15 Gorgeous Must-Plant Dahlias

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.

  • 01 of 15

    'Black Satin'

    Black Satin Dahlias

    David C. Phillips / Alloy / Getty Images

    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.

  • 02 of 15

    'Bora Bora'

    Bora Bora Dahlia

    Loïc Evanno / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

    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.

  • 03 of 15

    'Juul's Allstar'

    Juul's Allstar dahlia

    Georgianna Lane / Alloy / Getty Images

    This one stands out as unique to other dahlias. The 'Juul's Allstar' is open, an orchid-type, with a star shape and vivid hot pink and bright yellow colors. Since they are small flowers—around 4 inches—they are great for small containers that you can bring in during the winter.

  • 04 of 15

    'Clearview Daniel'

    clearview daniel dahlia

    Stephen Reed / Flickr / All Rights Reserved

    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!

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  • 05 of 15

    'El Sol'

    El Sol dahlia

    Tina Stadeli / Flickr / All Rights Reserved

    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.

  • 06 of 15

    'Crazy Legs

    Crazy legs dahlia

    Georgianna Lane / Canopy / Getty Images

    '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.

  • 07 of 15

    'Boogie Nites'

    Boogie Nites Dahlia

    Maria Mosolova / Photographer's Choice RF / Getty Images

    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.

  • 08 of 15

    'Brittany Rey'

    Dahlia Brittany Rey

    Georgianna Lane / Alloy / Getty Images

    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.

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  • 09 of 15

    'Tutti Frutti'

    Dahlia Tutti Frutti

    Georgianna Lane / Alloy / Getty Images

    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.

  • 10 of 15

    'Jitterbug'

    Jitterbug dahlia

    David C. Phillips / Canopy / Getty Images

    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.

  • 11 of 15

    'Lisa Lisa'

    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.

  • 12 of 15

    'Redd Devil'

    Redd Devil Dahlia

    David C. Phillips / Canopy / Getty Images

    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.
  • 13 of 15

    'Maarn'

    Maarn dahlia

    F. D. Richards / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

    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.

  • 14 of 15

    'Poppers'

    Dahlia Poppers

    Georgianna Lane / Canopy / Getty Images

    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.

  • 15 of 15

    'Hulins Carnival'

    Hulin's Carnival dahlia

    F. D. Richards / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

    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.