Dahlia Tuber Information
What you will receive:
What to expect: Each order consists of one dahlia tuber. Most Dahlia orders will actually have 2 or more interconnected tubers though occasionally, some may only have one tuber. All tubers will have at least one viable eye that may or may not have begun to sprout upon arrival. Tubers will be stamped with the variety name (less waste, YAY!).
Please note that sometimes in transit, your sprout will be knocked off, but we have never had a problem with that affecting their flower production or overall health of the plant. Please refer to our video to see exactly what you will be receiving.
When we ship:
We ship via Fedex so addresses provided must be a physical address. NO PO BOXES! We will begin shipping orders the last week of March through mid-late April. We will ship according to the region you live in and according to good weather. We will send out an email reminder when general shipping begins. You will receive a separate email with tracking information once we have packed up your order and it has been picked up Fedex. We DO NOT take ship date requests and cannot tell you in advance when we will ship your order because it will be dictated by the weather. Your order will ship sometime between March 26th-late April and you will find out the ship date when you receive an email with tracking information.
What to do when you receive your package:
Please open up your package upon arrival to get some airflow to your tubers. Keep out of direct sunlight and store in a beneficial environment (don't desiccate it and don't grow mold on it) before you plant. 40-58 degree range with decent relative humidity is ideal. Basements are perfect. Check tubers occasionally to ensure they don't need more or less moisture. Successful dahlia storage is a big part of growing dahlias every year, so use this time to develop your yearly strategy. Plant according to your region.
When to plant:
Cooler climate growers can plant after Spring's last frost. Southern growers should not plant that early. We plant our dahlias in early June in the south. Heat and insects cause a lot of stress in southern dahlias and they fare MUCH better when planted later. We can't stress the importance of this enough to southern growers if growing for profit. Gardeners with a few plants...don't worry about it too much. It's ideal to plant late, but if you don't want to deal with storage and don't mind some holes in your flowers, plant earlier if that's easier.
Do not plant during or right before extended periods of rain. Too much ground water will rot your tubers if they haven't fully sprouted into plants yet.
How to Plant:
Plant in full sun in well drained, fertilized soil, 12"-18" apart. Dig a hole that's about 5-6 inches deep. Set the tubers with the growing points, or “eyes,” facing up, and cover with soil. Do not plant too deep. Eyes should be just below ground level. Do not water deeply until dahlia begins to grow or risk of rot goes up. Tall, large-flowered cultivars will require support. We recommend pinching when the plants are 6 inches tall.
We are not responsible for dahlias once they have been planted in the ground. We ship out only the highest quality tubers and are not responsible for user error once dahlias have been planted. Please follow all planting instructions to best set yourself up for success. We are not responsible for issues arising due to poor storage practice after orders have been received. Any issues with tubers must be brought to our attention within 48 hours of delivery and accompanied by photos, so we can assess if replacements or refunds are needed.
Pest control: Late planting prevents thrips, but we protect each bloom from larger pests with organza bags for most of autumn. With these 2 cultural practices, we haven't sprayed our dahlias for pests in the last 6 years and they turn out beautiful. If thrips are really bad for you, you can also add Stratiolaelaps scimitus (formerly Hypoaspis miles) to your soil after planting. We do this once a year.
Harvesting your dahlias:
Cut for your market. 3/4 open for florists, stores, and farmers markets. Fully open for events.
In zones 8 and warmer, dahlias can technically be overwintered in the ground, but we strongly advise against it! Pest pressure is off the charts in southern dahlias that've been overwintered. You should dig up dahlias after a frost,when the foliage has died back and store in a cool, dark and dry place like a basement, then divide and plant the following year.
I just got my tracking information and I am going to be out of town when my order arrives. Can I change my ship date or choose when my order is delivered?
No, due to having a limited staff we are unable to take ship date requests. In this situation, please get in touch with a neighbor, family member or friend to bring in the package for you.
My address has changed since I placed my order. Can I update my address?
Yes, only if your order has not shipped. If the order has shipped, we are not responsible for orders with the incorrect address provided by the customer. Please email email@example.com to change your address.
I know you don't ship a lot of your live plant/cut flowers to California and Alaska due to Ag restrictions and laws. Do you ship your dahlia tubers to California and Alaska?
Yes! We can ship our dahlia tubers to California and Alaska! Woohoo!
Do you ship internationally? To Canada?
We do not ship internationally. While we do not ship to Canada, Fivefork Farms ships their gorgeous dahlia tubers to our neighbors up north!
Can you explain more on how to store dahlia tubers before planting/after digging up?
Spring planted dahlias in GA get huge fast and then soak up heat stress and pest pressure for months. Come Fall when they are supposed to produce, they are too sick and tired to do much.
Can I pick up my order at the farm?
Yes! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org immediately after you place your order and she can refund you for the shipping fee. We are assigning Dahlia tuber pickups to Saturday, April 6th at our farm store and you can pick up anytime we are open, 9am-3pm
Do you offer wholesale pricing?
We do not offer wholesale pricing for our dahlia tubers. We only offer a wholesale discount for our fresh cut flowers. If you want our wholesale discount for cut flowers, please fill out our wholesale form!
My tubers arrived damaged/rotted. What do I do?
Please email email@example.com no more than 48 hours after your tubers arrive. Please give a detailed description of the condition and provide photos of your order. Once we have that information, we can assess the situation from there and replace or refund tubers that are nonviable.
I planted my tubers and nothing came up. Can I get a refund?
No, we are not responsible for dahlias that were received in good condition, but subsequently failed due to improper storage, improper planting/watering/growing practices, or inclement weather. We guarantee our tubers from our farm to your door and have no control of what happens after that. We ship out only the highest quality tubers that are fully viable, so all claims of damaged or poor quality tubers must be filed within 48 hours of receipt and accompanied by photos. Please follow our instructions included to best set yourself up for success!
Can I compost the packaging my tubers came in?
Yes! We proudly use all compostable packaging for our shipped goods.
I've grown dahlias before and some of the tubers rotted. How do I prevent this?
It is critical to have well drained soil and to plant during periods where no extensive rain is expected. Do not use black plastic mulch of any kind on your dahlia beds in the south as it heats up the soil and when combined with moisture creates prime conditions for rot. Do not plant your tubers too deep. Do not plant your tubers with the eyes facing downwards. Your odds of success increase if you let your tubers sprout before planting.
What do you use for pest control?
Dahlias were our most pest ridden crop for half a decade. We now have close to zero pest issues with them through 2 main cultural practices.
1) we plant late subjecting plants to less heat stress. This allows our plants natural defenses to be stronger. This timing also avoids giving a food source and breeding ground to japanese beetles, tarnished plant bugs, and thrips. By the time our flowers are blooming, these pests are either gone, or don't have ideal conditions to build up their populations. We never spray for pests anymore...at all.
2) We use organza bags on our blooms for grasshoppers and whatever else might want a snack. We use 6"x9" for our regular blooms and 8"x12" for the larger ones. These won't work on thrips, which reinforces our late planting.
3) Likely not as necessary, but as insurance, we sprinkle stratiolaelaps mites in the soil after planting. These mites eat thrip larvae. You can find these mights through a beneficial insect provider. Express shipping is costly, so find one closest to you. We use IPM Labs in NY.