Organic gardening shouldn’t be limited to vegetable gardens. Even if you’re only growing ornamental plants, going organic is great for the environment and plants alike. Dahlias, for example, are easily burned and damaged from pesticides and herbicides. Likewise, an edible garden benefits when ornamental flowers are growing nearby by attracting pollinators and adding to the overall aesthetic value of the garden.
Plant dahlias tubers after the danger of spring frost has passed and soil has warmed to a consistent 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Dahlias require full sun, six to eight hours per day, consistent deep watering two to three times per week, and food every three to four weeks.
Dahlias, many of which make fantastic cut flowers, bloom in mid-to-late summer and look their best when most other flowering plants are past their prime. They are hardy in USDA hardiness zones 8 through 11, and in colder climates, you must dig up and store dahlia tubers over the winter.
Here are 14 dazzling dahlias to grow in your garden.
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What dahlia collection would be complete without a black dahlia? The blooms on this formal decorative dahlia are a deep, dark reddish black, they appear to be almost black, and sunlight gives them an almost satin sheen. Four-inch blooms are borne on long stems on a five foot plant. This is one you can’t miss.
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One of the more exotic dahlias, the aptly named 'Bora Bora' is an intensely prolific bloomer that will keep on going all through the season. The flowers burst into a firework display of color with reds and yellows and corals and pinks. This cactus style dahlia produces large blooms six to eight inches in diameter.
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Divert from the more common decorative dahlias and plant a ball type dahlia. 'Clearview Daniel' blooms resemble a honeycomb of tightly quilled petals about four inches across on a five-foot-tall plant. With its bright yellow color, the blooms almost look like a beehive!
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'El Sol' is an informal decorative dahlia that produces huge blooms. This plant grows over four feet tall with incredible 10-to-12-inch orange and yellow blooms. It's easy to see how this dahlia received it's name which translates to "the sun."Continue to 5 of 14 below.
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This stellar type dahlia, 'Crazy Legs', forms a fire burst blossom similar to 'Bora Bora,' but with rounded petals. The bronze with rust colored blooms are three-inches across on a plant that grows four feet tall.
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'Boogie Nites' is a formal decorative dahlia with deep purple blooms that grow up to five inches across. It makes a great cut flower and looks beautiful in floral arrangements. Plants grow to 4 1/2 feet tall.
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Variegation is always fun in a flowering plant, but 'Brittany Rey' stands out. Its blooms are four-to-five inches in diameter with petals that are yellow toward the center of the bloom blending into dark fuchsia-pink on the tips, almost giving it a tie-dyed look! Plants grow between four and five feet tall. You can bet bees and butterflies will like this one.
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Another cactus style dahlia, 'Tutti Frutti,' is summer embodied with its five-inch coral pink blooms. Plants grow up to four feet tall and are a total showstopper with breathtaking blooms that make great cut flowers.Continue to 9 of 14 below.
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'Jittberbug' is a formal decorative dahlia with dainty pink and salmon flowers that grow two 1/2 inches across on a compact three-foot plant, Try this one in a kid's garden or as a way to get your little ones interested in gardening. As a bonus, it’s an early bloomer that will add color to your early summer garden.
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If 'the Tutti Frutti' dahlia embodies summer, 'Lisa Lisa' embodies spring. This waterlily style dahlia produces white blooms dipped in pale lavender. The four-inch blooms are excellent for cutting. This variety is a prolific bloomer with long, strong stems on a compact three-foot tall plant.
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One look at this cactus style 'Redd Devil' dahlia and your jaw will drop. The four 1/2 foot plant covered in four-inch blooms of deep shocking red is a must-have for just about any garden.
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'Maarn' is a formal decorative style dahlia that produces orange four-inch tightly shaped blooms. Their color is just perfect for fall floral arrangements. Plants grow quite tall, up to five-feet.Continue to 13 of 14 below.
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Cactus dahlias are always stunners in any garden and so are semi-cactus varieties, 'Poppers' is a semi-cactus variety with unique lace-like foliage and deep golden yellow blooms with splashes of dark red to provide quite a burst of color to your garden. Plants grow four feet tall.
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'Hulin's Carnival' is a formal decorative dahlia that produces varied bloom colors on the same plant, which is quite unusual. Some of its four-inch blooms are white splashed with varying degrees of dark purple-red blotches and some blooms are solid dark purple-red, Plants grow up to four feet tall. It's a classic dahlia that you’ll love.