Dahlia flowers for every garden

cactus dahlias

One of the most beautifully versatile summer flowers. Blooming from summer into autumn, the colourful, long-lasting blooms of dahlias belong in every garden. Varying in size, colour and shape, discover our guide for choosing the best dahlia flowers for your garden.

For pots/containers

For pots and containers, the best choices are the shorter, dwarf varieties. With a more compact shape and low growing habit, dwarf dahlias provide beautiful bright coloured blooms at a smaller size, making the perfect companions for patio pots, containers, especially if you’re short of space in the garden.

For flower beds and borders

If you are passionate about vibrant summer colour in your flower beds and borders, dahlia flowers are the perfect solution. For the front of the border, low-growing dwarf dahlias or pollinator-loving mignon dahlias are the perfect options, and to get impressive blooms at the back of a border, dinnerplate and decorative dahlias are ideal due to their height and colourful flowerheads.

For cut flower beds

All dahlias can make exceptional cut flowers but narrowed down a list of the most desirable and popular types. Pompom dahlias work well for cutting. Their natural habit is to continually produce flowers as they go through the season. Waterlily types are also a great choice as they are free flowering, normally held on long stems, and any of the miniatures will make perfect cut flowers.

Check out some of our other blogs:

Our Complete Guide To Planting Dahlia Tubers

Dahlias are an ever-popular choice for many a summer garden. Their easy-to-grow tubers produce phenomenal displays of colour and texture in a range of styles throughout the season. However, if you’re new to gardening, you may be wondering how to plant these beauties.

Planting Dahlia tubers is a straight forward process, perfect for those with less experience. With their beauty and effortless maintenance, it’s easy to see why they’re a horticultural favourite.

Why Choose Dahlias?

  1. Dahlias are easy to grow and suitable for gardeners of all skill levels. These blooms are fast-growing by nature and will flower in the first year and for many years to come (keep them stored and frost-free over the winter).
  2. Dahlia tubers are versatile and will tolerate most types of well-drained, fertile soil or compost. They can be grown successfully in pots, tubs, window boxes and in borders.
  3. They are a firm favourite due to the many different types, sizes, and colours available on the market.
  4. New varieties are created each year. Once you’re hooked on Dahlias, you will always be able to find something new.
  5. They flower continuously through the summer, right up until the first frost of the autumn.
  6. They look fantastic as cut flowers, making any display a memorable one.

Varieties

Before we move onto planting dahlia tubers, here are the main types of Dahlias. Each variety can be classified into several different categories, representing the main characteristics of the flower blooms themselves.

Anemone Flowering – Also known as Powder Puff Dahlias, these beauties produce unique flowers with double feathered central petals resembling a fluffy ball.

Cactus – A favourite for many years, Cactus Dahlias produce fully double pointed petals which turn backwards to create a tubular petal effect. Are sometimes referred to as Spiky Dahlias.

Dark Leaf – As the name suggests, the foliage on this variety is not the usual bright green that you see on your average Dahlia. They create an abundance of flowers through the summer, with each bloom appearing on darker (usually purple/black) foliage.

Decorative – Produces large, fully double flowers with rounded petals through the summer right up until the first frosts. A perfect choice for cut flower displays.

Dwarf – A range of smaller, more petite Dahlias which are perfect for the front of the border. They are prolific flowering varieties, look also great planted mixed in pots on the patio.

Dinner Plate – As the name suggests these are the largest flowers within the range, often up to as much as 25cm in diameter (see illustration below). Another popular choice as cut flowers.

Pompom – Love the unusual? Pompom Dahlias produce ball-shaped blooms that appear through the summer. Each petal has rounded tips and are curved upwards at the edges, and are available in plenty of colours.

Planting Dahlia Tubers

All our Dahlias are supplied as top quality dormant tubers which can be planted as soon as you receive them. The success rate from these dahlia tubers is extremely high. They are also an inexpensive way to create a large number of flowers from one plant.

