Seven of the best dahlias

Pretty Dahlia 'Chimborazo' with crimson outer petals and pale yellow inner petals

Big, bold and brassy – dahlias dazzle in the border and and in a vase. Originating in Mexico, dahlias were first introduced to Europe to be grown for food. However, the unpalatable tubers lead to them instead being grown and bred for their flowers.

You’ll find the widest choice of varieties if you grow dahlias from tubers. The key to a long season of flowering is deadheading. Deadhead often to stop them setting seed and keep new blooms coming. Discover seven gorgeous dahlia varieties to grow, below and browse our guides to the best dahlias for different colours.

Dahlias by flower colour

Dahlia ‘Arabian Night’

Dahlia ‘Arabian Night’ is renowned for its sumptuous, velvety-red double petals. Use a high-potash feed to encourage the production of more flowers.

Crimson red, double Dahlia 'Arabian Night'
Crimson red, double Dahlia ‘Arabian Night’

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

This gorgeous pompon variety, ‘David Howard’, has rich golden petals, which provide striking contrast with the purple green foliage. Take a look at six more pompon and ball dahlias to grow.

Amber pompon blooms of Dahlia 'David Howard'
Amber pompon blooms of Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’

One of the best known Dahlia cultivars, ‘Bishop of Llandaff’, has single to semi-double, ruby red blooms and bronze-green foliage. Here are 10 more single-flowered dahlias to grow.

Semi-double, red blooms of Dahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff'
Semi-double, red blooms of Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’

Dahlia ‘Rothesay Reveller’

Try growing this decorative dahlia cultivar for cut flowers, as the flowers of ‘Rothesay Reveller’ are particularly large and showy.

You might need to contact a specialist grower for this variety. For other decorative types, try J Parker’s, de Jager and Crocus

Light and dark pink showy flowers of Dahlia 'Rothesay Reveller'
Light and dark pink showy flowers of Dahlia ‘Rothesay Reveller’

Dahlia ‘Julie One’

‘Julie One’ is an orchid-type dahlia, with red-bottomed petals that curl inwards, giving them a pretty, curved appearance. Other two tone dahlias to grow include ‘Twynings Candy’ and ‘Checkers’.

Stunning bloom of Dahlia 'Julie One', its inwards curled petals of pale yellow uppers and red undersides
Stunning bloom of Dahlia ‘Julie One’, its inwards curled petals of pale yellow uppers and red undersides

Dahlia ‘Black Narcissus’

‘Black Narcissus’ is a striking semi-cactus dahlia with deep maroon blooms. If this is the dahlia for you, take a look at more cactus and semi-cactus dahlias you could grow.

  • Buy Dahlia ‘Black Narcissus’ from Crocus
Deep maroon, spiky blooms of Dahlia 'Black Narcissus'
Deep maroon, spiky blooms of Dahlia ‘Black Narcissus’

Dahlia ‘Chimborazo’

Like all collerette dahlias, ‘Chimborazo’ has large petals that form a ring around a disc of smaller petals in the centre. Don’t forget to snip a few of the blooms for cut flowers.

You might need to contact a specialist grower for this variety. For other collerette types, try Crocus and de Jager

Pretty Dahlia 'Chimborazo' with crimson outer petals and pale yellow inner petals
Pretty Dahlia ‘Chimborazo’ with crimson outer petals and pale yellow inner petals

Where to buy dahlias online

Still looking for inspiration? Browse our pick of specialists and retailers below:

  • Crocus – Choose from a huge range of colours and shapes, and take advantage of discounted prices if you buy multiple collections of dahlia tubers.
  • Thompson & Morgan – Shop the new 2022 range of varieties, including ‘Electro Pink’, which is the world’s first dark leaved cactus dahlia, as well as the dwarf ‘Lubega Power Tropical Punch’ that’s ideal for containers.
  • de Jager – Established bulb specialists with an impressive collection of dahlia tubers, in a range of colours and flower shapes.
  • Dobies – Great selection on offer, with offers and discounts on specific collections.

Overwintering dahlias

The time to dig up and protect dahlia tubers is after frosts have begun, not before. The tubers can grow a lot in autumn and aren’t damaged by light frosts, so bringing them in too early can reduce next year’s display. Alternatively, if your ground frosts will reliably stay above -5°C and the soil is well-drained, they can be left outside with a thick layer of mulch. 

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