Plant dahlia bulbs or tubers by acquiring quality bulbs, choosing a good location, preparing the soil and placing the bulbs at the right position in the ground. Plant dahlia bulbs in early spring, when the danger of frost has completely passed.
- Acquire the bulbs
Acquire dahlia bulbs from last year's dahlia planting by digging up the roots and separating excess tubers. Store them nestled in sawdust or vermiculite in a wooden or cardboard box in a dry location where the temperature remains about 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Alternatively, acquire dahlia bulbs from neighbors who have dahlia plants, as the plants continually generate more bulbs. Be sure the bulbs have a growing point, or eye, on the tuber.
- Choose a location
Plant dahlias in an area with alternating shade and about five to six hours of direct sunlight a day. Be sure the soil drains well.
- Prepare the soil
Dig a hole 12 inches square and 12 inches deep. If the soil is heavy, add peat moss or sand to lighten it. Mix a shovelful of bone meal, Dolomite lime and compost into the soil you removed. Replace some of the soil mixture so the hole is 4 to 6 inches deep, depending on the size of the dahlia you are planting.
- Plant the bulb
Place the bulb in the hole horizontally so the eye points upward. If you are planting a tall dahlia, place a stake next to the bulb so that when the dahlia stem grows, it can be tied to the stake. Cover the bulb with 1 to 2 inches of soil. Water the bulb well. As the sprout grows up, add more soil mix until the hole is completely filled.