Dahlia Frequently Asked Questions

Who are you?
My name’s Eve, and I am a dahlia farmer and college student in Battle Ground, WA. My passion for dahlias started with a few tubers from a friend, and grew into this whole crazy obsession. Learn more about me, here.

Where is your dahlia farm located?
My dahlias are grown in Battle Ground, WA, in the Pacific Northwest Mountains (about an hour south of Mount St. Helens).

Do you grow all of these dahlia tubers?
Yes! All of the dahlias I sell were grown by me. (Except for a rare few that might be from a friend or neighbor, given to me to sell as surprise tubers, but I’ll still divide those and ship them myself).

What are dahlias?
Dahlias are stunning, semi-tender, and tuberous perennial plants. They make eye-catching additions to flower beds, and are popular cut flowers for bouquets and arrangements.
The blooms can be as small as ping pong balls, or as large as frisbees. They come in almost every color. Blooms can be fluffy, flat, spiked, variegated, two-toned, striped, ball-shaped, twisted, ruffled, and more. Plant dahlia tubers in the spring for blooms that begin in the summer and continue until frost.

How do you grow dahlias?
Dahlias are super easy to grow! They like full sun, with healthy soil (not too much nitrogen), and consistent water.
They happily grow as a perennial in well-drained soils where winter temperatures remain above 20 F (–6.7 C). Mulch can help to keep them warm. In colder climates, dahlias need to be dug up, stored in a garage or basement (at around 40-50 F, 4.5-10 C), and planted again the next spring.
Note that if you don’t want to bother digging them up, that’s okay. One plant makes so many blooms in a season that many consider dahlias worth the annual investment.
Learn more about planting, pruning, storing, and dividing dahlias here.

What is a tuber?
A dahlia tuber is essentially a dahlia bulb. Dahlias are considered tubers, just like potatoes! There are pictures of example tubers every product listing. They are ugly. But do grow into something beautiful!

Why are your tubers so ugly?
I use a soil-based storage technique so the tubers will be dirty, dry, tough, firm, and healthy. Learn more about this unconventional dahlia tuber storage technique and why I do it, here.

How many dahlia plants can I get from a tuber?
One tuber = one dahlia plant = many blooms per plant. The number of blooms per plant varies, depending on the variety (the smaller the bloom, the more you tend to get per plant). Some people will take cuttings from their dahlia tubers (do so at your own risk). Learn more about dahlia cuttings, here.

How many blooms do you get per plant?
The number of blooms per plant varies, depending on the variety. In general, the smaller the bloom, the more you tend to get per plant. Deadheading (trimming off spent flowers) is very important, as it keeps your plant blooming. If you don’t deadhead your dahlias, you’ll get less blooms. Expect to get about a dozen dinnerplate dahlias, and many dozens of collarette dahlias. The healthier your plant, the more blooms you get.

How many eyes will my tuber have?
All dahlia tubers are carefully inspected for at least one “eye” prior to shipping (an eye is a tiny bud on a tuber that will sprout when planted). Most will have multiple. Sometimes eyes can be VERY small, or may not have started sprouting yet. As soon as the tuber is planted in damp soil, eye growth will begin.

How do I see the eyes on my dahlia tuber?
Learn more about spotting the eyes on dahlia tubers, here.

How big will the tubers be?
At minimum, you will receive at least one tuber (with at least one eye), but most of the dahlia tubers I sell are actually clusters of 2-4 connected tubers (with multiple eyes). The size of the tuber varies significantly across varieties. Some tubers are an inch long, and some are 7 inches long. I sell the prettiest tubers and keep the ugly ones for myself to replant every year. They are all still ugly though.

What do these tuber letter codes mean?
Each dahlia tuber is marked with a letter code that identifies the variety. Check out this list of dahlia letter codes and their corresponding varieties, here.

What do I do once my dahlia tubers arrive?
Store them in a cool (not cold), dry, dark place: a pantry or closet, for example. Open up the bubble wrap, but keep them wrapped up loosely in the tissue paper they arrived in. If they start to wrinkle, mist them with a spray bottle.

When do I plant my dahlia tubers?
Dahlias are planted in the spring (for summer and autumn blooms). They should be planted after your regional “last frost date,” usually between mid-April and May (around the same regionally recommended local time to plant a vegetable garden). The best way to learn your particular microclimate’s “last frost date” is to talk to local gardening experts.

How long until they bloom?
If you plant them in the spring, you’ll get blooms by about summer. The exact bloom start time will depend on when you plant them and your climate. In general, though, it only takes a few months for the plants to get established and begin blooming.

How long is the blooming season?
In my garden, Dahlias start blooming in late July or early August, and bloom until the first frost puts the plants into dormancy (October, for me). This could be different for you, depending on your local climate.

Can I grow dahlias in pots and containers?
Yes! Most dahlias do need a large pot: at least 5 gallons, if not slightly bigger. A wide diameter is important, too: ideally about 18 inches or more. This is because dahlia root systems (the tubers) get to be quite a large cluster in most cases. Dahlias that are shorter (3 feet tall or less) will be okay in a pot that is slightly smaller. Dahlias growing in pots will benefit from staking to keep the long stems and heavy blooms from bending over in the wind. I like to put a tomato cage in my dahlia containers so the dahlia can grow through it for extra support.

Are dahlias annuals or perennials?
Dahlia are perennials! They are only hardy in places where winter temperatures remain above 20 F (–6.7 C). If it gets colder than that in your area, you just need to dig them up and store them, and plant them again in the spring

Do I need to dig and store my dahlias?
Dahlias happily grow in the ground all winter as a perennial in well-drained soils where winter temperatures remain above 20 F (–6.7 C). Mulch can help to keep them warm. In colder climates, dahlias need to be dug up, stored in a garage or basement (at around 40-50 F, 4.5-10 C), and planted again the next spring. Learn more about storing dahlias, here. Note that if you don’t want to bother digging them up, that’s okay. One plant makes so many blooms in a season that many consider dahlias worth the annual investment.

What is your cancellation policy?
We are happy to cancel your order and provide a 100% refund until your order has shipped. Once your order has been shipped out, it can no longer be canceled and is considered a “return” (see return terms in the next paragraph). Shipping occurs within 1-7 days. I try to ship as soon as I can so you can get your order as soon as possible (there are times when I ship out within a few hours), so be sure to let me know as quickly as possible if you need to cancel your order (info@gardensbyevelyn.com).

What is your return policy?
We are happy to accept returns and provide refunds for the cost of the tubers if you pay the return shipping, and the tubers arrive back to us in good condition. We understand that this is not ideal, but we are a small business with a small profit margin and cannot cover the cost of returns. Please read my return and refund policy in detail, here.

What is your refund policy?
Please read my refund policy in detail, here.

What is your shipping policy?
All orders will be packed up and shipped within 1-7 days. I ship as soon as I can: I am just one person who is also a full time college student with a school schedule to balance. When you pay for shipping, you select your preferred shipping method at checkout. Orders that qualify for free shipping will be sent by either USPS First Class, USPS Priority or UPS Ground.
Please also keep in mind that COVID-19, weather, zombie apocalypses, dinosaur attacks, alien invasions, and other external forces beyond my control may slow down the shipping process. Thank you for your patience. Please know I will always do my best to give you a positive shopping experience here at Evelyn’s Garden and Nursery.

Why do you only ship to the continental US?
I only ship to the continental US right now due to laws regarding the export of plant materials.

What if something is wrong with my order?
Please start by consulting this list, here, of common situations.

How do I contact you?
Please reach out to me by email at info@gardensbyevelyn.com or fill out my contact form, here.