When To Plant Dahlias In Pots? 

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By Arthur Mbanefo

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 Don’t know when to plant Dahlias in pots for your container gardening? 

Don’t worry; this article will fill you in with EVERYTHING you need to know about potting dahlias –whether you are growing from its tubers, root cuttings, or seed. 

But many gardeners pot their Dahlias in late March or early April.

I won’t say that is the perfect time –for me, it could be –but I can’t say the same for you because I don’t know your local climate and the expected frost dates in your area.

Such much depends on your local climate. But we will explore all the possible angles.

However, before we do that, let’s talk about some common Dahlias plants ideal for potting.  

Best Dahlias To Grow In Pots

 Dahlias, usually planted in containers, don’t grow wild or that tall. They are primarily dwarfish.

They still bloom and behave like regular dahlias, only they are compact. Below that are a few of them:

  • Dahlia ‘Ellen Huston’ (aka Dahlia ‘Ellen Houston’)
  • Dahlia ‘Happy Single First Love’
  • Dahlia ‘Happy Single Party’Dahlia ‘Happy Single Romeo’
  • Dahlia ‘Happy Single Wink’
  • Dahlia ‘Impression Fabula’
  • Dahlia ‘Impression Fantastico’
  • Dahlia ‘ Sunshine’
  • Dahlia ‘ Impression Festivo’
  • Dahlia ‘ Impression Fortuna’
  • Dahlia ‘ Impression Fuego’
  • Dahlia ‘ Park Princess’
  • Dahlia ‘ Star’s Favorite’
  • Dahlia ‘ Scura’

 When To Plant Dahlias In Pots? 

You probably already know that dahlias are sensitive to frost. Many Gardeners understand this, which is why Dahlias are mostly planted after or six weeks before the last frost.

These are windows most suitable to pot your Dahlias.

I prefer planting mine after the last frost has passed.

It is because planting too early when the frost still lurks around could affect the plant.

You want to keep track of your location’s average last frost date at this juncture, then use it as a reference guide.

Even in the Spring season with colder climates, where the frost is likely to hit again, you can groom your dahlia indoors or in a greenhouse until the weather is clear.

You can be supportive with supplemental lighting. I recommend any unique grow or shop lights fitted with warm fluorescent bulbs.

This allows for some development before it is ready for transplanting outdoors.

Do Dahlias Grow Well In Pots?

 Of course, why not?! 

So long as you choose the right size of the pot (about 12- to 16-inch (30-40 cm) diameter pot to start with), well-draining soil, water moderately, let it get sufficient sunlight, and add a splash of fertilization, Dahlias with thrive. 

In fact, there are several advantages of planting Dahlias in pots. 

One is a controlled environment. Since you can move a potted plant, you can maximize sunlight exposure.

And when the harsh weather comes, you can protect the plant by simply moving it indoors.  

Aside from that, this grooming method helps reduce pest and disease management. There is a low risk that pests or diseases could attack the plant.

 What Fertilizer Is Best For Dahlias?

If you want to use fertilizers to stimulate healthy growth, vigorous flowering, and your dahlia’s overall vitality, you can try a few types.

First is balanced fertilizer. It is an equal or near-equal proportion of phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium.

 Opt for the ones labeled 10-10-10 or 14-14-14.

This fertilizer is a popular choice for dahlias since it provides the sufficient nutrients needed to sprout strong stems, lush, foliage, and bloom graciously.

 Another option is the Slow-Release Granular Fertilizer. This type gradually detonates the nutrients consistently to the plant over a long period.

Most gardeners prefer this option as it reduces the risk of over-fertilizing.

Liquid fertilizer is another viable option.

They are typically applied as a foliar spray. You can also mix it into your watering can.

Aside from that, they provide one of the most accelerating sources of nutrients; as the soil absorbs the liquid, it reaches the roots fast.

The bottom line:

Each of these Fertilizers will provide substantial results. But you MUST stick to the rules:

  • DO NOT Over-Fertilize
  • Adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Monitor the plant response

Another concern is when you fertilize your potted dahlia.

There are three most crucial stages all gardeners capitalize on: the initial planting stage, the early growth stage, and throughout the growing season.

From early spring, fertilize every 4-6 weeks during the growing season until late summer.

You can maximize these windows to get the most out of your dahlia plant.  

 Is Cow Manure Good For Dahlias?

 If you rear any bovine animal species, their dung (feces) is pretty helpful manure –cow and sheep, to be exact.

They produce the best fertilizer for dahlias since they are ridiculously richer in potassium, stimulating massive flowering.

However, it is imperative to use them properly and moderately.  

Aside from that, this manure instills beneficial microorganisms in the soil that enhance the texture, water-holding capacity, and overall fertility.

Why Are My Dahlias All Leaves And No Flowers?

It is disappointing when our plants don’t flower as expected!

And this problem is SO common with timers.

But if your dahlia keeps producing abundant foliage with no flowers, it is on the brink of death. And these are the factors at play:

  • Insufficient sunlight
  • Over-fertilization
  • Improper fertilisation timing
  • Transplanting dahlias when they are on the verge of forming buds Transplanting
  • Inconsistent or inadequate watering
  • Planting dahlia tubers too profoundly can also delay flowering.
  •  Heavy pest or disease surge 
  • Cultural factors like poor soil drainage, Overcrowding, or competition from nearby plants


In conclusion, it is also essential to choose the right pot size as it is crucial for the health and well-being of the plant.

However, if you don’t, it will directly affect not just the growth and development of the plant but the overall success.

So, what is the proper pot size?

It is a no-brainer that a large pot will do, but it doesn’t need to be that deep.

However, most dahlia varieties will thrive in 12-inch deep and 12- to 14-inch diameter pots.

You also have to consider the idea of soil. I would instead opt for an all-purpose, fast-draining potting mix with a boost of slow-release fertilizer.