Every year we spend a lot of time wondering what we should grow in our gardens. For flower lovers, there is a big variety of choices. However, there’s one thing that they all agree on – Dahlias are a fantastic choice. Lately, they have become all the rage for weddings – people commonly use these beautiful flowers in the bride’s bouquet or centerpieces.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, Dahlias are a part of the daisy family, alongside the chrysanthemums, zinnias, and sunflowers. There are heaps of different types of Dahlias, which makes choosing one extremely difficult. Not only do they come in a large array of colors, but they vary in size as well. Some can reach a height of up to five feet!
But what types of Dahlias are there? And what are the best ones to choose for our garden? What about the ones we can choose for a special event, like a wedding or a dinner party? Down below, we have assembled a list of the 11 different types of Dahlias you can grow yourself.
A Little About Dahlias
Before planting your Dahlias, it is important to note some things about how to plant and care for them. They are partial to humidity, so you shouldn’t try to grow them in very hot climates. They have a long growing season, which lasts about 120 days.
For best results, plant the Dahlia tubers in late spring. Don’t do it too soon because they will struggle if the soil is too cold. While they are very resilient to cold, you have the choice of either taking care of them as annuals or digging them up after the first frost and keeping them at home. Another option is to start them indoors in a container and then transfer them outside when the weather is right. This works best with dwarf-sized and medium-sized Dahlias.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there should be sufficient spacing between Dahlias. The optimal distance is 9-12 inches apart. The types which grow to be about 3 feet tall should be 2 feet apart, while the taller ones should be at least 3 feet apart.
11 Different Types of Dahlias You Can Grow
1. Cactus and Semi-Cactus Dahlias
Cactus Dahlias are very unique. They have double-flowering blooms, and their petals look like they’re rolled, which gives them a spiky look. The size of their blooms can vary from miniature to absolutely giant. They come in various colors, which is guaranteed to make your garden look like it’s out of the movies!
There are three main cactus types – incurved, straight, and semi-cactus. Incurved ones have completely rolled petals. Their tips are curved towards the middle of the bloom. Straight cactus ones are with petals that are only rolled halfway. As for the semi-cactus – the petals are also halfway rolled. However, their base is flat. Some of the most popular cactus and semi-cactus Dahlias are:
- Doris Day
2. Decorative Dahlias
These Dahlias are quite different from the cactus ones. They have flat and broad petals and double-flowering blooms. They can be categorized as formal or informal. The informal ones have irregularly placed petals that are somewhat rolled at the tip. Meanwhile, the formal ones have evenly placed petals. The most popular decorative dahlias are:
- Arabian Night
- Rothesay Reveller
- Kelvin Floodlight
3. Single Dahlias
Single Dahlias have way fewer petals than the other ones. They have one row of uniform petals, which can be both pointed or rounded. The single Dahlias are single-flowering. All pollinators are very attracted to them. The most popular single Dahlias are:
- Magenta Star
- Mystic Illusion
- Waltzing Mathilda
4. Mignon Dahlias
Mignon Dahlias are my personal favorite. While the distinction between them and single dahlias may be difficult to make, the primary difference is a small size and the round tips of their petals. The center of the blooms is usually contrasted with the petals themselves. Our favorite mignon Dahlias include:
- G.F. Hemerik
5. Pompon Dahlias
This type of Dahlias is unique with its double-flowering, spiral-arranged petals. Their petals are tightly rolled and almost look like quills. The blooms themselves, however, do not become very big – they only reach about a two-inch diameter. The most popular pompon Dahlia choices are:
- Moor Place
- Plum Surprise
- Franz Kafka
6. Ball Dahlias
Ball Dahlias are very similar to the pompon Dahlias. However, the primary difference is that they are shaped like a sphere. Moreover, their petals can be blunt, rounded, or even indented. They are usually arranged spirally. They also grow much larger than the pompon Dahlias. Our personal favorites are:
- Aurora’s Kiss
7. Anemone Dahlias
This type of Dahlias is also unique. They have an outer ring of petals around a group of small quill-like petals. It is the best centerpiece and bouquet choice, especially for weddings. This is because they introduce fantastic colors to pretty much anything. However, they can grow a lot bigger than the rest we’ve mentioned so far. They can be up to four feet tall! The best wedding anemone Dahlias are:
- Totally Tangerine
- Boogie Woogie
8. Collarette Dahlias
They are very similar to the anemone Dahlias. However, they are a much better choice for a garden. The flower structure is much more open, which is why they attract a lot of pollinators. If you want to freshen up your garden, the best collarette Dahlias are:
- Teesbrooke Audrey
- Night Butterfly
9. Peony Dahlias
These gorgeous single-flowering flowers have open centers. The petals are not formed regularly, so they look quite fluffy. This is why they are perfect for bouquets. The most preferred peony Dahlias are:
- Bishop of Llandaff
- Bishop of Oxford
10. Orchid Dahlias
Similar to the peony Dahlias, they are single-flowering and open-centered. There are two types – single or double orchid. The single ones only have one row of petals, while the double ones have two. Even though they are called orchid Dahlias, they have little to no resemblance to the actual orchid flower. The most commonly used orchid Dahlias are:
- Honka Red
- Honka Surprise
11. Waterlily Dahlias
In contrast to the orchid Dahlias, the waterlily Dahlias are very similar to the flower. They have broad petals that make up double-blooms. They have a wide array of colors, which are unique and make them the star of the show! The best waterlily Dahlias are:
- Karma Choc
- Pearl of Heemstede
Dahlias come in all colors and sizes. They can be the perfect addition to your garden or any event you have planned. These beauties are easy to grow, and they bloom from mid-summer through fall. If you can grow tomatoes, you can certainly grow dahlias!