How to Cultivate Dahlias


Dahlias can be a dramatic addition to a home garden because of their large and unusual blooms. Their size can vary widely, with some producing blooms up to 1 foot wide. Dahlia blooms tend to be brightly colored shades of pink, purple, yellow, red and orange. Because dahlias have a reputation as being somewhat difficult to grow, many home gardeners shy away from them. Although dahlias do require some extra care to survive the winter, most gardeners will have success when cultivating the flowers.

Step 1

Choose a location to plant your dahlias. The flowers require full sun---about eight to 10 hours of light---and a rich and well-draining soil.

Step 2

Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the tuber or the seedling, if you are transplanting young dahlias, with a shovel or trowel. When working with seedlings, use plants that have at least two pairs of leaves. In general, the hole will need to be between 4 and 6 inches deep.

Step 3

Place the plant or tuber in the hole. When working with tubers, they should be placed flat in the hole with the eyes pointing upward. If you are planting seedlings, make sure the plant is set deeply enough that the dirt will go up to the first set of leaves.

Step 4

Pack dirt around the tuber or young plant, carefully tamping it down to remove any air bubbles from the surrounding soil.

Step 5

Water the plants or tubers if the soil is dry. If you have planted them into wet or damp soil, do not water again until new shoots have emerged through the soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel or trowel


  • Ohio State University Extension
  • Corralitos Gardens
Keywords: cultivating dahlias, growing dahlias, how to grow dahlias