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Grow Dinner Plate Dahlias in Colorado

Updated on April 1, 2017

20,000 Varieties of dahlias

The first year I started my cottage garden I grew Dinner Plate dahlias. Not knowing where to start, I bought a sack of mixed bulbs from a warehouse store. When I looked at the dried out tubers of different sizes and shapes I thought these will never grow but I dug a hole threw them in and hoped for the best. Late summer, these amazing large colorful flowers appeared. I took all the compliments from friends and family and knew that I would always have these in my Colorado garden. There is definitely a "Wow factor" to a garden full of these beauties.

I brought over a bunch of purple blooms to my neighbor and she said her friend had been growing dahlias for years and directed me to her friend's house. When I drove up I couldn't believe how many varieties of these popular flowers were growing. The colors ranged from deep purples, reds and yellows to shades of pink, orange and green.

I was hooked and I've been growing these magical dahlia blooms ever since. With so many varieties be prepared for an explosive burst of color and texture in your garden.

Guide to Growing Dahlias

If you're really serious about growing dahlias a guide like this is an inexpensive way to ensure your dahlias will bloom. Pay attention to the basic guide included with most dahlia tubers.

  • Don't overwater when you first plant your tubers
  • Water generously when the tubers break through the dirt
  • Plant in a sunny location
  • Give the tubers plenty of room

Pom Pom Variety

Pom Pom Variety
Pom Pom Variety

Use Good Garden Tools

Japanese Hori Hori Gardening Knife

No, you don't need specialized gardening tools when growing dahlias you can use a spade or a small shovel but this is what I use. It makes planting easier and will the markings on the gardening knife you can dig the size and depth of the hole you need for the tuber or bulb. It's my go to favorite gardening tool.

Why Dinner Plate Dahlias?

Truth be told I bought the bulbs because I liked the name, I also thought the magenta and white striped photo on the package of bulbs looked unusual and beautiful. After the first year, I discovered many other varieties that grew exceptionally well in my Colorado Springs garden. Because Colorado has short hot summers these flowers flourish here. A recent visit to a community garden showed me many other varieties including Spider Dahlias with a lemon chiffon colored middle and magenta outer petals.

Test Your Soil and Prepare the Bed

This Soil Kit Will Last for Years

Dahlias like an acidic type of soil (6.5-7.0) so test your soil and adjust accordingly.

I plant the tubers when the ground is warm and the soil is loose adding in manure and some bone meal and working it in to the soil. Using the bulb planter I dig a 6" deep hole and put the tuber in horizontally covering each one with soil. Because these are large flowers make sure you plant at least 18" apart. Every grower will tell you, that unlike other bulbs, these ones should not be watered until the sprouts have appeared.

Videos on Growing Dahlias

Do you grow dahlias in your garden?

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