Dahlia tubers should be planted 10cm deep in fertile well-drained soil, outdoors in spring when the frost has disappeared. They prefer to be in a sunny location and spaced at approximately 45cm apart. In areas where there is extreme cold, dig up dahlias and store in a cool peat over the winter. Apply a high potash fertiliser every few weeks in the summer to help growth and they can be dead headed when necessary.

Planting Dahlia tubers in Pots & Containers

Planting Dahlias in pots and containers is a fantastic way of brightening up your patios. Their unique colours and shapes will brighten any space, a perfect choice for gardens with less space to play with.

  1. Once your tubers arrive safely in the post, they can be soaked overnight in a bucket of water to soak up as much moisture as possible.
  2. When all signs of frost have passed they are ready to pot up, leaving plenty of time to grow a well-established root before the summer.
  3. It is recommended to place some pebbles at the bottom of the pots before adding the compost to help with drainage, by ensuring the compost doesn’t block the drainage holes.
  4. Fill in some compost and then add the tuber with the growing tip facing upwards.
  5. Continue to fill in the rest of the compost to firmly hold the tuber, making sure the growing tip at the top is peeping out and is not completely covered. This is now ready to be moved to the patio or garden area, with access to as much sun as possible.
  6. Water well after potting, keeping the compost moist but not waterlogged, as the tubers will rot. Add a liquid feed weekly during the growing season and provide some protection from slugs as they have a strong love for Dahlias.
  7. If growing tall varieties, insert a cane to help with growth and to keep secure.
  8. Very little pruning is needed with Dahlias. However, you can deadhead as flowers begin to fade.

More Dahlia Tutorials

Dinner Plate Dahlias

Dwarf Gallery Dahlias

Cactus Dahlias

Bishop Dahlias

New Dahlias for Summer 2021

Summer-flowering Dahlias are an essential addition to any gardener’s bedding displays. Each variation of Dahlia produces large blooms and bright colours throughout early summer.

As we approach spring, you might have started thinking about your summer garden. Browse our entire range of Dahlias to create the perfect display.

Dahlia Paso Doble

Dahlia ‘Paso Doble’ is an anemone-flowering variety that produces large yellow and white double flowers. Each centre is filled with rows of bright yellow tubular petals that create an impressive pompom effect.

Dahlia Cactus Pinelands Princess

The Dahlia ‘Pinelands Princess’ is a gorgeous cactus variety that produces the most incredible pink and yellow flowers throughout the summer months.

Dahlia Dinner Plate Mystery Day

If you’re looking for something unique in shape and colour, then Dahlia ‘Mystery Day’ is right up your alley. Each flower produces the most incredible bright red petals that taper into white toward each tip. 

Dahlia Kiev

Dahlia ‘Kiev’ produces large blush pink petals with a yellow-tinged centre from as early as July. As the flower matures, the colour becomes darker and more intense. Easily to pair with any of our summer-flowering Dahlias for an exciting summer display!

Read More from J Parker’s

When to Plant Dahlias

One of the most popular summertime blooms. Dahlias are loved by gardeners everywhere for their cut flowers, long lifespan and beautiful colours and shapes. Since our Dahlia tubers are available for pre-order now, discover when to plant dahlia tubers and grow your own beautiful blooms.

When to plant Dahlias

Since dahlias struggle in cold soil, don’t rush to get them in the ground. Wait until all danger of frost has passed before planting out in the garden.

How to plant Dahlias

Position dahlias in sunny spots and plant in a rich, well-drained soil. Dig a hole around 6 to 8 inches deep. Place the tubers inside with the growing points, otherwise known as “eyes” facing up, and cover with 2 to 3 inches of soil.

How to Space Dahlias

Bedding (dwarf) dahlias can be planted 9-12 inches apart. Smaller types (approx. 3 feet tall) should be spaced 2 feet apart, and taller Dahlias should be planted around 3 feet apart to allow optimal growing room.

Check out some of our other blogs!

How to Store Dahlia Tubers – A Beginners Guide

dahlia tubers in crates

Understanding when and how to store Dahlia tubers can be tricky for those who are new to gardening. Dahlias are incredible summer flowering plants that bring joy to those who grow them. Growing from a tuber (a dry clump formation of roots, rather than a bulb or plug), Dahlias are perfect perennials that flower throughout the whole season.

