Dahlias (Dahlia) are beautiful perennials with bulbs that are unfortunately not hardy. For this reason, they have to be replanted every year. This article tells you how to plant dahlias correctly.

The special thing about dahlias

There are many different types of dahlias, from very small to very large specimens. With double or single flowers, in all colors. What they all have in common is that they have tubers from which the new shoots sprout. These tubers need to overwinter indoors and be transplanted fresh into the bed each spring.

Instructions: Plant dahlias

To plant dahlias correctly, you should follow the step-by-step instructions below.

control tubers

Before planting the dahlias, the tubers are checked. This ensures that only healthy plants come back into the bed.

  • discard rotten and dried tubers
  • pay particular attention to moldy areas
  • Separate damaged tubers from healthy ones with a clean knife
  • Divide large plants if necessary, this rejuvenates the perennials

Prepare bed

If the flowers are to be planted in an existing bed, all you have to do is hoe it and loosen the soil. If a new bed is intended for them, it is better to dig it up. Especially on heavy soils.

Note: As a protection against pests and diseases, it is better to plant the dahlias in a different bed each year. You should only go back to the same place after a few years.

Waterlogging can damage the plants, so work sand into loamy or wet soil. Compost is good for nutrient supply.

planting time

Even if the tubers are somewhat protected from frost in the ground, they should never be placed in the bed before the last frost. The young, above-ground shoots could freeze. The right time is therefore often from the middle to the end of May.

Tip: If cooler nights are forecast after planting, an upturned bucket or some fleece will help to protect the young plants.

If no shoots can be seen and if too much frost is not expected, frost protection is not necessary.

planting distance

How far apart the dahlias are planted depends on their size.

Dahlia bulbs come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Which variety you want to plant often determines the planting distance.
variety sizeplanting distance
very small varieties30 cm
medium varieties50 cm
large varieties70 to 80 cm

The perennials need a certain planting distance so that the foliage dries quickly after rain and the air can circulate well.

planting depth

The size of the tubers determines the planting depth, as they should be about 5 cm below the surface of the earth. The root neck is only just covered with soil. The rest of the shoot where the leaves were cut off last fall should stick out of the ground. If the tubers are planted deeper, they are somewhat better protected from frost.

Note: Planting depth will determine when the dahlias will bloom. The deeper, the later.

planting holes

Dig a separate planting hole for each perennial. It doesn’t have to be too big. If the soil is very compact or moist, you can add a drainage layer and then dig the holes a little deeper.

If necessary, a vole protection and a plant stake to which the dahlias can be tied can be placed in the hole. This can also be planted later in the ground when the tubers have already been planted. However, there is then a risk that the bulbs will be injured when the rod is inserted.

plant tubers

In order to place the tubers correctly in the planting holes, it is best to follow these instructions:

  • Place tubers in the hole
  • pay attention to the right side, root collar upwards
  • Easier to recognize when the tubers have been pulled forward, since the tips of the shoots are already there
  • Fill the planting hole with soil, covering the tubers
  • Gently press down on the soil
  • water vigorously
Tip: Dahlias also grow well in containers. They can be overwintered in these right away and the planting time is then unimportant because they can be brought back inside on cold nights.

frequently asked Questions

This is only possible in regions where the winter is very mild. In addition, the tubers should then be placed a little deeper and the plants are covered with brushwood or leaves.

The size of the tubers says something about how big the perennial can grow. However, several large tubers together become unwieldy at some point and should therefore be divided. Even small tubers give rise to plants that initially remain small and only develop to their full splendor over time.

Yes, dahlias are suitable for the vase. To do this, cut the flowers when the buds have not yet blossomed very far and put them in the water immediately. The best time is early in the morning, do not put the flowers in the sun, otherwise they will evaporate too much water.

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