Crop Production Info

Dahlias as Pot and Container Plants

Programming Phase

An easy, and quick selection of the most suited dahlias varieties can be made from our Cultivar Groups, as classified in the catalog section. Varieties in each of these groups share the same overall growth habit and have similar cultural requirements. For each Cultivar Group general guidelines for key cultural practices as shoot pinching and, when necessary, the use of plant growth regulators (PGR's), are given as a suggested starting point. We advise growers to fine tune these elements for their specific production needs and growing environment.

Programming chart for growing tuberous-rooted Dahlias as pot plants:

Marketing PeriodOrder Shipped
to Arrive Week
Planting DateSuggested Cultivar Group
Mid March2January 15Gallery Dahlias
April4January 30Short Compacts
Mothers Day6February 15Short Compacts & Intermediates
Late May (Memorial Day)10March 5Compacts, Intermediates and Tall
June14April 5Compacts, Intermediates and Tall
July18April 30Specific Heat-tolerant Cultivars

Working with our wide range of selected cultivars you have many options to grow Picture Perfect Dahlia Pots. Extend your dahlia program by selecting a variety of types and colors, used in different sized pots and specialty containers. From greenhouse grown Early Spring indoor pots to a outdoor grown Mid Summer container crop.

Crop Production (Page 1)

Planting and Medium:

Dahlia shipments can be scheduled to arrive at your location every two weeks, from Early January through May. Early shipped dahlias are packed in styrofoam insulated cartons to prevent frost damage. The tuberous-roots are packed in peatmoss and can be stored for up to a month, in closed cartons at 45 to 50 F. Doing so, several staggered plantings can be made from one shipment.

Dahlias require a well drained, pH 7.0 planting medium, low in soluble salts. For the effective use of a PGR soil drench, use a pine bark free soil mix with an organic matter contents not exceeding 30%. We recommend Dahlias to be planted in "deep", standard pots, and bigger containers. A larger soil volume protects the roots from heat-stress and will enhance the blooming capacity of a Container Dahlia during the summer.

Two planting techniques are used for tuberous-rooted dahlias in pots:

Greenhouse Crop: crown area exposed slightly above soil level, to stimulate the eyes to break dormancy quickly. The first primary crown shoots can develop into taller dominant shoots which have to be pinched back before they elongate.

Stacked-pot Plantings and Outdoor-grown Container crop: crown area submerged 0.25 to 0.5 inch below soil level, to slow down and protect initial development. More primary shoots tend to develop to grow out more evenly. Avoid prolonged wet conditions for recently planted dahlias to prevent crown rot.

Potted dahlias can be started in a cool greenhouse, grown pot to pot for the first 4-5 weeks. To save greenhouse space and/or to give an outdoor container crop an early start, we suggest to stack planted and thoroughly watered pots f.e. in plastic trays on skids, in an daylight area (60-65 F night). Here initial root development can take place. When shoots start to emerge, after 2 to 3 weeks, the pots can be moved into the greenhouse or finished at their final spacing in the outside growing area.

Watering and Fertilization:

Do not over water potted dahlias during the initial 3 to 4 weeks and avoid wetting young shoots and foliage. Once mature leaves start to grow quickly, water more frequent and thoroughly and start a fertilization program.

From this stage on Dahlias have a relative high feed requirement. Apply a top-dressed slow-release fertilizer (14-14-14) or liquid feed 2 to 3 times a week (200 ppm of N). A weekly leaching is advised to prevent a salt build up.

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