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20 Types of Dahlia Flowers To Grow At Home (With Pictures)

red dahlia close up

If you’re looking to add variety, color, and style to your backyard, look no further than dahlias. Aside from brightening up any garden, dahlias make beautiful cut flowers too.

Floral photographers love dahlias for their strikingly shaped petals and bold color combinations, sometimes their muted pastel, while wildlife advocates plant them to attract pollinators.

With tens of thousands of cultivars to choose from, the enormous range of dahlias out there can get dizzying. The American Dahlia Society (ADS) categorizes dahlias by color, size, and form (flower shapes). Depending on their form, we’ve grouped our 20 types of dahlias into the following categories. Click on the ones you are looking for to grow in your garden:

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The 20 Types of Dahlia Flowers To Grow At Home

Formal Decorative

Formal decorative dahlias are gorgeous full-bodied flowers with dense, slightly curled petals—also called “ray florets”. The petals are arranged regularly, with even placement around the flower. They come in a variety of colors and sizes, with dinner-plate cultivars producing large flowers that are 10–12 inches in diameter.

1. Rothesay Reveller Dahlia

Rothesay Reveller dahlia in full bloom
Image Credit: Martin Murray, Shutterstock
Flower size (diameter): 4–6 inches
Plant height: 4–5 feet
Sun exposure: Full sun

This plant produces small-sized flowers that are deep purple towards the center, and white towards the tips. The stems grow to around 4 feet, so if you’re planning to grow it in a border, make sure you place it in the back. That said, these flowers would be perfectly happy in a pot, too.

Rothesay Revellers make great cut flowers, so why not grow them in a cutting patch? For best results, plant the tubers in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun.


2. Eveline Dahlia

Dahlia Eveline
Image Credit: CLICKMANIS, Shutterstock
Flower size (diameter): 4–6 inches
Plant height: 4 feet
Sun exposure: Sun to part shade

Eveline dahlias are a popular choice for cut flower arrangements and borders. The tall plant produces small-sized flowers that are mostly soft-cream in color, but the edge of each petal is tinted with gentle lavender. It blooms from July until the first frost.

Although this variety grows best in full sun, light shade will help in climes with hot summers. They’ll grow in containers as well as patches, though they make a more significant visual impact when planted in groups of five. Remember to deadhead regularly to promote the growth of new flowers!

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Informal Decorative

Similar to formal decorative dahlias, these flowers are full-bodied and dense with flat petals that are slightly curled on the edges. Unlike formal dahlias, the petals on informal decoratives are irregular in placement and arrangement.

Informal decorative flowers are often used as focal pieces in floral arrangements due to their eye-catching features.

3. Who Dun It Dahlia

Who Dun It Dahlia
Image Credit: Jennifer Yakey-Ault, Shutterstock
Flower size (diameter): 4–6 inches
Plant height: 4 feet
Sun exposure: Full sun

A true showstopper, “Who Dun It” Dahlias come in several bloom colors, including white, pink, purple, wine, and blends. The haphazardly arranged petals are white or cream towards the center, and gradually become tinted towards the ends.

In flower arrangements, they look spectacular when grouped with dahlias that are entirely colored with their specific tint, and with white dahlias.

Plant these tubers in well-draining soil in full sun. They’ll flower from midsummer to the first frost, so keep deadheading to encourage new growth.


4. Café au Lait Dahlia

Café au Lait Dahlia
Image Credit: Max_555, Shutterstock
Flower size (diameter): 8–10 inches
Plant height: 4 feet
Sun exposure: Sun to partial sun

Café au Lait Dahlias have become one of the most popular cultivars amongst brides, event planners, and photographers alike. This variety produces large and fluffy “dinner-plate” flowers that range from blush pink to pale peach.

Their subtle and muted colors look fantastic against their dark green foliage, and when combined with dusky pink flowers, such as roses.

Plant these tubers in the spring, after the threat of frost has passed, and when the soil reaches 60°F.

