Add Dazzling Dahlias to Your Home Garden

It's not too late! Plant dahlia tubers this spring and come August your garden will be flush with these resplendent flowers

Credit: Netherlands Flower Bulbs

There are 36 species of dahlia, each covering a vast range of sizes and colours

Give your flower beds a shot of colour with the dahlia flower

Flower forms that defy imagination. Colours of almost every shade of the rainbow. Armfuls of blooms in thrilling abundance, long-lasting when cut. Easy to grow in a sunny spot. Yes, this sounds a bit like the trailer for a circus show, but there’s no doubt that dahlias create just such a fun and festive atmosphere in the garden.

Dahlias are available in bedding packs (as seedlings) or in packages (as tubers). Seed-grown cultivars make shorter plants suitable for jazzing up flower beds. Plant them in May, after the danger of frost has passed. Staking is not required; regularly pinch the growing tips for bushiness.

For knock-your-socks-off flowers, check out packaged dahlia tubers. Beginning in early spring, you’ll find the stars of the cut-flower dahlias, with blossoms described as ball, cactus, pompon and fimbriated, from compact to extravagant in size! Each distinctive clone must be propagated by division to be true.

When planting dahlia tubers, dig a hole and enrich it with plenty of organic matter and a balanced fertilizer. Hammer a stout stake into the hole at planting time, so you don’t spear the tubers later. For extra sturdiness, some experts set the clump of tubers 15 to 20 cm (6 to 8 in.) below ground level. They add a few centimetres of soil and more each week, until the hole is filled in. At first frost come fall, gently dig up your tubers and store them in your cool basement or garage.

Plant dahlia tubers this spring, and by late summer, you’ll be passing vases of dazzling blooms to all your friends.