However, once the summer season is over, there’s a process you should follow to protect the root and ensure that the plant doesn’t rot. If this is your first time storing dahlias, then this handy guide can help you go from A to B without any fuss or confusion.

Step 1 – Lift the Root

pulling a dahlia tuber

Lift your tubers before the first frost of the autumn season to avoid root rot. To lift the root, you need to dig gently around the base. Be careful not to damage any of the root as you dig. Shake off the soil and cut the dahlia stems down and dispose of the leaves.

Step 2 – Rinse & Dry

purple and pink dahlias

Rinse gently with water until most of the soil has washed off. Leave in a warm area, with the tuber placed upside down, to dry.

Step 3 – Pot and Cover

a bee sitting on a pink dahlia

Once the tuber has dried, place in a pot and cover with dry compost. Store in a dry, cool area until the weather warms once again and repeat the cycle.

Gardening Tip 💡 : If you know that your dahlias are in a warm, safe spot in your borders and aren’t at risk of rotting throughout the winter, cover the area with a thick layer of mulch for an added padding of insulation.

Now you’ve learnt how to store Dahlia tubers, how about learning something else?

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Our Best Dahlias for Cut Flowers

Big, bold and beautiful, Dahlias are one of the most popular summer flowers due to their breathtaking flowers. Available in a wide assortment of colours, shapes and sizes, these eye-catching blooms not only shine in the garden but they make the most amazing cut flowers!

With Spring officially here, now is the perfect time to kick off your cutting garden and order some delightful Dahlia bulbs for planting in April. All Dahlia make exceptional cut flowers but we’ve done all the hard work and narrowed down a list of the most desirable varieties to add to your shopping list.

Dahlia ‘Edge of Joy’

The name says it all, these raspberry streaked white Decorative Dahlias will bring joy to the garden all summer long. A beautiful cut flower to pair with other pink Dahlias.

Dahlia ‘Painted Lady’

A stylish variety with the most unique colouring. ‘Painted Lady’ showcases fantastic pale pink blooms with flashes of crimson markings.

Dahlia ‘Toto’

These Dahlias shine like a ray of light inside the home. Their bright, daisy-like white flowers with yellow centres are hard not to fall in love with.

Dahlia ‘Ice Crystal’

These pure white blooms will bring a breath of fresh air to the home in the summer time. A gorgeous Cactus variety – reliable and sturdy.

Dahlia ‘Honka Red’

A prestigious RHS Garden Merit Award Winner. This cartwheel shaped Dahlia boats vibrant red blooms and will certainly add a unique touch to your summer flower vases.

Dahlia ‘Thomas Edison’

A big and brilliant Dinner Plate Dahlia. These dramatic deep purple blooms grow to an amazing 25cm in size. A real cut flower showstopper.

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’

A delicate Dinner Plate Dahlia. Add a touch of elegance to your vases this summer with these rich creamy peach flowers.

Dahlia ‘Purple Puff’

These Anemone-flowering Dahlias (commonly known as Powder Puffs) are a glorious sight in the summer. Their purple-crimson flowers look perfect paired with other purple Dahlias.

Need some cut flower tips?

  • The more you cut the more they bloom!
  • Give you Dahlias a longer life by immersing the stems in boiling water for a few seconds – this will help to keep them fresh!
  • Cut your Dahlias just above a set of leaf nodes and side buds – new shoots with grow from the nodes.
  • Change your vase water every 2-3 days for maximum Dahlia lifespan.

Pretty Pink Flowers to Inspire Your Garden

Looking for something pretty in pink? For decades, pink flowers have been a popular choice for gardeners, and add a sweet, delicate and playful touch to our flower borders and pots. From scorching hot pinks to soft pale pastels, discover the perfect pink blooms to create a dazzling summer garden.

Dreamy Dahlias

Dahlia ‘Painted Lady’

Plant a border filled with masses of these romantic, bi-coloured Dahlias. Blooming with crimson streaked, pale pink petals, these unique flowers are nothing short of breathtaking.

