Speeding up Dahlias and Calla lilies


I’ve bought dry tubers of each of these at a Metro grocery store. They’re packed in sealed, clear plastic bags, the calla lily tubers in what looks like sawdust, and the dahlia tubers bare. Is there anything I can do to speed their recovery from dormancy?


Thank you for your question to Toronto Master Gardeners

Your calla lily and dahlia tubers are just perfect as they are.   However, if you would like to speed them up, you can start them indoors in containers.

Whether you start your tubers indoors or outdoors, soak them in a bucket of warm water before you start. Dahlias need one hour of soaking. If you soak callas for about 12 hours, you may speed up bloom time even more. If planting in a container, be sure to use fresh potting soil designed for strong blooming plants. It’s always best to follow the instructions on the package about watering and light.

At this point, you may as well plant the dahlias outdoors as we are now in the final week before the last possible frost date for Toronto, which is the ideal planting time for these flowers. Environment Canada estimates that the last frost date for Toronto is May 9, based on a 30 year average between 1960 and 1990.

We have several answers to Dahlia questions on our Toronto Master Gardener website: www.torontomastergardeners.ca. You’ll see a Find It Here search box where you can enter a word or phrase.

Good luck