frequently asked questions



Why do some of my order items disappear from my cart when I check out? Didn’t putting them in my cart reserve them?

Having items in your cart does not reserve them; our inventory system is set up to subtract items (and reserve them for the customer) only when the transaction is complete upon payment.

May I change or cancel my order?

We are unable to refund or alter existing orders or combine multiple orders.

May I be refunded for excess shipping costs if I have placed multiple orders?

We are a small boutique grower/supplier logistically unable to combine orders and/or refund shipping charges. Each separately-placed order incurs a shipping charge, whether multiple orders are placed on the same day from the same Release, or placed weeks apart from different Releases. Each order will also be packed and shipped separately.

Why do I pay now for tubers that won’t be shipped until spring?

Doing so reserves the dahlias that you have selected. We then store those tubers for you, at the proper temperature and humidity level, until we close our shop in the spring and they can be safely shipped to your area.

Will I receive a single tuber or a clump of tubers?

You will receive a single tuber. The “stringy” dahlia clumps found in big-box stores come from plants that are grown overseas and harvested mechanically. Here in the USA, dahlia plants are grown farther apart, resulting in much larger clumps and tubers, which are then harvested and divided by hand.

Will I receive a substitute variety if the tuber that I ordered did not survive storage?

We do not substitute tuber varieties. If a tuber in your order has met an untimely demise in storage (this only occasionally happens, but some varieties are more prone to storage issues than most), you will be issued a refund via PayPal for the price of the tuber(s) that did not survive storage.


How much does shipping cost?

Orders under $175 incur a $12 shipping charge. Orders of $175 or more incur a charge of 7% of the purchase price, up to a MAXIMUM SHIPPING CHARGE of $35.

When will my order be shipped?

ALL ORDERS WILL BE SHIPPED IN SPRING, usually beginning in early/mid-March. Pre-sale orders (placed between opening date in late Fall and the first week of March) will be shipped out weekly based on both the destination weather forecast and the en-route forecast, regardless of planting zone. Orders placed in late spring will be sent out weekly, weather permitting. Please note: WE ARE UNABLE TO PROVIDE CUSTOM SHIPPING OF ANY SORT (early or late).

Do you offer shipping any time before mid March?

We do not offer any customized shipping at this time.

Do you ship outside of the USA?

We do not ship internationally at this time.

May I pick up my tubers at your farm instead of having them shipped?

A pick-up option is not available at this time.


What should I do when my tubers arrive?

Please open your box immediately upon receipt and check your order against your invoice to confirm that your order is correct. Inspect each tuber to verify that there are no areas of softness or rot. Please let us know within 3 days of receiving your order if you have any concerns whatsoever. Plant your tubers immediately if your soil has reached a minimum temperature of 55-60 degrees and your climate and forecast are favorable. (See below if it is still too cold and/or wet for your area.)

Why do the tubers in my order differ so much in appearance?

Although there is a general “look” to dahlia tubers, they can nevertheless vary widely in color, texture, size, and shape. Tuber appearance can be somewhat affected by the moisture and organic content of the specific planting site, but these variations are generally due to the complex genetics of dahlias. Healthy tubers can exhibit hues from the typical blond and/or brown to (less commonly) red, gray, splashes of orange or pink, and even areas of black (with firm, healthy flesh underneath). Texture characteristics can include ridges, bumps, root hairs, and bark-like patches; tuber size ranges from one inch to one foot (tubers are often trimmed of “rat tails;” large tubers are often cut down to size), and shape can be pencil-straight, carrot-like, globular, full-bodied with a very thin neck, or curved. While growing in the field, tubers can be further “decorated” by insect or burrowing animal activity, with final insult at harvest time from blades and tines. Remember, the necessary qualities for a healthy tuber are the presence of a live eye, an unbroken neck, firm flesh, and the absence of rot (as indicated by leakage or mushy areas). They don’t need to look pretty!

How should I store my tubers until it is time to plant them?

If your soil has not reached a minimum temperature of 55-60 degrees upon receiving your tubers, you are responsible for repackaging your tubers and storing them properly. WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE IN ANY WAY FOR YOUR STORAGE CONDITIONS OR TUBERS LOST DURING YOUR STORAGE (see the American Dahlia Society website for recommended storage methods). Keep them in a cool location (NOT the refrigerator!) until planting conditions are favorable.

How do I know which flower variety my tuber is?

Each tuber has been ID tagged with a five-letter stock keeping unit (SKU) using an indelible pencil or marker. If you go to the Chelan Butte Dahliary website, you can simply type the SKU into the search box, select "enter", and the associated flower variety's product page will appear. The packing slip that comes with your shipment also has the SKU listed adjacent to each variety purchased.

our guarantee

Do you guarantee that my dahlia tubers will grow into healthy plants?