Dahlia ‘Wizard of Oz’

Bright and cheerful, this Pom Pom Dahlia’s soft pink blooms are made up of layers of silky, curved petals that create their perfectly formed spherical shape.

Dahlia ‘Pink Blend Mix’

From lovely lavenders to magenta pinks, this assortment of pretty pink Dahlias will fill all your summer garden needs. An easy to grow mixture of Pompom and Decorative varieties.

Blushing Begonias

Begonia ‘Sweet Spice Appleblossom’

Fill your baskets and window boxes with these cascading Begonias. Their fragrant, double blooms will radiate beauty in the summer garden for months of pleasure.

Begonia Superba ‘Pink’

These giant deep pink blooms are the perfect choice for a smaller garden. Compact and versatile, enjoy these vibrant flowers in the border, in pots or as cut flowers for the home.

Begonia Sweet Spice ‘Bounty’

Become the envy of your neighbours with hanging baskets that practically glow with beauty. These soft pink, double blooms will brighten up the summer garden and bring a gorgeous scent.

Lavish Lilies

Lily ‘Perfect Joy’

Short and sweet. This compact Lily boasts with the most beautiful strawberry petals that fade into a cream colour in the centre. Perfect for summer pots.

Lily ‘Curly Sue’

Add a touch of style to your summer garden with these delicate and exotic blooms. These light pink, star-shaped flowers make stunning cut flowers for the home.

Calla ‘Lipstick’

Why not try a classic Calla Lily? These outstanding fuchsia flowers will shine in the summer garden and will bloom all season long. They also make stunning cut flowers.

Must-Have Red Dahlias

Dahlias are large, bright and a real eye-catcher in any garden. Perfect for the border or the cutting patch, they stay in bloom from summer right through to autumn. Below is a selection of our favourite dazzling Dahlias in all shades of ruby, scarlet, burgundy and crimson!

Our Dahlia Top Picks

RED RUNNER

Red Runner is a dramatic crimson coloured Dahlia that produces double flowers with rounded petals.

HONKA RED

This unique looking Honka Dahlia has ‘cartwheel’ shaped flowers and a distinct bright yellow centre.

ARABIAN NIGHT

Arabian Night is a luxurious, velvety deep red colour and its flower reaches a diameter of 20-25cm.

INCA

This ‘Powder Puff’ Dahlia produces unique double-feathered central petals in a wonderful crimson colour.

SANTA CLAUS

Santa Claus is a show-stopping red and white striped Dahlia with beautiful large blooms.

WITTEMANS BEST

This Dahlia is a gorgeous Cactus variety and produces large, spiky red flowers in a dramatic red colour.

NESCIO

Our beautiful Nescio Dahlia has bright red double spherical blooms on tall sturdy stems.

DAHLIA BLEND RED MIXED

A selection of Pompom, Cactus and Decorative Dahlia varieties in beautiful shades of red.

Planting Dahlias

We have a range of handy planting guide videos filmed with our resident plant expert Jeff Turner, which give easy step-by-step instructions on how to plant each variety of Dahlia.

How to Plant Dinner Plate Dahlias: Summer Garden Guide
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Dazzling Dahlias for the New Year

If you love bright colours in your borders, you won’t go far wrong with dahlias. Dahlias are among the lowest maintenance, highest production cut flowers and garden plants you can grow. So, with our premium Dahlia range now available to order online (for dispatch from mid-January), why not kick the new year off with a bang by planting these showstopping bloomers.

Dahlia Ambition

Marvel at the profusion of spectacular rich purple blooms of our Dahlia Ambition. A great choice for borders, containers or as superb cut flowers.

Click here to view online.

Dahlia Tartan

This striking Dahlia will steal the show in any summer garden. Their gently ruffled, velvet wine and white swirled petals are great for cutting or plant in groups for a hypnotizing display.

Click here to view online.

 

Dahlia Blue Boy

Big, bright and blue. These cool toned Decorative Dahlia flowers will add a touch of class to your summer borders.

Click here to view online.

 

 

Dahlia Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau is a fabulous dwarf Dahlia variety that produces amazing deep pink, almost purple flowers. Perfect as pretty cut flowers for the vase.

Click here to view online.

