I have some Dahlia tubers. We are already in mid June. I live in Scarborough. Would it be okay for me to plant them now or shall I wait until fall.

Please let me know.

Thanks for your help,


Below, you will find general Dahlia growing instructions.

You can certainly grow dahlias in your geographic location.  Dahlias grow from a tuber which will not survive in the ground over winter in most pasts of Canada.  You can plant new tubers every year or lift the tubers in the fall and store indoors.

Dahlias ideally should be planted outdoors in mid-May.  They like a full sun (6-8 hours/day) and a well drained location.  If your soil is on the heavy side, lighten it by adding some compost or composted manure.

Check the package label for information on how deep to plant (generally 4-6 in/10-15 cm) and how much distance to allow between plants (generally 18-24 in/45-60 cm).  The spacing is important to maintain good air circulation around the plants.  Crowding can contribute to the development of downy mildew in humid weather.

Taller varieties may need staking.  Some gardeners use tomato cages to support their dahlias.

Right after planting, water them in.  Wait till you see shoots appearing before you water them again and then water regularly – at least twice a week when there is no rain.

No fertilization is required at the time of planting but your dahlias will benefit from an application of liquid, organic fertilizer 30 days after planting and then monthly during the blooming season.  Be sure to avoid a high nitrogen fertilizer which will give you lots of leaves at the expense of fewer blooms.

Blooms should start to appear 8 weeks after planting.  You could also get a head start by planting your dahlias indoors in late March/early April and then moving them outdoors mid-May, assuming you can provide a sunny indoor location or sufficient artificial light.

If you want to store your favourite dahlia tubers over the winter, wait till after the first heavy frost then remove the tops to within 6 inches of the crown (where the stem joins the root) and carefully lift the tubers with a garden fork.  Gently brush the soil off the tubers and lay them out to dry in the sun for a few hours.  Before storing, remove any tubers that are look infested, dead, moldy or withered.  Bury in dry sand, soil or compost and store indoors in a cool dark spot.

So, as you can see, yes you are a month late with planting but I would suggest you go ahead and plant them now anyway.  You may not get an abundance of blooms this year but your tubers will benefit from growing, using the sun, moisture & soil nutrients to increase in size which will make them stronger plants next year.  If you don’t plant them this year, you risk losing them altogether.

Hope this helps.