Farm Gate Cut Flower Bouquet's, Seeds, Plants & More. Tamborine Mountain Qld

From Tiny Seeds to Big Blooms: Growing Dahlias from Scratch

Dahlias, with their vibrant colours and dramatic blooms, are a gardener's delight. But did you know you can grow these beauties from seed, not just tubers? It's a rewarding experience, allowing you to explore unique varieties and witness the magic of life unfolding. So, grab your gardening gloves and let's get started!

Seedlings Sprouting:

• Timing: Start your seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before your last frost date. This gives them time to mature before enjoying the outdoors.
• Seed Mix: Choose a high-quality, well-draining seed-raising mix. Avoid mixes with garden soil, which can harbour unwanted pests and diseases.
• Planting Depth: Sow seeds shallowly, about 5mm deep. Gently press them into the soil and mist with water.
• Temperature: Aim for a warm environment, ideally 18-21°C (64-70°F). Heat mats can be helpful, but ensure they don't directly touch the seeds.
• Lighting: Provide bright light, preferably using grow lights if natural sunlight is limited. Aim for 14-16 hours of light daily.

Nurturing the Young Ones:

• Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist, but avoid overwatering. Use a mister to gently water and prevent the delicate seedlings from being washed away.
• Thinning: Once seedlings have two true leaves, thin them out to one per cell or pot. This allows each plant to grow strong and avoid overcrowding.
• Hardening Off: Gradually acclimate your seedlings to outdoor conditions before planting them out. Start by bringing them outside for short periods in sheltered areas, gradually increasing the duration and exposure to direct sunlight. This process can take up to two weeks.

Planting Out and Pinching:

• Timing: Wait until all danger of frost has passed and soil temperatures are consistently above 10°C (50°F).
• Location: Choose a sunny spot with well-drained soil. Dahlias love at least 6-8 hours of sunlight daily.
• Spacing: Plant according to the ultimate size of the variety, typically 30-60cm (1-2ft) apart.
• Pinching: Once your seedlings have reached 4-6 true leaves, pinch out the growing tip. This encourages bushier growth and more blooms later on.

Bonus Tips for Success:

• Deadhead spent blooms regularly to promote further flowering.
• Water deeply and regularly, especially during hot spells.
• Mulch around the base of your plants to retain moisture and suppress weeds.
• Stake taller varieties as needed to prevent them from toppling over.
• Feed your dahlias with a balanced fertiliser throughout the growing season.
• At the end of the season, carefully dig up the tubers and store them in a cool, dry place for next year's dazzling display.

Growing dahlias from seed might require a bit more patience than starting with tubers, but the satisfaction of nurturing them from tiny beginnings is truly rewarding. With these tips and a little care, you'll be enjoying a breathtaking display of dahlia blooms in your garden all summer long!