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Semi Cactus

Semi cactus dahlias are easy to recognize. Their petals are flat towards the center and rolled or quilled towards the ends—usually, less than half of each petal is rolled.

5. Black Jack Dahlia

Flower size (diameter): 6–10 inches
Plant height: 4–5 feet
Sun exposure: Full sun

This plant produces stunning semi cactus dahlias that have an almost-black center, their petals gradually brightening to a deep and velvety wine-red towards the ends. The large blooms contrast brilliantly with cream-colored dahlias, such as Café au Lait and Dahlia Innocence, and two-toned white and burgundy dahlias such as Tartan.

Although this plant likes to be in full sun, it appreciates frequent watering. This fast-growing variety will bloom from midsummer to the first frost. Remember to remove spent flowers regularly.


6. Karma Sangria Dahlia

Flower size (diameter): 6 inches
Plant height: 3–4 feet
Sun exposure: Sun to part shade

Dahlia Karma Sangria wins our award for bright and cheerful. This plant produces irresistible, small to medium-sized blooms that are sunny yellow in the center and flamingo pink towards the ends. Each bloom boasts neatly arranged rolled petals that create a fun starburst appearance.

Because of their relatively lightweight, these flowers stand straight and proud, even in the rain. Plant them in borders, containers, and cut flower patches. Karma Sangria will produce a fabulous show from July to October.

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Incurved Cactus

Incurved cactus dahlias have spidery petals that are rolled along their entire length, with their tips curving up towards the center of the plant.

7. Bed Head Dahlia

Flower size (diameter): 4 inches
Plant height: 5 feet
Sun exposure: Full sun

A true incurved cactus, Bed Head Dahlias have curved spiny petals that are bright tangerine. This fun variety of dahlias produces small blooms that are excellent for cut flower arrangements. The longer this aptly named flower stays in a cut flower arrangement, the curlier it gets!

This cultivar of dahlia is not as prolific a bloomer as other varieties, but their striking, tangled appearance makes them worth growing for many flower enthusiasts. Plant them in full sun, in well-draining soil. Pinch off the first flower bud to encourage a bushier plant with more flowers.

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Straight Cactus

Straight cactus dahlias have spiny petals that are neatly rolled. Unlike Incurved Cactus Dahlias, the petals are straight. Cultivars include Bloomquist Tracy, Bloomquist Star, and White Russian.

8. AC Abby Dahlia

Red dahlia (Ac Abby)
Image Credit: irina_raduga, Shutterstock
Flower size (diameter): 6–8 inches
Plant height: 4–6 feet
Sun exposure: Full sun

With blooms that resemble glowing flames, AC Abby demands attention. Each flower glows bright yellow at its heart and gradually turns hot red towards the ends. As a straight cactus variety, AC Abby blooms have tightly curled petals that are neat and straight.

This award-winning dahlia is a show flower. It looks great in borders, containers, and cut flower arrangements. Plant them in full sun, and don’t forget to deadhead regularly to encourage new blooms.

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Laciniated

These dahlias have ray florets (petals) with frayed, split, or laciniated tips. Where the petal splits, it twists, creating a fringed appearance. Popular cultivars include Omega  and Jax.

9. Myrtle’s Folly Dahlia

Myrtle’s Folly Dahlia
Image Credit: gardenia68, Shutterstock
Flower size (diameter): 8 inches
Plant height: 4
Sun exposure: Sun to partial sun

With apricot, raspberry, and peach hues, Myrtle’s Folly produces medium-sized, fuzzy blooms reminiscent of a summer sunset. Aside from their beauty, these flowers are known to attract hummingbirds and butterflies—not to mention they make great cut flowers.

Keep Myrtle’s Folly in full sun if you can, but in hot summers, they may need a little shade. This cultivar will grow happily in containers and in the ground. They will bloom from midsummer to the first frost.

