Dahlia Tuber FAQ - Questions About Growing Dahlias


Store your dahlias in a cool place until you are ready to plant. Recommended storage temperature is between 41º-47ºF to maintain dormancy.

If you are starting your tubers early or growing in containers, we recommend using soil that is free of pre-added fertilizers or compost.

Plant your dahlias in the spring after your last frost date in a well-drained site with lots of sun. Tubers should be placed 4-6" deep and 12" apart. Do not overwater.

Your dahlia should sprout within 4-6 weeks after planting. Some common reasons a tuber may fail to sprout are:
  • No eye - The tuber needs to have an eye to produce a plant. We triple check for eyes before we ship to you.
  • Too much water - The soil should be moist when the tuber is planted, but shouldn’t be watered until it sprouts to avoid rot.
  • Too dry - If your soil is too dry and  it could dry out your tuber
If any of your tubers fail to produce an eye, let us know by May 31, 2023 so we can replace the tuber or issue a merchandise credit. Send us an email with your Order # in the subject line and a summary of the problem, including photos if applicable. We are not responsible for plant performance or loss due to adverse growing conditions, improper storage or care, or crop failure.

If you have questions about growing dahlias, we recommend connecting with your local American Dahlia Society or another horticulture or gardening club near you. We rely on regular lab analysis of our soil, water, and plant material to determine the methods we use. What works for us growing on a commercial scale in our zone may not work for you, and we aren't able to offer advice specific to your garden without knowing the details.

If you have questions about possible disease or virus, we recommend having your plant material tested. Diagnosing disease based on photos alone is not always possible and can be misleading. We have had tubers that we were sure had gall test negative at the most highly accredited labs by the leading expert on gall. View our 2020 and 2021 test results.

There are so many variables that contribute to the overall health of a plant, and diseases can be spread by insects as well as humans. Tubers are not always the source of the issue, so it may be necessary to consult with a scientist at your local extension agency or university lab to get an official diagnosis.

SMFF will not accept responsibility for diseased tubers without lab results. Should tuber stock be found at fault, send us a copy of your lab results, and we will issue a refund in full.

In lieu of having your plant tested, remove any suspected plants and dispose of them away from your garden and do not add them to compost.

Additional resources:

The Lowdown on Leafy Gall  by Melodie Putnam
Is it Crown Call or Leafy Gall?  by Melodie Putnam and Marilyn Miller
Growing Dahlias - Iowa State Extension & Outreach
Dahlia Mosaic Virus on Dahlia - Utah State University

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