Types of dahlias: the most beautiful & popular varieties


For many years now, I have been growing various vegetables as a hobby in my spare time, which is what ultimately led me to studying horticulture. I find it fascinating to watch as plants grow from seed to fruit and to then finally be able to make use of the literal fruits of my labour.

Favourite fruit: Strawberries and cherries
Favourite vegetable: Potatoes, tomatoes and garlic

Dahlias offer an endless variety of colours with their beautiful flowers. We have summarised the most beautiful and popular types of dahlias for you.

Pink dahlia flowers
Dahlias bloom beautifully and are a great addition to any garden [Photo: imamchits/ Shutterstock.com]

Dahlias (Dahlia) in this country are among the ornamental plants with the most unusual flower shapes and colours. They are appreciated by hobby gardeners for their particularly long flowering period, as the plants often continue to flower until autumn. But which is actually the right dahlia variety for my garden? We answer these and many other questions on the subject of variety in the following.

Buying dahlias: as a bulb or in a pot?

As with many other flowering plants in the garden, the first question is: should you rather buy tubers and plant them or save yourself the work and buy a plant in a pot directly? The first thing to say is that buying tubers is both cheaper and quicker, as they can be bought at any garden centre or DIY store. Planting your own with tubers generally requires little effort. A clear advantage of the purchased plant, on the other hand, is the earlier blooming of the dahlia due to the advance in time. However, if you force tubers in early spring (March), you can also shorten the time to the beginning of flowering in this way by a few weeks.

Dahlia as a tuber: Do not forget to dig it up in autumn

When cultivating outdoors, the following applies: to overwinter dahlias, the tubers must be dug up every year anew in autumn to protect them from frost during the cold season. For dahlias in a pot, you can omit this step – but the pot with a tuber must also be placed in a frost-free place.

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The most beautiful types of dahlias

To give you an overview of the diversity of dahlia varieties, we present the most important ones here. Dahlias can be divided into a variety of categories, which are distinguished by the shape of the flower:

  • Anemone-flowered dahlias: Unusual appearance with tubular petals in the centre and flat ones around the edges; often bicoloured; Popular varieties: ‘Honey’ (red-yellow), ‘Siemen Doorenbosch’ (pink-yellow)
  • Ball dahlias: Around and small flowers; characteristic ball shape; slightly curled petals; Popular varieties: ‘Peter’ (pink), ‘Marble Ball’ (red-white)
  • Single-flowered dahlias: Simple flowers with few petals; very pristine appearance; includes the popular small mignon dahlias; ideal for pot culture; Popular varieties: ‘Mount Noddy’ (purple), ‘Sneezy’ (white)
  • Collarette dahlias: Flat flowers of large and smaller, protruding petals; collar-like appearance; Popular varieties: ‘Night Butterfly’ (dark red), ‘Don Lorenzo’ (red and cream)
  • Deer antler dahlias: Fringed-split and protruding petals; Popular varieties: ‘Galaxie’ (purple), ‘Alauna Clair-Obscur’ (dark purple-white)
Pink and orange dahlia flower
Dahlias come in beautiful colour combinations [Photo: FMB/ Shutterstock.com]
  • Cactus dahlias: Around flower heads with pointed petals; “spiky” look and wide variety of colours; Popular varieties: ‘Cheerio’ (red-white), ‘Spassmacher’ (light yellow-pink), ‘City of Rotterdam’ (orange-red, perfect for container growing)
  • Pompom dahlias: Around flower with fully rolled petals; very decorative; Popular varieties: ‘Rocco’ (purple), ‘Tip Top Wien’ (light pink-dark red)
  • Orchid dahlias: Pointed petals pointing outward; both single and double varieties; Popular varieties: ‘Pink Giraffe’ (pink), ‘Honka Red’ (red)
  • Decorative dahlias: Includes many different double varieties; closely spaced petals; very decorative; Popular variety: ‘Arabian Night’ (dark red)
  • Water lily dahlias: Flat flower with petals leading outward; similar to a water lily; Popular varieties: ‘Paso Doble’ (red-yellow), ‘Creme de Cassis’ (pink-purple)
  • Semi-cactus dahlias: Similar to cactus dahlias, but wider and more open petals; Popular varieties: ‘Dutch Explosion’ (white-pink), ‘Aramis’ (dark red)
Red dahlia flowers
This dahlia variety enchants with its beautiful red colour [Photo: billysfam/ Shutterstock.com]
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