Melinda's Gardening Moment: Planting dahlias

Melinda's Gardening Moments

Plant dahlias in spring and enjoy continuous bloom from mid-summer to the first fall frost.

Select a sunny well-drained location and start planting directly in the garden after the danger of frost has passed. Dig a hole 4 to 6 inches deep. Set the tuberous roots in the hole with the stem or eyes, that’s the point of new growth, pointed up. Cover with soil and water.

Or start them indoors about a month before the last spring frost, for earlier bloom outdoors. Plant the tuberous roots in a 6- to 8-inch pot with the eye about an inch below the soil surface. Move transplants into the garden after the danger of frost has passed and the soil is warm.

Add a decorative stake to support the large flowered and taller varieties.

Don’t be afraid to cut your dahlias. Picking encourages more blooms for you to enjoy. With as few as three to six plants you’ll have plenty of flowers to enjoy yourself and share with friends.

A bit more information: Dahlias are hardy in zones 8 to 11 where they can remain in the ground year-round. In colder regions they are grown like annuals and replaced each year or dug and stored indoors for winter. Thanks to Longfield Gardens® for use of several images in this segment.

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About Melinda Myers

Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author & columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. She has written over 20 gardening books, including Can’t Miss Small Space Gardening and the Midwest Gardener’s Handbook. She hosts the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment segments which air on over 135 TV and radio stations throughout the U.S. Myers is also the host of the recently released The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything” DVD series. Melinda writes a regular column for Wisconsin Gardening and Chicagoland Gardening magazines. She also writes the twice monthly “Gardeners’ Questions” newspaper column. Melinda hosted “The Plant Doctor” radio program for over 20 years as well as seven seasons of Great Lakes Gardener on PBS. Melinda has a master’s degree in horticulture, is a certified arborist and was a horticulture instructor with tenure. She is the recipient of the American Horticultural Society’s B.Y. Morrison Communication Award and in 2017 was inducted into the national Hall of Fame of GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators. Myers’ website,, features gardening videos, podcasts, monthly gardening tips and much more.

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