I often grow common dahlias from seed. They reach a height of twenty-four inches and bloom in August when grown in this manner. Dahlias are great for late-season color in pots and borders.
The larger dahlias, often called the dinner-plate variety, are best grown from tubers. These are available for purchase in almost all of the larger warehouse stores and garden centers. The tubers are placed in the ground, and bloom late in the season. The best luck I ever had with the larger dahlias was the year I bought a pre-planted tuber from a local nursery. This year I decided to start a few dahlias in pots to get a jumpstart on their blooming time.
Before I purchase a package of dahlia tubers I check to see that at least a few sprouts are visible. If there is no sign of life, I don’t buy the package.
When I open the package I check to see that all the tubers are firm. Each should have a few purple buds showing, and hopefully some green shoots.
I found six good tubers in my package. Instead of planting each in a separate six-inch pot, I planted all the tubers in one ten inch pot. When the tubers begin to thrive and grow steadily, I will replant each in a separate pot. When all danger of frost is gone I will plant them outdoors. Hopefully, the early start will mean early blooming. I will update their progress in a few weeks.