Dahlias – Queen of the Garden


Dahlias are beautiful flowers to have in your garden, but in Ontario they take a bit more work due to our cold winter climate. They need to be planted in early spring and dug up in the fall.

Plant dahlia tubers in an area of your garden that gets 6-8 hours of sunlight a day when soil temperature has reached 55-60 degrees. Mid-April- early June in Ontario. They prefer loose, well-drained soil.

Decorative Dahlia


Dahlias need a deep watering 2 times a week. They like to be fertilized with 5-10-10 fertilizer. Too much nitrogen will lead to more foliage and less flowers.


How To Store Dahlia Tubers

Once a hard frost has hit your plants, dig them up, cut off the stems, shake off the loose dirt and let them dry out. A garage is a good place for this. Once they are dry put them in a box or paper bag with packing material such as shredded newspaper, perlite or peatmoss.

Amy Andrychowixz getbusygardening.com

Store in a cool place until the spring.  Do not let them freeze! Don’t forget to mark the colors if you have a specific garden you want them in next spring! You can divide them in the spring once you can see the eyes forming.

Fun Facts

Dahlias are a member of the Compositae family also known as the Asteraceae family. Flower heads are composite.

Aztecs used to use the stem of the tree dahlia to carry water. When Spain invaded Mexico in the 1500’s they brought the tubers back to Europe. They were cultivated for their edible tubers at first. In the 1800’s breeders started developing different types.

There are 70,000 varieties of dahlia’s today. There are over 42 types of Dahlias listed in the Royal Horticultural Society’s dahlia registry.  justagric.com

Native to Mexico and Central America.

Yellow Ball Dahlia

They are the national flower of Mexico

Purple Peony Dahlia with white flecks


– white, yellow, orange, pink, red, lavender, purple, black, pastel mixes, variegated with speckles and bi-colors

Tequila Sunrise Cactus Dahlia

Types of Dahlias

-tree, decorative, cactus, lancinated, ball and miniature ball,  pom pom, stellar, water lily,    peony, anemone, collarette, single, orchid, novelty petalrepublic.com

authored by Christine Westbrook

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