Different Types Of Dahlias Every Plant Lover Should Know

Dahlias are easy-to-grow, hardy, old-fashioned blooms that make a brilliant addition to any garden. But did you know there are more than 350 different varieties? We've pulled together a comprehensive list of the very best Dahlias for every single type of garden.

Whether you have a vegetable, herb or flower garden, we've identified what varieties will give you the most cut flowers or the biggest bloom-size for your money. This handy reference is a must-have for anyone with a passion for gardening!

Cactus and Semi-Cactus Dahlias

Most cacti and semi-cacti dahlias have double, pink, salmon-colored or white blooms with yellow centers. They have long, narrow leaves and are ideal for cutting. They make a good edging plant because of their slenderness and their ability to remain in a container almost all the time. Their flowers appear in late spring and early summer.

The plants are easy to grow from seed or from cuttings taken from the mother plant. The cuttings should be about 1/2 inch long and should be rooted in a mixture of perlite and vermiculite. The bottom third of the cutting should be covered with this rooting compound and then watered. 

Cactus and semi-cactus dahlias will bloom continuously throughout the growing season, producing hundreds of flowers. However, most of these will be infertile and will not set any seeds. Therefore, it is important to keep the plants well fed with a high-nitrogen fertilizer.

Decorative Dahlias

Decorative dahlias are often to be found in masses of colour at the back of gardens. However, these dahlia is also an excellent plant for growing in pots. It can be grown indoors and out. It has small, narrow leaves that do not shed very much and so remain attractive for longer than other types of dahlias.

The flowers appear in mid-summer and have a strong, sweet scent. They come in all colors from white to pink, red, orange, yellow and maroon. Some have double, some have semi-double and some have single blooms. The center of the flower has a yellow band and the edges of the petals are fringed with hairs which gives them a soft, peachy appearance.

The plant is extremely hardy and will grow in most soils but prefers well-drained soil and is tolerant of a wide range of temperatures. It is easily grown from seed and will bloom continuously throughout the growing season. It is a good idea to pinch back the lower growing flowers to encourage the upper flowers to develop. 

Single Dahlias

Single dahlias are available in a wide range of colours and shades. They are extremely vigorous, needing a lot of space to grow in. They also need a sunny location with good soil. If you live in an area with harsh weather, or just don't have enough space for your plants to spread out, you can always buy single dahlias in a smaller container. 

They flower from early summer until late autumn. Their blooms have a wonderful, peachy scent and are perfect for cutting. The single blooms will gradually open up to reveal a star-shaped centre, which is surrounded by eight petals. The petals have a light green band at their base.

These dahlias are a great choice for cutting and arranging because the blooms gradually open up to reveal a very beautiful appearance. You can also grow these as a potted plant. Just make sure you repot it every two years or so.

 Mignon Dahlias

If you love classic blooms, then the Mignon Dahlia is for you. These blooms come in a wide variety of colors like red, pink, yellow, peach, orange, white and purple. These are also known as whiskey, cactus, and arrowhead Dahlias.

The Mignon was developed in the 1930s by a French breeder named Louis Lahaye. This particular variety was selected because of its double petals which give it a more luscious, delectable aroma than other dahlias. 

The Mignon Dahlia is a semi-double which means that it has two petals on each of the uppermost flower clusters. These petals are about 5 to 7 inches long and they open up to a cup-shaped shape. The lower clusters of the flowers have only one petal which is about 3 to 4 inches long. It has a star-shape and it opens up to a funnel-like shape. The single lower petals give off a very powerful, aromatic fragrance when they are crushed. This variety grows up to 16 inches tall and it has an upright growth habit.

Pompon Dahlias

Pompon dahlias are characterized by an alluring, pompon-like shape, which is also known as pom-pom. This type of dahlia can be found in a number of colors, but the ones with a yellow color are the most popular.

Pompons dahlias have a large, showy flower with an amazing fragrance. These flowers bloom from June to September and their stems can grow up to three feet long.

The plant itself grows up to 15 inches tall and has a bushy appearance. It has fleshy green leaves and a thick, gnarly, woody vine-like stem. The flowers of this plant are perfect for cutting and arranging because they will not fade or wilt easily. When you cut them, the vibrant colors will remain on the flower for a long time.

Ball Dahlias

The ball dahlias have a unique flower, which is probably why they are so popular. In addition, you will be able to grow these flowers for up to three months because they are so long-lasting.

They have a huge range of colors from white and yellow to red, orange, maroon, burgundy and almost every color in between. These are the types of flowers that are perfect for creating an "entertainment garden" around your home.

In brief, what a ball dahlia looks like, is a tightly packed cluster of hundreds of tiny petals with 5 or 6 larger petals at the center. This gives the flower a somewhat spherical appearance. 

Anemone Dahlias

They have a unique and very special appearance which makes them stand out from other types of dahlias. The anemone-flowered Dahlia is a biennial or short-lived perennial which grows to be about 2-1/2 feet tall.

It has soft, hairy stems with small, alternate, oblong, smooth green leaves. The blooms are about 1-1/2 inches long and have a diameter of about 1-1/2 inches.

