Can you grow Dahlias in pots?

Can you grow Dahlias in pots?

The answer is yes. Dahlias grow quite well in pots, if keeping a few necessities in mind. Swedish Elle Decoration blogger, Elin Lannsjö, shows us the way to transform her small cottage garden into a lush, flourishing oasis with help from terracotta pots. The Danish organic flower farmer, Rikke Lentz, provides us with her best tips on how to make your Dahlias thrive and perform their utmost. 


Whether you do not have access to a regular plot of land, live in a limited space, or just can’t wait till the frosty nights are out of sight and the warmer days arrive; the dream of a garden is within reach by growing plants, vegetables, and flowers in pots. 

A returning darling amongst the garden’s ornamental inhabitants is the much-loved Dahlia flowers – the generous tuberous perennials that bloom far past the peak summer and keep rewarding us with flowers, as long as we keep picking them.

The cottage house of Elin Lannsjö full of Dahlias - a green getaway in the city. Photo: Elin Lannsjö.

What a view to wake up to. The cottage house of Elin Lannsjö is her green getaway in the city. Photo: Elin Lannsjö.

Danish organic flower farmer Rikke Lentz beholds her harvest - a bunch of organic grown Dahlias. Photo: Julie Helquist

Danish organic flower farmer Rikke Lentz beholds her beautiful harvest of organic grown Dahlias. Photo: Julie Helquist.

How to get started growing Dahlias in pots?


Danish organic flower farmer Rikke Lentz grows organic flowers for a living. According to her, the most important ingredients for successful growth are water, nutrients, attention, love, and care.

In areas with a risk of frosty seasons Dahlia tubers are lifted from their growing space in late autumn and stored frost safe over winter, to be replanted the following spring.

“Dahlias need extra attention from the very start until they have awakened from their winter hibernation and start growing again. Replant the tubers, when you are sure they in no way will be exposed to frost, give them a handful of organic fertilizer when planting, and a sip of water.”  Rikke says.

On a daily basis, Rikke runs Bredehavekiosk and takes care of almost 4.000 square meters of organic flower fields at Mangholm in Denmark. Organic flower farming is a big passion of hers and over the years she has gotten to know the nature of Dahlias pretty well.

Bergs Potter terracotta pots full of Dahlia tubers ready to sprout. Photo Elin Lannsjö

Photo: Elin Lannsjö.

Photo: Elin Lannsjö.


“As soon as the tubers start shooting, it is again time for a decent amount of water. Dahlias need to be watered well, as they are to be considered as “hungry plants” in terms of both water and nutrients. If you pamper your Dahlias, they will reward you with many beautiful flowers. Even when living in pots. But the watering and the nutrients are essential.” Rikke explains. 


How to get many flowers?


When the Dahlia plant has grown 10-15 cm tall, Rikke recommends pinching the plant. If you do that and continue to water the plant as much as needed during the summer, you will be pleased with the prettiest of flowers from August – and sometimes even earlier. As long as you keep picking flowers, the plant continues to blossom until fall when the frost kicks in.

As long as you keep picking, the Dahlia plant will reward you with beautiful flowers. Photo: Elin Lannsjö.

Elin Lannsjö has gone all-in on Dahlias, picking many different varieties and colours, for her potted garden. Photo: Elin Lannsjö.

Elin has gone all-in on Dahlias, picking many different varieties, for her potted garden. Photo: Elin Lannsjö.

The benefits of growing Dahlias in pots


Living in the city or in a limited space is no impediment to practicing the sweet cottage life – Dahlias and flourishing flower dreams included. 

If you are looking to have a garden full of flourishing Dahlia early in the season, you can get a head start by growing Dahlia in pots. Growing or starting out in pots, makes it possible to start waking up the tubers already in March – or as early as six weeks before the frosty season has ended.

The small plot of a potted garden basking in the evening summer sun. Photo: Elin Lannsjö.

A place to unwind. The small plot of Elin’s, basking in the evening sun. Photo: Elin Lannsjö.

Growing in pots is giving the ability to remodel the appearance of a garden space. Photo: Elin Lannsjö.

Elin likes to grow in pots, giving her the ability to remodel the appearance of her garden space. Photo: Elin Lannsjö.


In her Swedish cottage house, Elin Lannsjö has gone all-in on Dahlias, which according to her has extended the season of flourishing flowers on her small plot considerably. 

Growing Dahlias in pots has also made it possible for Elin to remodel the appearance of her garden space, creating different visual expressions during the summer. 

“Another great thing about having the thirsty plants in pots is the opportunity to move them to an area of shade on the days I need to be away, and obviously cannot be around to keep an eye out for their thirst. Resting in the shade for a couple of days, the Dahlias do not require as much water as in the scorching sun” Elin says.


Read more about how Elin Lannsjö is living with Bergs Potter here.


The EMILIA pot Ø35cm resting on a set of LIONS FEETS both from Bergs Potter. Photo by Swedish stylist Elin Lannsjö.

Planting Dahlias in pots gives Elin the opportunity to move them to an area of shade on the days she needs to be away. Photo: Elin Lannsjö.

What to consider when choosing Dahlias for bouquets?


“I like to choose varieties that have long stems, are lasting long in the vase, and are suitable for all bouquets of the season,” Elin Lannsjö says.

Elin likes a few stalks of mismatching colours in a bouquet, preferably together with sheer leaves flowers (peasant roses or bell mallow, etc.) and it becomes magic. The vibrant and expressive Dahlias she loves to use in what she calls “crazy mixes”.

Flower arrangement in expressive and vibrant Dahlias. Photo: Elin Lannsjö.

Elin likes to mix vibrant and expressive Dahlias in what she calls “crazy mixes”. Photo: Elin Lannsjö.


In Rikke’s opinion it is a matter of taste when choosing the perfect Dahlias: “My taste in flowers changes year after year. I started with very clear colours and currently, I am more into the soft tones and the very dark ones. The most durable cut-flower Dahlias are the type of ‘ball dahlias’, rather than ‘dinner plate’ e.g. But when that is said I think there is nothing more beautiful than a bouquet of dinner plate dahlia, for example of Café Au Lait and Break Out,” Rikke concludes.

A massive bunch of Dahlias in light, and soft tones. Photo: Rikke Lentz.

This year, Rikke is into soft tones combined with very dark ones. Photo: Rikke Lentz.

What are the top Dahlia varieties of 2022?


Dahlias come in a vast range of flower sizes, plant sizes, colours and visual expressions. Both Rikke Lentz and Elin Lannsjö are in the know of what is happening within the world of flowers and fashion, so we couldn’t help asking them for their top 5 Dahlia varieties of the year.


According to Rikke, the five most fantastic species she looks forward to this year would be: 



Cafe Au Lait



and Worton Blue Streak 


The top five pick for Elin this year is:


Café Au Lait

Wizard of Oz

Cornel Bronze

Penhill Waterlemon

and Caramel Antique


The ‘Dinner plate’ Dahlias – a term applied to any variety that produces big flowers (flowers as big as a ‘dinner plate’) – seem to continue to be a dearly loved darling in the bouquets and in the gardens this year too.



Words: Bergs Potter – Photos: Elin Lannsjö and Bredehavekiosk
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