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Starting dahlias in pots for early flowering

 Would you like to decorate your garden or balcony with colourful dahlias for as long as possible and can hardly wait to discover the first flowers? Then you should start growing dahlia tubers in pots as early as winter! We explain how it works and what to look out for!

How to plant Dahlias in pots?

Dahlias should not be planted outdoors until May, until the danger of night frosts has passed. When planted as tubers, dahlias usually show their first flowers in July. If you grow your dahlias in a pot, you can achieve a head start of up to 6 weeks in the flowering period and thus enjoy the beautiful flowers even longer. The procedure is very simple and, thanks to the individual steps, easy to follow even for beginners:

  • Start with pre-sprouting in February or March
  • Start by planting the dahlia tubers in a pot with drainage holes
  • A substrate mix of soil, peat moss and sand is recommended
  • Make sure the tubers stand straight up and are not buried too deep in the soil. The recommended planting depth for dahlias is 3-5 cm
  • Then give the soil enough water so that it is moist, but not wet.
  • Now you can place the pots in a bright and cool place. The temperature should be around 8-15 °C
  • If you have done everything right, the dahlia tubers will soon show the first sprouts. This will give you a few weeks to allow the beautiful flowering to continue

If you follow these simple steps, you will be able to enjoy the splendour of your summer flowers for a very long time

Where should dahlias in pots be grown?

The location of potted dahlias should be as bright as possible and not too cold. An average temperature of 8-15°C is recommended. Dahlias originate from Mexico and are therefore not used to cold temperatures. Frost would damage the young sprouts because the plant would freeze. Ideal places to grow the plant in pots are, for example, a garage, conservatory, windowsill, cold frame or a greenhouse. If you only want to grow the dahlias in pots and plant them out later, it is sufficient if the pot is a little larger than the dahlia bulb. If you want to let low flowering dahlias bloom in pots in summer, then you should use a sufficiently large pot from the beginning. This will save you unnecessary repotting. 

planting dahlia bulbs

Pre-sprouted dahlias are stronger and bloom more densely

Pre-cultivation of dahlia tubers has several advantages. A pre-cultivated dahlia is stronger outdoors than a dahlia that has not been pre-sprouted, because it already has stronger sprouts and is therefore less susceptible to pests. This is because, among others, slugs love the small fresh leaves of the tuber and regularly eat the fresh dahlia leaf outdoors. In addition, gardeners can bring forward the flowering time of the dahlias by up to 6 weeks by growing the tubers in advance. This way, the plants will still flower until the first frost, but also as early as May or June. As long as the dahlia flowers are in bloom, you should take care to regularly remove the flowers that have blossomed out in order to maintain the abundance of flowers. 

What other bulbs can be grown in pots?

Not only can you grow dahlias in pots, but many other summer-flowering varieties are also suitable for precultivation. It is also possible to grow lilies, begonias, cannas, agapanthus or gladioli in pots and plant them outdoors after the frost. Pre planting these flowers also has the same advantages as for dahlias.

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