6 feet tall with flowers that are 12 inches wide. Flowers can range in color, including pink, scarlet and white and are often two-toned. Dahlias can be grown from seeds or from cuttings, but they are typically grown from tuberous underground root structures called tubers.

Step 1

Plant the tubers in the spring, once the soil has warmed up a bit and the is no chance for frost again that season. Choose an area that gets partial to full sun.

Step 2

Amend the soil so that it has good drainage. Adding a couple inches of organic matter such as compost or peat moss can change hard, clumpy soil into rich, well-draining soil.

Step 3

Dig holes for each tuber that are about 3 inches deep. The width of the hole will vary since the tuber vary in size. Dig a hole larger than the tuber and you'll have plenty of room to position it in the hole. Plant multiple dahlias 2 feet apart.

Step 4

Lay each tuber in a hole with the bud (eye) sticking up. This is where the plant will grow and is located at the end of the tuber on the crown.

Step 5

Cover the hole with soil and pat it down so the soil is firm. Then water and pat down the soil again. This is to avoid air pockets, which can lead to root rot.

Step 6

Water only if it has not rained at least an inch in the last seven days. Over-watering can cause root rot in dahlias.

Step 7

Dig the tubers up after the first frost, which kills the plant, but not the tubers. Do this if you want your dahlias to grow next year. Store the tubers (with most of the foliage cut off) by first laying them upside down in a well ventilated space for two weeks. Then store them in containers with dry peat moss or dry sand in a dry area that is ideally between 40 and 45 degrees F. Check on the tubers every few weeks for any damage. Cut the damaged areas off the tubers and soak them in water overnight. Dry them out again for two weeks and continue to store them until spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Organic matter
  • Trowel
  • Water
  • Container
  • Peat moss or sand
  • Knife


  • The American Dahlia Society
  • Storing Dahlia Tubers for Winter
Keywords: plant dahlia, grow dahlia tuber, plant dahlia tuber

About this Author

Melissa Lewis is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has also written for various online publications. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.