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 the plant alike. Dahlias, for example, are easily burned and damaged from pesticides and weed killers. Likewise, an edible garden benefits when ornamental flowers are added, bringing in pollinators and adding to the aesthetic value of the garden.
Plant dahlias after spring have warmed to a consistent 60 degrees Fahrenheit or so to ensure the soil is ready. They can go in the ground alongside much of your vegetable garden, maturing around the time you’ll need pollination help. Dahlias in the sunshine will bloom best.
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What dahlia collection would be complete without the black dahlia? Not only are the blooms deep, nearly black, but the light gives it an almost satin sheen. 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, from reds and yellows to coral and pink.
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Divert from the traditional open flower with a 'Clearview Daniel.' This dahlia boasts flower balls about 4 inches across atop a 5-inch-tall plant. With the compact petals and bright yellow color, it almost looks like a beehive!Continue to 5 of 15 below.
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A bigger dahlia, the 'El Sol' grows over 4 feet tall with incredible 12-inch blooms. With orange and yellow in the coloring, its name means “the sun.” The sunshine flowers will come out later in the season when the sun gets warm.
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'Crazy Legs' forms a fire burst type blossom like the 'Bora Bora,' but with rounded petal ends. This is called semi-cactus and it’s wonderful. The blooms are only about 3-inches across, but they cover the plant that spans a full 4 feet.
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Another giant dahlia bush covered in medium-sized blooms, 'Boogie Nites' differs from the others with its deep purple and reddish colors on the classic dahlia shape.
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Variegation is always fun in a flowering plant, but 'Brittany Rey' stands out. The shades of purples, yellows, and reds blend on each blossom to give almost a tie-dyed look! You can bet bees and butterflies will like this one.Continue to 9 of 15 below.
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Another cactus type, 'Tutti Frutti,' is summer embodied. Corals, pinks, yellows, it’s a total showstopper. Use large dahlia shrubs like 'Tutti Frutti' as end caps to a landscaping bed for bright color and access to breathtaking cut flowers.
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With dainty pink and salmon flowers only reaching a couple of inches in size, 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 give you some quick spring color.
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If 'Tutti Frutti' is summer, 'Lisa Lisa' is spring. The fresh white flower bodies are accented with purple and green edges. Staying under 3 feet or so, 'Lisa Lisa' is a smaller dahlia bush that may be easier to plan into an existing garden space.
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One look at a 'Redd Devil' and your jaw will drop. The 4-foot bush covered in 6-inch blooms of deep shocking red are a must-have for just about any garden.Continue to 13 of 15 below.
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A variety from Holland, 'Maarn' dahlias are uniquely shaped. The orange petals are looped in little tubes, adding stunning texture and depth to your garden.
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Cactus dahlias are always stunners, but these are extra special. The lace-edged foliage provides great contrast, and the petals are uniquely variegated yellow with blotches of red.
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Carnival is a 4–6-foot bush covered in 2–4-inch flowers. The flowers’ base color is white, but it’s speckled with splashes of reds and purples. It's a classic dahlia that you’ll love.