How To Grow Dahlias in Pots - Backyard Boss
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How To Grow Dahlias in Pots

Dahlias come in many sizes, shapes, and colors and are some of the most gorgeous and versatile flowers you can grow in your garden. They can be used in luxurious bouquets and at the same time, you can plant them in the ground as perennials. However, it is not a well-known fact that they can be grown in containers and they make wonderful house plants. But dahlias can be quite pretentious and will require special care if grown in pots, so down below we’ve put together a guide to planting them in containers and taking care of them.

What you Need to Plant and Grow your Potted Dahlias

orange dahlia
Image credits: Sven Hornburg via Unsplash

There aren’t many things you need in order to plant and grow your dahlias in pots.

Potting Soil

Look for a good all-purpose potting mix or a specialist homegrown flower mix. To help you decide, here are some of the best potting mixes for container plants.


The best compost for potted plants would be multi-purpose peat-free compost. It is organic, which makes it very nature friendly and perfect for all your plants. Did you know that you can compost on a balcony? You can even revive old compost, but avoid putting these things in your compost bin if you plan on DIY-ing it.

Metal or Wood Stake

Preferably stainless steel metal stake. Wood tends to be less durable, especially in more humid places.

Preferred Type of Dahlia Tuber

There are many popular choices for potted dahlias. There are 11 different types of dahlias you can grow. Some types of dahlias, including the Melody Allegro, HS Kiss, Gallery Art Fair, Bitsy, Dahlegria Tricolore, Mix Pastel, and Gallery Monet, will develop beautifully even though they are container grown.

Big Pot

An ideal pot has to be 12 inches in diameter and depth at least and should have enough drainage holes.

Grow Lights

They are needed for dahlias kept on the inside. This is due to this plant’s love for light. Here are some of the best LED grow lights for indoor gardening projects. If you’re looking for something bigger, here are some of the best full spectrum LED grow lights for your flowers. If you’re tight on budget, you might want to check out some of the best budget grow lights for your dahlias.

How to Plant Dahlia Tubers in a Pot

The process of planting dahlia tubers in a pot is fairly straightforward and easy, but it still requires a lot of care.

Step 1: Prepare the Pot

pot with soil
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Buy good potting soil from your local store and mix it with ⅓ of compost, then fill your pot. It is a good idea to choose either an all-purpose mix or a flower mix if you want to get the best results.

Step 2: Insert the Stake

Put in a metal or a wooden stake. Make sure it is in the middle of the pot and place it before putting the tubers in to avoid the risk of injuring them and their root systems. Most dahlias can be quite heavy to where their stems cannot support the petals properly, so the extra support of the stake is needed.

Step 3: Insert the Tuber

Put the dahlia tuber about an inch under the soil and in the middle of the pot. You do this in order to ensure that the tubers receive enough of the sun’s warmth.

Step 4: Sprinkle Water

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Water regularly, but don’t use large amounts. Do not use a garden hose in order to avoid misplacing soil. Moreover, ensure that the pot you are using has enough drainage holes so that there isn’t excess water retained that would cause root rot.

Step 5: Use the Stake for Support

Once the sprouts show up, tie the stem to the stake carefully. This will ensure that they grow upwards and that the stems have enough strength to support the heavy petals of the plant.

Step 6: Install Grow Lights

shop lights for plants
Image credits: vadim kaipov via Unsplash

If you have decided on planting the dahlias inside, ensure that they have enough light. Install supplemental lighting once the plant sprouts. The best thing to do would be to use grow lights, but if that’s not a possibility, you can use shop lights with a cool and a warm bulb.

Caring for Dahlias Planted in a Pot

Surprisingly, dahlias can fare quite well even when grown in pots. However, you will need to ensure that they do not dry out a lot. Moreover, you will need to fertilize them regularly throughout their growing season.

Dahlias enjoy being fully in the sun but dislike it when the weather is too warm. If you live in a country with a very warm climate, such as Greece or Spain, you should make sure that the pot is in a shady spot during the hot hours. Ensure that the soil is not too wet, just a little moist. Moreover, secure your dahlias to a stake so they don’t keel over.

It is important to note that dahlias are best kept inside during the cold seasons. They are very sensitive to low temperatures. This is why you should only have them out between May and September when the weather is appropriate.

Overwintering Your Dahlias

If you live in a place with a colder climate, it is a great idea to overwinter your dahlias. You will have to wait for a few touches of frost to pass first. Then remove all the dead foliage and let the pot dry out properly, dig out the tuber and brush it off. Store the tubers in a dry and cool place, then in the spring replant the ones that haven’t gone rotten or soft.

pink dahlias
Image credits: Maja Erwinsdotter via Unsplash

Additional Information, Tips, and Tricks

There are many ways to ensure that your potted dahlias survive and even thrive. There are a few gardening YouTube channels that can provide us with some more information on how to take care of potted dahlias. The Chicago Gardener (who admitted that she had some issues with keeping her potted dahlias alive at first) shared a helpful video about how to grow dahlias in containers. Meanwhile, Farmer Gracy has shared how to grow dahlia tubers in your patio container.

In Summary

So there you have it! This is our guide to planting and taking care of dahlias in pots. As we mentioned above, while dahlias are sturdy perennials that you usually see in people’s backyards, they can also make a wonderful potted plant. They can bring a sense of luxury and elegance to any room, backyard, or window. However, it is important to take special care of them. They have a need for a warmer climate and lots of sunlight, but at the same time, too much of it could be their end.

What do you think? Would you like to have potted dahlias in your home or is the care for them too intense? Let us know in the comment section down below. Feel free to share the article if you liked it.

Happy Gardening!