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Dahlia

Cactus Dahlias, Semi Cactus Dahlias, Decorative Dahlias, Pompon Dahlias, Ball Dahlias, Anemone Dahlias, Collarette Dahlias, Mignon Dahlias, Single Dahlias, Peony Dahlias, Orchid Dahlias, Waterlily Dahlias, Dinner plate Dahlias

Dahlias, Dahlia Types, dahlia Varieties, Cactus Dahlias, Semi Cactus Dahlias, Decorative Dahlias, Pompon Dahlias, Ball Dahlias, Anemone Dahlias, Collarette Dahlias, Mignon Dahlias, Single Dahlias, Peony Dahlias, Orchid Dahlias, Waterlily Dahlias, Dinner plate Dahlias

Dahlias are spectacular flowering plants native to Mexico, Central America, and Colombia. They are members of the Asteraceae family and are prized for their vibrant, ornate flowers and sturdy stems.

  • Size: Dahlias typically have a bushy, tuberous growth habit. They exhibit an impressive array of sizes, from diminutive 1-foot (30 cm) varieties to towering 6-foot ones (180 cm).
  • Flowers: Their flowers can range from 2 inches (5 cm) to over 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter, depending on the variety. They offer an impressive range of colors, such as pink, purple, red, scarlet, orange, yellow, and white, and can be stripped or tipped with another color. They can be single or double and appear in almost every form – from daisy-like singles to more elaborate decorative pompon, cactus, and dinner-plate dahlias.
  • Blooming Season: Blooming from midsummer until the first frost, dahlias are renowned for their extended flowering period.
  • Hardiness: They thrive in USDA hardiness zones 8 to 11 and must be overwintered indoors in colder climates.
  • Uses: In addition to being visually stunning, dahlias have various uses. They’re perfect for late summer borders and containers and are great as cut flowers due to their long vase life.

Dahlia Types

The rich variety of flower colors, shapes, and sizes, added to their extensive blooming season, have turned dahlias into a popular addition to our landscapes. There are thousands of varieties of dahlias (!!!), all classified by the shape, size, and color of their flowers.

Cactus and Semi Cactus Dahlias

Both types have double flowers with long pointed ray petals that revolute or roll back along half their length, giving the flowers a spiky look. Most cultivars reach a height of more than 40 inches.

Cactus Dahlias

Dahlias, Dahlia Types, dahlia Varieties, Cactus Dahlias, Semi Cactus Dahlias, Decorative Dahlias, Pompon Dahlias, Ball Dahlias, Anemone Dahlias, Collarette Dahlias, Mignon Dahlias, Single Dahlias, Peony Dahlias, Orchid Dahlias, Waterlily DahliasDahlia ‘Alfred Grille’

Dahlias, Dahlia Types, dahlia Varieties, Cactus Dahlias, Semi Cactus Dahlias, Decorative Dahlias, Pompon Dahlias, Ball Dahlias, Anemone Dahlias, Collarette Dahlias, Mignon Dahlias, Single Dahlias, Peony Dahlias, Orchid Dahlias, Waterlily DahliasDahlia ‘Dutch Explosion’

Dahlias, Dahlia Types, dahlia Varieties, Cactus Dahlias, Semi Cactus Dahlias, Decorative Dahlias, Pompon Dahlias, Ball Dahlias, Anemone Dahlias, Collarette Dahlias, Mignon Dahlias, Single Dahlias, Peony Dahlias, Orchid Dahlias, Waterlily DahliasDahlia ‘Karma Bon Bini’

Semi Cactus Dahlias

Dahlias, Dahlia Types, dahlia Varieties, Cactus Dahlias, Semi Cactus Dahlias, Decorative Dahlias, Pompon Dahlias, Ball Dahlias, Anemone Dahlias, Collarette Dahlias, Mignon Dahlias, Single Dahlias, Peony Dahlias, Orchid Dahlias, Waterlily DahliasDahlia ‘Henriette’

Dahlias, Dahlia Types, dahlia Varieties, Cactus Dahlias, Semi Cactus Dahlias, Decorative Dahlias, Pompon Dahlias, Ball Dahlias, Anemone Dahlias, Collarette Dahlias, Mignon Dahlias, Single Dahlias, Peony Dahlias, Orchid Dahlias, Waterlily DahliasDahlia ‘Frigoulet’