We guarantee that each tuber you receive from Chelan Butte Dahliary will be healthy, have at least one viable “eye” (growth point) and have the correct cultivar label. In the rare instance that a tuber had no eye or that a variety was mislabeled, we ask that you email us by October 1 with a brief explanation of your concerns. Please include photos of all sides of the tuber (including the SKU identification indelibly printed on your tuber) to establish the absence of a live eye. In the case of an incorrectly labeled tuber, please include photos of the flower that bloomed instead of the variety that was ordered. If you receive a tuber from us that has no eye or was incorrectly labeled, we will issue a refund for the price of that tuber. (Shipping charges, however, are nonrefundable.) PLEASE NOTE: Our guarantee does NOT cover the following: temporary and/or shallow (less than 2” deep) planting in pots, tubers that have had cuttings taken, tuber rot after planting, and lack of bloom. Our guarantee also does NOT cover plant/tuber loss caused by weather, animals, insects, neglect, over/underwatering, unhealthy soil, improper fertilization, insufficient sunlight, herbicide carryover from imported amendments, etc. Please note that this guarantee is valid for the current growing season only and does not apply to tubers received as a bonus.

What if my planted tuber sprouted but never grew larger than a few inches?

This is known as “stunting” and is usually caused by a healthy tuber which sprouted, the plant grew a bit and put out a few roots, and then the tuber rotted due to receiving too much water or being in poorly-drained soil. (As noted above, our guarantee does not apply to tubers that rot after planting.)

dahlia culture

Can you give me a quick guide to dahlia requirements and care?

Soil Type: Neutral to slightly base pH, WELL-DRAINING soil with moderate organic content. Sun Exposure: Full sun, with or without afternoon shade. Planting Time: After the last spring frost, when soil temperature has warmed to a minimum of 55-60 degrees. Planting Method: Plant the tuber on its side with eye/sprout facing up, 4-6” deep, 1-3’ apart. Staking: Support as you would tomato plants; less support may be possible with closer/deeper planting. Watering: Do so sparingly until roots have started to develop; thereafter, soil should be kept just slightly moist. Fertilizing: Our dahlias have thrived with a one-time addition of mycorrhizae to the soil, and then each year at planting with 1 scoop of Osmocote Plus worked into the soil above the planted tuber. We amend every few weeks with a foliar application of liquid seaweed, plant vitamins, and some Epsom salts mixed with water at the recommended label amounts. Grooming: For bushier/more floriferous plants, pinch the growth apex (tip) off (“topping/stopping”) when about 12”. Flower Harvesting: Cut in early morning or evening; taking 14”-16” stems promotes re-blooming and sturdier stems. Digging, Dividing, and Storing Tubers: Please refer to the American Dahlia Society website.

Do I have to dig up my dahlia plants at the end of the season?

Dahlia plants above ground will die overnight with a hard frost. However, the clump of tubers that has formed underground may survive, depending on your climate. Dahlia clumps will usually not freeze in zones 7b and above, although in rainy winter/spring conditions they often succumb to rot, and a thick layer of mulch (straw, deciduous leaves, evergreen boughs) is often advised for cold protection as well as to keep them from getting too soggy. For colder climates, you may choose to allow the tubers to freeze and then simply purchase new tubers to plant the following spring; many dahlia lovers choose this option so that they have the opportunity to try lots of varieties! Otherwise, clumps must be lifted, divided if desired, stored for the winter, and planted out again in spring. Please refer to the American Dahlia Society website article “Digging, Dividing, and Storing Tubers.”

chelan butte dahliary

What are your dahlia disease protocols?

At Chelan Butte Dahliary, we take very seriously the responsibility of doing our part to help prevent the spread of dahlia viruses, crown gall, and leafy gall. For this reason, when dividing our tuber clumps we faithfully follow the protocol recommended by the American Dahlia Society in their brochure called “Virus in Dahlias – Be Part of the Solution.” Between each and every clump, we soak our dividing scissors in a solution of 10% bleach and 10% Dawn dish soap. We also religiously follow the “when in doubt, throw it out” protocol, removing any plants with disease symptoms that have not responded to nutritional supplementation from the field and into the garbage. If a variety had crown gall upon digging, we fallow that planting spot, as well as the surrounding spots on all sides, for an entire season. Leafy gall is not thought to be systemic, but to reside mainly on the leaves and stems, and is usually transferred from surface to surface rather than through the soil (as is crown gall), but we fallow those sites also. Finally, we throw out plants that, even though they do not exhibit signs of virus or gall, are not as strong as the other plants of the same variety, hopefully ensuring the tubers from the stronger and presumably more virus-resistant plants are sold to our customers. We highly recommend that every dahlia grower read the exceptionally helpful brochure mentioned above, and be part of the solution!

Is your farm open to the public?

Chelan Butte Dahliary is a working farm and is not open to visitors at this time. Please stay tuned...

What is a "dahliary"?

It was during a brainstorming session about what to name our dahlia farm that we coined the new term "dahliary". Just as a winery, brewery, or distillery is dedicated to both the art and the science of producing unique, high-quality products for enjoyment, we chose the term dahliary to embody our passion and serious dedication to cultivating, promoting, and distributing the beauty of the dahlia.

Frequently Asked Questions last updated: December 20, 2023
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