Artist Frances Palmer, famous for her vases and pottery, is also a passionate dahlia gardener. May is a great time to plant dahlia tubers and Palmer gives step-by-step instructions, along with photos of her beautiful dahlia garden in bloom and her beautiful vases.
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What a dahlia tuber looks like
The tuber on the left is a new plant from a supplier and it should have a small bud already starting.
The bunch of tubers on the right is an older dahlia that was stored over the winter. This should have a quite a number of small buds sprouting and can be divided before planting to provide several different plants. I usually break a large group apart with my hands, but quartering with a long knife works equally well. Before placing them in the ground, I tag each tuber or bunch with a Tyvec label that shows the name of the that particular flower.