Dahlias, Dahlia Types, dahlia Varieties, Cactus Dahlias, Semi Cactus Dahlias, Decorative Dahlias, Pompon Dahlias, Ball Dahlias, Anemone Dahlias, Collarette Dahlias, Mignon Dahlias, Single Dahlias, Peony Dahlias, Orchid Dahlias, Waterlily DahliasDahlia ‘Surprise’

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Decorative Dahlias

These are double dahlias with broad, flat-tipped petals that are sometimes wavy. The flowers are normally large, and the plants easily top 40 inches tall, though there are even taller varieties. They can be formal with flat petals evenly and regularly placed throughout the flowers, or informal with generally flat petals, sometimes slightly rolled at the tips, but with irregular formation arrangement.

Dahlias, Dahlia Types, dahlia Varieties, Cactus Dahlias, Semi Cactus Dahlias, Decorative Dahlias, Pompon Dahlias, Ball Dahlias, Anemone Dahlias, Collarette Dahlias, Mignon Dahlias, Single Dahlias, Peony Dahlias, Orchid Dahlias, Waterlily DahliasDahlia ‘Melody Dora’

Dahlias, Dahlia Types, dahlia Varieties, Cactus Dahlias, Semi Cactus Dahlias, Decorative Dahlias, Pompon Dahlias, Ball Dahlias, Anemone Dahlias, Collarette Dahlias, Mignon Dahlias, Single Dahlias, Peony Dahlias, Orchid Dahlias, Waterlily DahliasDahlia ‘April Dawn’

Dahlias, Dahlia Types, dahlia Varieties, Cactus Dahlias, Semi Cactus Dahlias, Decorative Dahlias, Pompon Dahlias, Ball Dahlias, Anemone Dahlias, Collarette Dahlias, Mignon Dahlias, Single Dahlias, Peony Dahlias, Orchid Dahlias, Waterlily DahliasDahlia ‘David Howard’

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Pompon and Ball Dahlias

Pompon and Ball Dahlias feature relatively small, fully double, globe-shaped flowers with blunt or slightly rounded petals at their tips. How not to marvel at the perfect petal arrangement of these dahlias? They display an infinite swirl of florets with fold upon fold of incredibly flawless petals.

Dahlias, Dahlia Types, dahlia Varieties, Cactus Dahlias, Semi Cactus Dahlias, Decorative Dahlias, Pompon Dahlias, Ball Dahlias, Anemone Dahlias, Collarette Dahlias, Mignon Dahlias, Single Dahlias, Peony Dahlias, Orchid Dahlias, Waterlily DahliasDahlia ‘Jan Van Schaffelaar’

Dahlias, Dahlia Types, dahlia Varieties, Cactus Dahlias, Semi Cactus Dahlias, Decorative Dahlias, Pompon Dahlias, Ball Dahlias, Anemone Dahlias, Collarette Dahlias, Mignon Dahlias, Single Dahlias, Peony Dahlias, Orchid Dahlias, Waterlily DahliasDahlia ‘Wizard of Oz’

Dahlias, Dahlia Types, dahlia Varieties, Cactus Dahlias, Semi Cactus Dahlias, Decorative Dahlias, Pompon Dahlias, Ball Dahlias, Anemone Dahlias, Collarette Dahlias, Mignon Dahlias, Single Dahlias, Peony Dahlias, Orchid Dahlias, Waterlily DahliasDahlia ‘Jowey Winnie’

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Anemone-Flowered and Collarette Dahlias

Anemone Dahlias feature an outer ring of flat ray petals arranged in a wreath and surrounding masses of tiny, elongated disk florets, which form an intriguing floral pincushion. Collarette Dahlias are small to medium flowers with large flat ray petals surrounding an open center. Within the ray and surrounding the center is a wreath of shorter petals, often of a different color, forming the “collar.”