They are pink with a reddish tint in the center and a white ring around the outside. Inside this ring is a red "target" area. There are five petals in each bloom and they are strongly scented. The anemone-flowered dahlia was first bred by accident in 1927 by Carl Palmer while he was working at the New Mexico Agricultural Experiment Station in Las Cruces, N.M.

Collarette Dahlias

A collarette is a narrow ruff of petals that encircle the base of the bloom. This style is often used with dahlias with large flower heads, to help balance the bloom. Collarettes are generally used with single and semidouble dahlias.

A tube-type flower has all of the same parts as a standard flower but is much longer. The stem continues down past the bloom and ends in a "tail" which is often curled or twisted. A very long tube-type dahlia can be up to three feet long.

Peony Dahlias

Peony dahlia blooms are of two types: the single and the double. The double bloom is simply two single blooms in a row and is often very large. The double bloom is a popular cut flower.

It has a very long vase life and it looks great when used as a cut flower. However, the double bloom is much more difficult to grow than the single bloom.

Nor should you grow them unless you have a lot of space because they need at least 4 square feet per plant. The single peony dahlia bloom is what you should grow if you are just starting out with dahlias. It is less than 2 inches across and has a sweet, fragrance. 

Orchid Dahlias

This is a large, beautiful flower that has a diameter of over an inch. It is a white flower with a yellow center. The orchid dahlia has a very long blooming period and it will last throughout the winter season.

It is a very easy-to-grow flower and it needs little maintenance. However, it does like to be fertilized once every two weeks during the growing season. It has a very strong, sweet fragrance and it is ideal for cutting. If you are just getting started with dahlias, this is the one you should grow. It can be found at most garden centers in the springtime. It will do well in almost any soil type. However, it will not tolerate wet conditions.  

Waterlily Dahlias

They are the best dahlias for a beginner. They are easy to grow, flower prolifically and are not difficult to start from seed. There are more than 400 varieties of dahlias, so you can grow dahlia tubers to match your favorite color and shape.

The flowers last a very long time (up to 14 days) and they are extremely attractive to butterflies and other beneficial insects. Equally important, they also have a long bloom period which means you will get cut flowers all through the summer and into the fall.

Waterlilies are perfect for cutting and for adding to bouquets. They have a very strong fragrance and their blooms have a velvety, almost silk-like texture. They are ideal for cutting because their petals separate easily from the center. They like heat, so an afternoon in the sun is perfect for them. They are extremely easy to grow and almost anyone can enjoy them.


What do dahlia flowers symbolize?

The dahlia is a symbol of pride and beauty, as well as a symbol of unity and strength. These flowers became popular during the Victorian era, and were often given as gifts to family and friends. 

What's a good dahlia for beginners?

Start with a few easy to grow, large flowered types until you get the hang of it. I recommend a variety of Teddy Bear types. These are the large flowered, multi-colored, less finicky, and less prone to disease types.

Once you have mastered growing these, start experimenting with some of the more exotic and difficult to grow varieties. You will soon find that you are able to grow just about any type of flower you can think of.

Are miniature dahlias bulbs or seeds?

Any miniature dahlia you see in a store or catalog will be a bulb; seeds are just too small to produce a plant. However, it is easy to grow dahlias from seed and they will bloom for many months. You should get at least four seasons of blooms from one plant! Sow the tiny seed in moistened soil about three weeks before the last frost. Keep the soil evenly moist but not saturated.

What are some of the uses of Dahlia flowers?

Dahlia flowers can be used to decorate dinner table, fresh cut flower arrangements. Dahlias can also be used to make delicious Dahlia Cake, Dahlia jam, Dahlia juice and Dahlia Wine.

Not sure which Dahlia to pick?

There are so many different varieties of dahlias, so if you are not sure which variety to pick, follow our suggestions: 

Pick a "short" or compact variety for a centerpiece. (These have the most color and are easier to arrange.) Pick a "tall" or "standard" variety for a border or in a mixed border. (They have more form and are less likely to become floppy with age. They also look great when you group them by height.)

Pick a "long" or "compact" variety for a "mixed border". (They have even more color and are just right for filling in around the edges of a border where there aren't any dahlias of other varieties.) Now that you know all this, let's talk about what you really ought to be buying.

Are dahlias toxic?

Well, not really, but they are a member of the same plant family as the ornamental and poisonous datura flower (and the notorious deadly nightshade, which is also a member of the nightshade family).

Dahlias are related to tobacco plants. Both dahlias and tobacco contain a natural toxin called nicotine. Nicotine is a stimulant like coffee or chocolate. However, too much of a good thing can be bad for you! In large doses, it is toxic to humans.


Dahlias are one of the most popular and beautiful flowers in the world. These flowers are very easy to grow at home and you can have an endless amount of them. You should definitely plant some dahlias in your garden. They are perfect for adding color and cheer to your environment.

In addition to that, dahlias have many health benefits. They are very rich in antioxidants which can lower your risk of getting certain diseases. Dahlias are also a great source of fiber which can help you control your weight. Finally, these flowers have a long history of use as a remedy for depression.

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