 

Dahlia Toto

Anemone flowering Dahlias, commonly known as Powder Puff Dahlias produce unique flowers with double feathered central petals, resembling a Powder Puff.

Click here to view online.

 

Dahlia Painted Lady

Bring joy to the summer garden with Dahlia Painted Lady‘s pink and crimson flecked flowers. A perfect choice for a feature plant in the border or potted up in a patio display.

Click here to view online.

Dahlia Collarette Pooh

A truly charming Dahlia. Bright orange-red petals adorn a ring of small ruffled gold petals at their heart. A real stand out for borders or as cut flowers.

Click here to view online.

 

Dahlia Honka White

A Dahlia with style. These unique cartwheel style flowers look will look like little sunny faces in the summer border.

Click here to view online.

 

Dahlia Boom Boom Yellow

Silky, spherical flowers. These Pompom Dahlias brighten up the summer season with their unique, pale yellow blooms. An uplifting sight in a sunny garden.

Click here to view online.

Dahlia Bishop of Leicester

Dark and dramatic showstoppers. These attractive pink flowers with cheery yellow centres contrast beautifully against their dark foliage.

Click here to view online.

 

Our Favourite Dahlias for a Cutting Garden
Dahlia Apricot Desire
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How to plant Dahlia tubers

  • Plant dahlias on free-draining, lighter soils, where they are more likely to survive the winter.
  • Plant in a sunny or partially shaded location for best growth.
  •  Space about 60cm (2ft) apart and 10-15cm (4-6in) deep.
  •  As dahlias are tender, you’re best starting the tubers into growth in the greenhouse, then plant them in their flowering site after the frosty days are passed.

NEW SPRING 2020 CATALOGUE COMING SOON!

Our new spring 2020 catalogue has landed! Filled with our latest range of fantastic offers on spring/summer bulbs, plants and shrubs, keep an eye out for your copy in the post in January!

Not signed up for the catalogue? Click here.

Contrasting Colours: Summer Garden Guide

Looking for a fun and eye catching colour scheme for your summer gardens this year? Bold, vibrant colours are set to make a return to our summer gardens in 2019. One natural way to combine colours in the garden is to choose complementary colours. That means selecting plants in colours that are across from one another on the colour wheel. The colour wheel is a gardener’s best friend when it comes to creating a pleasing garden palette. For example, red is across from green, orange is across from blue, and, as in this bright array, yellow is across from purple. So here are some of our favourite contrasting pairings for you to consider for your garden displays this year.

Red and Green

Red and green create a striking combination of colour. The green allows for a natural, calm feel. A landscape design of various shades of green, emphasizing tone, shape and texture, can be subtle and beautiful. Paired against the vibrancy of bright red flowers, the soothing tones of green really allow the red shades to create an impact. Here are some of our favourite pairings:

Bessera Elegans & Asarum europaeum (wild ginger)

We think these two plants are a match made in heaven. The vivid coral red flowers of the Bessera Elegans provide a burst of colour against an attractive ground cover of the glossy evergreen Asarum Europaeumwhich will create a truly magnificent exotic colour combination for the summer garden.

Euphorbia martinii & Gladioli Holland Pearl

This perfect pairing is ideal for your borders. These plants grow to similar heights and with the contrasting tones of the lime-green bracts of the Euphorbia Martinii against the deep red flowers of the Gladioli Holland Pearl, they are guaranteed to dazzle in summer gardens. An added bonus of this pairing, is that they both can be used in gorgeous cut flower arrangements.

Clematis ville de lyon & Chive Staro

A lovely plant combination for a lasting display from mid to late summer. This butterfly attracting, deep red blooming Clematis Ville de Lyon is perfect for pairing alongside edible plants. Clematis plants prefer growing in full sun which makes the area around the base an ideal spot for growing edible plants like our Chive Staro, and as an added bonus, these contrasting plants create a stunning, fragrant summer display of colour and shapes.

 

Orange and Blue

Create some visual excitement with the glow of orange blooms against the stark contrasting cool, bold tones of blue. These two shades seem like they are almost made for one another. Paired in garden pots, beds or borders, this spectacular colour combination is sure to add interest this summer.

