How To Grow Dahlias From Seed

There is no need to tell how beautiful dahlias are. Their flowers fill different colors in the garden. Generally, gardeners like to plant them through tubers. But it is not that only tubers are the only way to grow these flowers. There are many ways in which you can grow dahlia flowers. Growing dahlias through its seeds is one of those ways. So let’s know How to grow dahlias from seed?

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Dahlia Seeds Vs Tubers: Which Is Better To Grow Dahlias

Before we know how to grow dahlias from seed, it is important to consider a few things. First of all, it has to be seen that which is better for growing dahlias among seeds and tubers? Through this comparison, it will be easy for you to decide which method will prove to be better for you.

Now before comparing let us know about the similarities of both. Whether it is about seeds or tubers,

  • You can easily get both in the market or you can save them for last year.
  • Both are capable of growing dahlias on their own.
  • There are people all over the world who choose one of these two according to their choice without any hassle.

But despite these similarities, both the methods have their own merits and drawbacks.


Growing dahlias through tubers are considered the most reliable and most gardeners give prominence to it. The reason for this is that the tuber contains all the information of its parents inside itself. It is like a blueprint and performs the same (sometimes even better). You will not see any variation/dissimilarity in the newly growing plants and flowers. Of course, you will get true copies of the original plant. The only drawback of this method can be considered that the tubers can come a little expensive if they are bought from the market for the first time. But if you have last year’s tubers safe then there will be no issue.


Unlike other flowers and plants, dahlia seeds do not store all the information about the parent plant in the correct order. They easily change their natural form, color, etc. It is completely a slave of nature’s will and capriciousness. Because of this, you may not get the exact copy. You’ll most likely get slightly different versions of its parent.

It is also possible that even when seeds collected from the same flower are planted close to each other in the same garden, you may see different versions. What’re more, dahlias grown from seeds can take several seasons to perform well. For these reasons, experienced and well-known gardeners always prefer to grow dahlias from tubers.

If you talk about the benefits, then there can be many benefits of using seeds. As the cost of seeds is less than that of tubers. It will be quite exciting to become the owner of a new version. Sometimes these flowers surpass their parents in terms of appearance and beauty. Only after trying this method will you know what kind of gift nature has thought of giving you.

Do dahlia seeds grow into tubes

The dilemma in the mind of many gardeners is ‘Do dahlia seeds grow into tubes?’ So the simple answer is “yes”. But there are some aspects to it.

The seeds are very small and require both nutrition and time to develop into large tubers. In the first year, the seed is able to produce only thin and small tubers. These small tubers are not suitable for harvesting. Nor do they have developed good nodes which are necessary to make a big plant. You may have to wait a few seasons (a year or two) before you see flowers on seed-grown dahlia plants.

Collecting or Harvesting Dahlia Seeds

To grow dahlias from seeds, you first need seeds. For this, you can buy seeds, for which you have many options. On the other hand, if you have dahlia flowers available, you can harvest the seeds from them.

To harvest the seeds, first, choose your favorite flower. Wait until the dahlia flower has dropped all of its ray petals. At this time, you will see the pods being light tan green in color and the seeds inside will be brown to dark brown in color. Now you can harvest the ripe pods.

Allow the pods to dry so that the seeds can be easily removed from them. After this take out the seeds from the pods and dry them too. Now store these seeds and wait for spring. Just keep reading to know everything about How to grow dahlias from seed?

How to Plant and Grow Dahlias from Seed

The process of growing dahlias from seed takes place shortly before early spring. Depending on your hardiness zone, you can start growing seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the end of winter. Doing this gives you some advantage, as the seeds will get enough time to grow dahlia flowers. It has been observed that under ideal conditions it takes 100 to 120 days for the seeds to bear the first flower on the plant.

Germinate seeds

You have more than one option for germinating dahlia seeds. The first and very easy way of this is to germinate the seeds with the help of paper towels. As another method, you can adopt seeding in the cell plug.

Germinating seeds with paper towels

To grow dahlia seeds on paper towels, take two wet paper towels. Place a paper towel on a flat surface. Keep the seeds on it at a distance. Then cover them with another paper towel. Spray water as much as the paper towels stick to each other. Now put them inside a zip lock bag. Lay that zip lock bag horizontally across the top of your refrigerator.

Keep checking the bag daily for signs of germination. It may take 3-5 days. Meanwhile, you can keep your seed tray ready by filling it with seed starting mix so that the seeds can be planted in it as soon as they germinate. Once the seeds germinate, you can carefully take them out of the zip lock bags and paper towels and plant them in the seed tray. Lastly, keep those seed trays under grow lights.

Germinating dahlias in a seed tray

Planting the seeds directly into the seed tray is another popular method. In this method, first, fill the seed starting trays with seed starting mix. Make a small pit and put one seed in each of the seed cells and lightly fill them with the seed starting mix. Water them well and cover them with a transparent cover. Finally, put them under grow lights. Like the above method, this method may also take 3 to 5 days for the seeds to germinate.

When to transplant your dahlia seedlings

Sprouted seeds sown in seed trays will take the shape of small plants after a short time. Then you should transplant them into larger containers. It has two advantages. First, plants get enough space to grow, and second, their roots do not get tangled. Along with this, the development of the tuber is also done properly.

You will need to keep and care for these plants indoors until all danger of frost is gone. The dahlia plant can be planted in the garden along with the root when the cold has completely passed. You just have to make sure that there is enough heat in the soil.

In another situation, if you live in an area that has a long growing season, things are much easier for you. You can sow the seeds directly into the garden for the seeds to germinate, grow and develop. The only condition is that the temperature of the soil should be at least 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit and no further lower than this.

How long does dahlia take to bloom from seed?

One of the reasons most gardeners shy away from growing dahlias from seed is the excessive waiting. You have to wait a long time after sowing the seeds in early spring. On average, dahlias will see their first flowers about 100 to 120 days from the time you sow the seeds. In other words, you can enjoy the first flowering around mid-July. If you are less patient then growing dahlias from tubers will be better for you.

Summary of How to Grow Dahlias From Seed

Growing dahlias from seed is an exciting process. It gives a great opportunity to the gardeners to try something new apart from the old ways. This is an opportunity for you to get a sense of adventure and save a lot of money.

There is hardly any such method in the world that will give you the opportunity to make a variety of a flower or plant which is not there yet. But dahlia seeds give you this opportunity. If you try it, then perhaps nature can gift you some unknown variety of dahlia which no one in the whole world has till now.

This process demands a little patience, but we gardeners are crazy about the process of growing plants and their beautiful results. That’s our job. What is your opinion? Are you thinking about doing this…

Back to Main Article   Go back to learn About Dahlia In Detail.


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