Dahlia Roots Aren’t Pretty and That’s Okay
Dahlia root clumps are top contenders in the horticultural ugly ducking contest, with a brown lumpy look only a mother or warmhearted gardener could love.
Here’s a strong recommendation to go ahead and love them. And find a place for them in your landscape.
Because later this season, they’ll burst into glorious bloom, with flowers that everyone covets for cutting and color, in a rainbow of hues and blends to take your breath away. Your ducklings will become beautiful swans!
Go ahead, show them off, tell everyone you grew that stunner . . . be proud.
Here are several ready to plant ducklings to help you get a feel for what dahlia roots look like. Oddly formed. Knobby. Weird. And bursting with promise (really!)
This is one of those moments that leans on trust.
Know that your curious root clump will sprout and grow into a strong, beautiful plant, like so many others before it. The clump has been keep in a carefully controlled setting, with temperature and humidity managed to keep the eyes from starting to sprout prematurely and the tubers from drying out.
- Brush or blow off the bits of peat the clumps are packed in.
- Find last year’s stem. Growth won’t come from there again but this year’s sprouts will appear in the area where that stem joins the root tubers.
- Plant with the old stem facing upwards.
- Give your dahlia time to wake up and start to grow.
Find complete growing instructions here.
Always on the lookout for fun, vigorous new dahlias? Here are a handful we’re looking forward to growing in our test gardens this summer:
- Ice Tea – a coral pink sweetie with darker centers
- Pink Sylvia – the pink sister of Maarn/Sylvia
- Lady Natalie – a lovely white cutting variety
- Brown Sugar – a sweet caramel orange
- Siberia – another contender for “the perfect bouquet white”
- French Doll – a warm pink and soft yellow confection
Circle back for a review of these dahlias at the end of the growing season, in case any of these cultivars are on your “I should try” list.
Find this season’s selection of ready-to-plant dahlias here.