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Ball and Miniature Ball

As their name suggests, these dahlias produce ball-shaped blooms, with flattened tops, and rounded petals that are arranged neatly around the flower. The miniature cultivars produce smaller blooms, but both look stunning in vases, containers, and borders.

10. Ivanetti Dahlia

Flower size (diameter): 3.5 inches
Plant height: 4 feet
Sun exposure: Full sun

Ivanetti is a ball-type cultivar that produces beautifully dark, burgundy blooms. They look great in containers, or when arranged with lighter-colored dahlias. Ivanetti flowers are small in size, but their stems are long, making them perfect for gardens or cut flowers.

Plant them in well-draining soil in a sunny spot—this cultivar needs more than 6 hours of sunlight. Expect flowers from July to October, and deadhead to encourage new growth.


11. Ryecroft Yellow Orb Dahlia

Flower size (diameter): 3 inches
Plant height: 3 feet
Sun exposure: Full sun

This miniature ball dahlia is perfect for hand-tied flower bouquets and small vases. As its name suggests, the blooms are bright yellow and perfectly round, contrasting brilliantly with their green foliage. This cultivar looks spectacular when planted in groups in containers or patches.

Ryecroft Yellow Orb does well in full sun and well-draining soil. It’ll flower from summer to fall but remember to dig up the tubers for the winter if you’re outside of USDA zones 8–10.

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Pompon

Pompon dahlias are similar to the ball types, but their flowers are smaller—often no larger than 2 inches in diameter. Available in many colors, these flowers look stunning when grouped together to form colorful bouquets and arrangements.

12. Noreen Dahlia

Flower size (diameter): 3 inches
Plant height: 3 feet
Sun exposure: Full sun

Dahlia Noreen produces small, beautiful pink pompon-shaped blooms that brighten the summer and autumn. The bushy plants produce long stems that carry double blooms. This plant will keep flowering throughout summer to the first frost, as long as the spent flowers are removed.

The Noreen cultivar looks great in containers, beds, and borders. They’re happiest in moist but well-draining soil and prefer to sit in full sun. In cut flower arrangements, try pairing dahlia Noreen with white dahlias.


13. Amber Queen Dahlia

Flower size (diameter): Up to 2 inches
Plant height: 3 feet
Sun exposure: Full sun

Amber Queen is an early bloomer, and a super-prolific producer of beautiful, bronze-colored pompon-shaped flowers. This cultivar produces tiny flowers that look great as cut flowers in vases as fillers or on their own. In gardens, this variety looks good in containers and as well as borders.

When planting the tubers, use well-draining soil and pick a spot that’s in full sun. Expect your first blooms within 75 days! When deadheading spent flowers, cut deep along the stems to encourage more growth.

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Waterlily

Waterlily dahlias are easily distinguishable from the decorative types of dahlia. They grow double blooms that have wide, sparsely arranged ray florets. Popular cultivars include Firepot, Happy Butterfly, and Silver Years.

14. Creme de Cassis Dahlia

Flower size (diameter): 4–6 inches
Plant height: 3 feet
Sun exposure: Sun

This beautiful cultivar produces small blooms that have unusual two-tone petals. Each of the bloom’s broad petals is a gentle shade of lavender on top, and wine-red below. The result is an exquisite flower that looks as though it’s outlined with a dark red pen.

Creme de Cassis will bloom from midsummer to fall. The flowers look exceptional in floral arrangements and centerpieces, especially when combined with white, lavender, and burgundy flowers.

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Stellar

Stellar dahlias grow flowers with long, narrow petals with pointed tips. The ray florets tend to curve out and downward, not unlike a stellar burst. Stellar dahlias come in many colors and color combinations, but some favorites include Gitt’s Crazy, Camano Pet, and Felida Stars & Stipes.

15. Irish Blackheart Dahlia

Flower size (diameter): 6–8 inches
Plant height: 3–4 feet
Sun exposure: Full sun

This stunning cultivar is sure to turn heads with its variegated white and burgundy petals. Each ray floret is long and narrow and painted red and white. Dense and full, these blooms look incredible when arranged with other white and red flowers.

