Growing Dahlias In Pots

Growing Dahlias In Pots

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Dahlias are magnificent flowers and I must say, one of my favourites. But can they be grown in pots?

And if so, then what is the best way to grow them? Let’s take a look and find out in this little guide all about growing Dahlias in pots.

Growing Dahlias In Pots

Can Dahlias Be Grown In Pots?

If the photo above wasn’t enough of a giveaway then the simple answer is yes, Dahlias can be grown in pots, and they actually make really good potted plants.

But they do require larger pots, especially if you want big gorgeous flowers, and after all, that’s why we’re growing them, isn’t it?

Plant them in a pot just larger than the roots and make sure it has plenty of drainage, dahlias don’t like their roots to be sitting in wet soil.

You can mix some vermiculite in to help with this or even add a little sand to your potting mix.

Use a multipurpose compost, and that’s all there is to it really, I told you dahlias make excellent potted plants!

You will want to water regularly as dahlias don’t like their roots staying dry for too long, and here in lies the conundrum that can confuse a lot of people.

I just said only a couple of paragraphs ago that they need good drainage and don’t like their roots being too wet, but now I’m saying they don’t like them dry either.

The simple truth is that both are correct. They don’t like overly wet roots, and they don’t like overly dry roots either.

While this may sound really complicated the window for getting this right is actually quite large. As long as the plant is not sat in water nor allowed to completely dry out regularly then it will be happy.

My Dahlias

How Many Dahlias Per Pot?

Unless you get a really large pot a lot of the time you will be better off just growing a single Dahlia per pot and letting it reach its full size.

Or if you want lots of different coloured blooms in a single pot then you could grow multiple smaller plants in one pot.

One thing you will need to be careful of here is their tubers growing into each other and becoming entangled which can be a real problem.

What Size Pots To Start Dahlia Tubers?

Starting your Dahlias off is always one of those really exciting spring jobs, it’s just a simple reminder that we are getting back to growing and that summer is just around the corner.

When starting your Dahlia tubers off though one question you may have is what size pot to use.

Should you go with something large, or something that the tubers only just fit inside?

Let’s have a look and find out.

If you are just planning on starting them in the pot they are going to grow in all summer then you just want to select a pot that is slightly bigger than the tuber.

You want to make sure there is a little room for tuber growth and that the full tuber slides in nicely.

You don’t want to have to squeeze the tuber into the pot as then there is a good chance a bit of the tuber may break off.

My Lemon Dahlias Grown From Seed
My Lemon Dahlias Grown From Seed

Starting Dahlia Tubers In A Propagator

This is a great way to start your tubers if you want to get them going really early and take multiple cuttings.

With this method, you can get two or three cuttings off your tubers before the growing season is even in full swing.

You want to use a propagator with a lid and as deeper a tray as possible.

Plant the dahlia tubers in multipurpose compost with the neck of the tuber well above the soil level.

This is important as having the neck above the soil makes it a lot easier to snip off new growth to use as a cutting.

The propagator lid just helps to keep the temperature of the soil and the air around the tuber higher and will help promote growth.

cafe au lait royal dahlia
cafe au lait royal dahlia

Do Dahlias Grow Well In Pots?

So what are the advantages of growing dahlias in pots? well to start with you can fill the pot with high-quality compost which will be much better than your garden soil.

This is important in a few ways. one reason is that Dahlias love free draining soil and a full compost mix will be really light and well-draining.

The next is that Dahlias are hungry plants and by planting them in a multi-purpose compost we are giving them plenty of food to get them off to the best start possible.

Lifting The Tubers

Another great advantage that growing dahlias in pots also gives you is that it makes them really easy to lift and store over autumn and winter.

You could even just leave them in their pots and bring the pots into a sheltered spot if you would like. This makes saving your dahlia bulbs over winter no effort at all.

Regular Feeding & Watering

One thing you need to keep on top of, and a slight drawback to growing in pots is feeding and watering.

As I mentioned earlier, dahlias are hungry plants, and if you want them to flower at their absolute best then you need to feed them regularly.

This is more true with pot-grown dahlias than anything else as they will soon exhaust the food in their pots, so feed well once a week in peak season.

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This is the feed I use in my garden for everything, flowers and vegetables alike. Just dilute some down in a watering can and feed your plants regularly.

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