Dahlias, Dahlia Types, dahlia Varieties, Cactus Dahlias, Semi Cactus Dahlias, Decorative Dahlias, Pompon Dahlias, Ball Dahlias, Anemone Dahlias, Collarette Dahlias, Mignon Dahlias, Single Dahlias, Peony Dahlias, Orchid Dahlias, Waterlily DahliasDahlia ‘Garden Show’

Dahlias, Dahlia Types, dahlia Varieties, Cactus Dahlias, Semi Cactus Dahlias, Decorative Dahlias, Pompon Dahlias, Ball Dahlias, Anemone Dahlias, Collarette Dahlias, Mignon Dahlias, Single Dahlias, Peony Dahlias, Orchid Dahlias, Waterlily DahliasDahlia ‘The Phantom’

Dahlias, Dahlia Types, dahlia Varieties, Cactus Dahlias, Semi Cactus Dahlias, Decorative Dahlias, Pompon Dahlias, Ball Dahlias, Anemone Dahlias, Collarette Dahlias, Mignon Dahlias, Single Dahlias, Peony Dahlias, Orchid Dahlias, Waterlily DahliasDahlia ‘Night Butterfly’

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Mignon and Single Dahlias

Single Dahlias feature blooms with a single row of flat or slightly cupped ray florets arranged in a flat plane, uniformly overlapping, preferably in the same direction with no gaps. The disc flowers may have up to three rows of bright yellow or orange pollen, and the blooms are over two inches in diameter (5 cm). Pollinators love these Single-Flowered Dahlias! If you want to provide something special for bees, butterflies, or other pollinating insects still active in late summer of fall, choose a Single Dahlia!

Mignon Dahlias possess the same formation as Single Dahlias, except they have round ray floret tips, their disc flowers have no more than two rows of pollen, and their blooms are under two inches in diameter. Perfect for small gardens or container display, Single Dahlias include the highly prized Dark-Leaved Dahlias with their masses of stunning flower colors, which contrast strikingly with their deep mahogany-to-black foliage. Effect in the garden guaranteed!

Dahlias, Dahlia Types, dahlia Varieties, Cactus Dahlias, Semi Cactus Dahlias, Decorative Dahlias, Pompon Dahlias, Ball Dahlias, Anemone Dahlias, Collarette Dahlias, Mignon Dahlias, Single Dahlias, Peony Dahlias, Orchid Dahlias, Waterlily DahliasDahlia HS ‘First Love’

Dahlias, Dahlia Types, dahlia Varieties, Cactus Dahlias, Semi Cactus Dahlias, Decorative Dahlias, Pompon Dahlias, Ball Dahlias, Anemone Dahlias, Collarette Dahlias, Mignon Dahlias, Single Dahlias, Peony Dahlias, Orchid Dahlias, Waterlily DahliasDahlia ‘Waltzing Mathilda’

Dahlias, Dahlia Types, dahlia Varieties, Cactus Dahlias, Semi Cactus Dahlias, Decorative Dahlias, Pompon Dahlias, Ball Dahlias, Anemone Dahlias, Collarette Dahlias, Mignon Dahlias, Single Dahlias, Peony Dahlias, Orchid Dahlias, Waterlily DahliasDahlia ‘Moonfire’

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Peony-Flowered and Orchid Dahlias

Peony Dahlias are open-centered flowers with two or more rows of petals surrounding a disc. For many years the most popular Peony-flowered dahlia was a cultivar called D. ‘Bishop Llandaff’, an heirloom variety that dates back to 1927. It has open deep-red flowers with nearly black mahogany foliage.
Orchid Dahlias are also open-centered flowers with one ray of florets surrounding a disc (Single Orchid) or a fully double bloom showing no disc (Double Orchid). The florets involute for two-thirds or more of their length.

Dahlias, Dahlia Types, dahlia Varieties, Cactus Dahlias, Semi Cactus Dahlias, Decorative Dahlias, Pompon Dahlias, Ball Dahlias, Anemone Dahlias, Collarette Dahlias, Mignon Dahlias, Single Dahlias, Peony Dahlias, Orchid Dahlias, Waterlily DahliasOrchid Dahlia ‘Honka Surprise’

Dahlias, Dahlia Types, dahlia Varieties, Cactus Dahlias, Semi Cactus Dahlias, Decorative Dahlias, Pompon Dahlias, Ball Dahlias, Anemone Dahlias, Collarette Dahlias, Mignon Dahlias, Single Dahlias, Peony Dahlias, Orchid Dahlias, Waterlily DahliasDouble Orchid Dahlia ‘Pink Giraffe’

Dahlias, Dahlia Types, dahlia Varieties, Cactus Dahlias, Semi Cactus Dahlias, Decorative Dahlias, Pompon Dahlias, Ball Dahlias, Anemone Dahlias, Collarette Dahlias, Mignon Dahlias, Single Dahlias, Peony Dahlias, Orchid Dahlias, Waterlily DahliasPeony Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’

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Miscellaneous Dahlias

This diverse group includes all varieties that do not fall into one of the above groups.