Plant these tubers in full sun in containers, beds, or borders. For maximum impact, plant them in large groups, and remember to plant a few extra to use as cut flowers!

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Peony

Peony dahlias have open centers and broad, rounded petals in either one or two layers. Not to be confused with peonies, these flowers are popular for borders because they are prolific and fast growers.

16. Bishop of Llandaff Dahlia

Flower size (diameter): 4 inches
Plant height: 3 feet
Sun exposure: Full sun

This cultivar produces scarlet flowers that look stunning against their dark purple, almost-black foliage. The combination is eye-catching and beautiful, with their size and growth speed making them ideal for borders and beds.

Bishop of Llandaff Dahlias will flower from July to October. Cut the stems often to promote growth. These flowers have a long vase life!


17. Fascination Dahlia

Flower size (diameter): 4–5 inches
Plant height:  2–3 feet
Sun exposure: Full sun

Fascination Dahlias are a beautifully pink peony-type dahlia that produce small bright blooms against dark foliage. It is without a doubt a show flower, having won several awards. Their short height makes them perfect for borders, patio containers, garden containers, and beds.

This dahlia prefers moist but well-draining soil. Plant them in a sheltered position away from strong winds, but preferably in full sun. These flowers will attract pollinators and butterflies.

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Anemone

Anemone dahlias produce small to medium-sized flowers. The blooms have a distinct ring of broad petals forming a wreath around a mass of smaller petals in the center of the flower.

18. Edge of Joy Dahlia

Flower size (diameter): 3.5–4 inches
Plant height: 2–3 feet
Sun exposure: Full Sun

Pollinators find the golden center of this dahlia irresistible. From midsummer to the first frost, Edge of Joy Dahlias will produce a mass of bicolored blooms—icy white striped with dark purple. Their small size makes them ideal for containers and borders, but they also have long, slender stems—making them ideal for cut flowers.

Plant the tubers in a sunny spot, in well-draining soil. As the plant grows to 4 or 5 inches tall, pinch off the top of the plants to encourage more stems to grow from the sides.


19. Floorinoor Dahlia

Flower size (diameter): Up to 4 inches
Plant height: 3 feet
Sun exposure: Full sun

If you’re looking for bright blooms, look no further than Floorinoor. These little flowers have bright orange centers that pollinators love. They’re surrounded by a wreath of round petals that gradually blend from orange in the center to hot pink on the edges, making them appear as though they’re glowing.

It takes this cultivar between 56 and 98 days to bloom, making them a fast and prolific grower. Floorinoor Dahlias will flower from July to October.

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Orchette

Orchette dahlias are a combination of the orchid-type dahlia, and the Collarette. They feature eight ray florets that evenly surround an open center. Each petal is flat towards the center of the flower and neatly curled towards its end.

20. RaeAnns Antares Dahlia

Flower size (diameter): 3 inches
Plant height: 5 feet
Sun exposure: Full sun

This prolific plant produces beautiful flowers with golden centers and pink and white petals. The 8 “main” petals that surround this flower are dark pink, and the tiny “collar” petals that surround the center are white. The result is a mass of pink, white, and yellow stars held up by thin, long stems.

These flowers do well in the garden, but you may choose to use them as cut flowers. In a vase, the petals will continue to unfurl and open. Plant them in a sunny spot, in moist, well-draining soil.

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Conclusion

With so many vibrant and beautiful varieties of dahlias out there, it can be difficult to decide which ones to plant at home. We hope our guide has given you a few ideas!

Whether you’re planning to create a bed of dahlias or a cutting patch, there are a few rules that apply to all cultivars. Keep deadheading spent flowers to encourage new growth, plant the tubers in the sun, and use well-draining soil.


Featured Image Credit: Veronika_Andrews, Pixabay

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