Festuca ‘elijah blue’Crocosmia Mistral

The hot orange funnel-shaped blooms of the Crocosmia Mistral create a fiery contrast paired against flowering grasses, such as the silver-blue foliage from the superb evergreen Festuca ‘Elijah Blue’ that blooms giant spiked flowers during the summer. This perfect pair is ideal for containers and borders for an attractive combined display.

Hemerocallis apricot beauty & Campanula Glomerata Superba

The beautiful blue hue in the flower clusters of the Campanula Glomerata Superba create a stunning stark contrast against the bright orange ruffled blooms of this perennial companion, Hemerocallis Apricot Beauty. These stunning flowers will continue to flower all through the summer months for a beautiful and reliable summer bed pairing.

Dahlia Ludwig Helfert & Agapanthus Back in black

Dahlias look fabulous on their own or combined with other plants and Agapanthus are an excellent vertical choice for brightening up the backgrounds of Dahlias. Dahlia Ludwig Helfert produces spiky orange blooms that provide a dramatic burst of contrasting colour alongside the dark blue flowers and glossy black stems of the Agapanthus Back In Black. This vibrant pairing would make an amazing additions to the summer border.

 

Yellow and Purple

The bright cheery shades of yellow flowers juxtaposed against bold and rich purple blooms make a beautiful colour contrast that excite the senses when you gaze out in to your gorgeous summer garden. Here are some of our favourite combinations that we’ve picked out for you.

Lavender Little Lady and Echinacea Golden SKipper

Lavender has very specific growing requirements that would need to share its space with a plant with similar needs, of which one is Echinacea. They both perform well in full sun and in less-than-rich soil. On top of being great growing companions, the vibrant yellow blooms of Echinacea Golden Skipper against the Lavender Little Lady‘s traditional purple blossoms will produce a striking and fragrant display.

Digitalis Hardy Ambigua YellowHydrangea Zaza

When choosing plant companions, it is best to choose ones that have similar cultural requirements. Shade-tolerant annuals can be massed together to create a bed of rich flowers in front of Hydrangeas. For pairing with the luscious purple-blue clustered blooms of our Hydrangea Zaza, our creamy yellow Foxglove (Digitalis Hardy Ambigua Yellow) grows gorgeous tall stalks lined with bell-shaped flowers which together are certain to create a gorgeous contrasting mass of floral shapes and form.

Geranium Birch Double & Crocosmia Sunglow

The amber-yellow funnel shaped flowers of the Crocosmia Sunglow are ideal for planting in bold swathes along summer borders, and when accompanied with the stunning and delicate purple blooms of Geranium Birch Double as a low flowering addition, these two create an ideal companionship in the garden.

 

Contrasting Shapes

Matching the colours of two or more flowers, while varying their shapes, is another way to guarantee a winning combination.

Phlox Paniculata Pink & Echinacea After Midnight

The pink hues of the coneflower and the phlox are closely identical, but their flower structure offer a striking contrast. Echinacea After Midnight‘s single blossoms are reminiscent of coarse daisies, while the lush, pyramidal clusters of Phlox Paniculata Pink‘s florets add an imposingly beautiful contrast of shape combination.

Hosta Fire and Ice & Verbena Samira Lavender Star

The soft lavender hues of the Verbena Samira Lavender Star matches beautifully with the dainty spikes of flowers in the Hosta Fire and Ice. The identical floral tones are set apart by their drastically different shapes and sizes. The beautiful Verbena flowers planted around this Hosta variety in the border would make an enchanting yet bold statement in the border.

HEMEROCALLIS FRAGRANT RETURNS & IRIS SIBIRICA BUTTER AND SUGAR

Siberian Iris grown in clumps can create a beautiful contrast with Day lilies like our Hemerocallis Fragrant Returns. The stunning trumpet-like blooms of the Hemerocallis offset against the demure, drooping petals of the Iris Sibirica Butter and Sugar. These beautiful plants when paired together in summer borders are guaranteed to bring the sunshine to your garden with their unique shapes and cheerful, pale yellow blooms.

Happy Planting!