  • Laciniated or fimbriated Dahlias present petals split into two or more divisions at the end.
  • Stellar Dahlias present decorative shaped flowers with petals being creased, causing them to be narrow and involute with a slight recurve to the stem.
  • Waterlily Dahlias have fully double blooms characterized by broad and generally sparse ray florets, which are straight or slightly involute along their length, giving the flower a shallow appearance.
  • Dinner Plate Dahlias exhibit huge and magnificent blooms. They are unbelievably large – up to 12 in. across (30 cm) – and will bloom continuously from July until the first touch of frost. This is not an official classification these robust dahlias are registered under several classifications.

Dahlias, Dahlia Types, dahlia Varieties, Cactus Dahlias, Semi Cactus Dahlias, Decorative Dahlias, Pompon Dahlias, Ball Dahlias, Anemone Dahlias, Collarette Dahlias, Mignon Dahlias, Single Dahlias, Peony Dahlias, Orchid Dahlias, Waterlily DahliasDahlia ‘Peach and Cream’

Dahlias, Dahlia Types, dahlia Varieties, Cactus Dahlias, Semi Cactus Dahlias, Decorative Dahlias, Pompon Dahlias, Ball Dahlias, Anemone Dahlias, Collarette Dahlias, Mignon Dahlias, Single Dahlias, Peony Dahlias, Orchid Dahlias, Waterlily DahliasWaterLily ‘Gerrie Hoek’

Dahlias, Dahlia Types, dahlia Varieties, Cactus Dahlias, Semi Cactus Dahlias, Decorative Dahlias, Pompon Dahlias, Ball Dahlias, Anemone Dahlias, Collarette Dahlias, Mignon Dahlias, Single Dahlias, Peony Dahlias, Orchid Dahlias, Waterlily DahliasDinnerplate Dahlia ‘Seattle’

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Guide Information

Hardiness 8 - 11
Heat Zones 1 - 11
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Bulbs, Perennials
Genus Dahlia
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 1' - 6'
(30cm - 180cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 18" - 24"
(50cm - 60cm)
Maintenance Average
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Attracts Butterflies
Landscaping Ideas Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Cutting Garden, Informal and Cottage

Growing Tips

Dahlias are not particularly difficult to grow but require specific care to bloom beautifully. Here are some tips to help you get the best from your dahlias:

  • Planting Time: Dahlias are usually planted in the spring after the risk of frost has passed and the soil has warmed up.
  • Sunlight: Dahlias love the sun, so choose a location that gets at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight each day.
  • Soil: Dahlias prefer well-drained, loamy soil. They don’t tolerate water-logged conditions, so if your soil is heavy clay, consider amending it with compost or peat moss to improve drainage.
  • Planting Depth: Dahlia tubers should be planted about 4 to 6 inches (10-15 cm) deep, with the “eye” (the small bump from where the stem will grow) facing upward.
  • Spacing: Give your dahlias room to grow. Depending on their mature size, they should be spaced about 1-3 feet (30-90 cm) apart.
  • Watering: Dahlias like consistent moisture. Water them deeply a couple of times a week, more often if your area is experiencing a drought. Avoid overhead watering to reduce the risk of fungal diseases.
  • Staking: Larger dahlia varieties may need to be staked to support their heavy blooms.
  • Fertilizing: Dahlias respond well to low-nitrogen fertilizers, such as a 5-10-10 or 10-20-20. Too much nitrogen can lead to lush, leafy growth and fewer flowers.
  • Deadheading: Regularly removing the spent flowers (deadheading) will keep your dahlias producing more blooms.
  • Overwintering: In colder climates (zones 7 and below), you’ll need to dig up and store the tubers indoors over the winter.
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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 8 - 11
Heat Zones 1 - 11
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Bulbs, Perennials
Genus Dahlia
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 1' - 6'
(30cm - 180cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 18" - 24"
(50cm - 60cm)
Maintenance Average
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Attracts Butterflies
Landscaping Ideas Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Cutting Garden, Informal and Cottage
Compare All Dahlia
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Dahlia
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