starting the dahlias

This will be my first year growing dahlias. I started a few tubers in pots not really knowing when a good time to start would be, how long they take to grow and things like that. The process has been very straight forward having never started tubers before. I have several canna tubers stored in my basement from the cannas I planted last year, but have since decided that I will not do cannas this year. They were one of the easiest and most beautiful tropical plants to grow, but I simply do not have the room in my sunny garden to put these back in. I wanted to give dahlias a try this year. I now have 3 dahlia tubers that seem to be taking off in their pots so I hope I didn’t start them too early indoors.

These 3 are Arabian Night dahlias. Planted at the same time were 6 assorted Sunset dahlias that don’t seem to be doing quite as much. About 3 or 4 are showing some signs of life and I hope they all catch up soon. I also have 6 spider dahlias that I have not started yet.

I have tried going the seed route, too. I’m not sure how I feel about it so far, but I’m thinking I won’t do seeds next year. I can’t tell if I started them too late, if they will flower this year or not, will they grow tubers so I can dig them up in the fall to over winter them ? Too many questions about growing dahlias from seed that I don’t know the answer to.
The pots in the picture have Harlequin dahlias, plus there are Figaro Red, Figaro Orange [most of the red and orange have shriveled up because I keep forgetting to water them] and Fireworks growing in jiffy pots. Maybe I just need a greenhouse and then I could enjoy the seed germination process. I have pots everywhere in the house and the jiffypot greenhouse on top of husband’s wardrobe which is directly under a skylight in our bedroom. These seeds are thriving because of the dome to keep moisture in and the sun on them all day. I don’t think he knows it’s there. But, I really don’t think I want to do the seed thing again unless I’m going to grow vegetables. I like the tubers a lot more and I’ll need to get the spider dahlias started now.

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9 thoughts on “starting the dahlias

  1. I have some Otto’s Thrill dahlias that I’ve owned for a few years. THey are spectacular – you will be so happy. Just separated one into four this last fall – love when that happens.

  2. I’ve never tried the tubers, but have grown dahlias from seed (last late winter) and had mixed results. Of the 7 plants that initially grew, three have been the hardiest dang things!!! They’ve actually bloomed repeatedly over the course of entire year! I’m extremely interested in how yours fare, so please keep us posted!

  3. You’re a brave woman! I tried dahlia’s one year and ended up with gorgeous flowers but they attracted every possible pest you could imagine in a garden. One day I counted 7 different types of insects on a bush at the same time.

    That’s a little high maintenance for me – but I’m tempted to try a dwarf variety in pots someday. I’ll be super interested to see how yours do! And I’m already jealous of your flowers. 🙂

  4. Oh, a great post! Reminds me I need to get my tubers started too. Can’t wait to see your pics. I bought some at a flower shower that have black foliage and I think red flowers. Can’t remember the variety right now…best of luck!

  5. I am growing dahlias for the first time this year – both seeds and tubers. I have put the tubers outside a month ago…no sign yet although the seeds are growing well in the greenhouse. I am thinking maybe I should of started them in pots now like you. Oops!

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