How to pick your Dahlia
Dahlias are absoulutely breathtaking summer flowers especially some of the cactus and dinner plate varieties. Open flowered dahlias are particularly attractive to wildlife such as butterflies and bees as they can reach the precious pollen more easily.
Easy to grow from tubers, Dahlias are invaluable for summer borders and containers and are often the backbone to many a summer floral display.
Dahlias have long been prized for their variations of vibrant colours, beautiful forms and longevity as cut flowers. There are many different varieties to choose from such as cactus, ball, decorative, exotic, pompom, dinner plate and the legendary “Bishop” range.
To help you decide which Dahlias you would like to grow here is a brief description of types of dahlia: -
Cactus Dahlias - Showy large double petals that are broad at the base and taper into tips that roll back to almost half their length. The flowers of these cactus dahlias are a typically intricate looking starburst shape but are sturdy with narrower petals than the semi-cactus varieties.
Semi-cactus Dahlias – These dahlias are spiky in appearance but have fully double blooms, with pointed tips and fuller inner petals. Semi-cactus varieties have wider petals than the cactus varieties.
Pompom Dahlias – Quite distinctive pincushion type dahlias with tight, fully double small rounded petals. The quill-like petals curve upwards along the edges.
Ball Dahlias – Literally ball-shaped and larger than pompom varieties with fully double petals, occasionally with flattened faces, these dahlias sometimes have a spiral arrangement of inward curving petals.
Decorative Dahlias – Uniform shape with broad double petals, flattened and with the edges rolling upwards or backwards. This variety of dahlia often has petals that curve downwards towards the stem. They do not display a central disc.
Dinnerplate or Giant Dahlias - These really are the show pieces giants of the dahlia world with the diameter of the flowers often reaching a whopping 25-30cms across. They are big, bold and beautiful.
‘Bishop’ Dahlias – Open, simple, but none the less impressive with their depth of colours, these dahlias typically display one or two sets of petals that surround a central disc. Bushy plants and ideal to grow in containers.
Have fun choosing your own favourites and just follow our Dahlia growing advice and you won’t be disappointed!