Comprehensive Dahlia Variety Guide by Color

Comprehensive Dahlia Variety Guide by Color

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The flowers of dahlias offer such a fantastic range of color, size, and form that it is hard to resist trying out every variety. That said, I only have so much space in my field and have to keep it narrowed down to the types that my florists and I can use in design work. I am always on the lookout for cultivars that add a unique flair of color, texture, or shape to my standard go-to blooms.

Overall, I love growing rainbows! Maintaining a curated collection of dahlias means that not only do I have to keep a constant supply of the standard ball and informal decorative forms in whites and blushes, but I also must provide a rainbow of options in the cool shapes like the waterlily, anemone, and collarette forms as well as the texture that laciniated and cactus types bring.

This year, I saw a significant increase in the desire for yellow tones - from soft buttery shades to warm golds—think “Ferncliff Spice,” “Mary Lou,” “Darcy” and the very fun “Double Jill.”

Ova Jo

Ova Jo

Platinum Blonde

Platinum Blonde

Cherish

Cherish

Darcy

Darcy

Daydreamer

Daydreamer

April Heather

April Heather

Crichton Honey

Crichton Honey

Peach is a perennial favorite, and I surprised everyone with the laciniated “Lakeview Peach Fuzz”—it looks like it sounds!

Lakeview Peach Fuzz

Lakeview Peach Fuzz

Ferncliff Spice

Ferncliff Spice

Double Jill

Double Jill

Top & Bottom: NTAC Mia Li  Middle: Sun Spot

Top & Bottom: NTAC Mia Li

Middle: Sun Spot

Clearview Lily

Clearview Lily

CG Coral

CG Coral

Isabel

Isabel

I also delivered buckets and buckets of pink and coral tones to one florist this year (everyone has their specialty!) My favorite choices of those are “Southern Belle,” “Kenora Lisa,” “CG Coral,” and “Islander.”

Kenora Lisa

Kenora Lisa

Kenora Lisa

Kenora Lisa

Labyrinth

Labyrinth

Intrigue

Intrigue

Jowey Ingrid

Jowey Ingrid

Urchin

Urchin

Another laciniated favorite was the deep burgundy “Urchin” which paired perfectly with productive “Rock Star” (an anemone form) for those moody blush, burgundy, and marsala combos that another florist of mine is known for (I simply cannot grow enough “Voodoo” for her!)

Islander

Islander

Linda’s Baby

Linda’s Baby

Yvonne

Yvonne

Snoho Doris and Sunspot

Snoho Doris and Sunspot

Copper tones came into play more this year as well, and my new go-to favorite choices are “Pennhill Watermelon,” “Robann Butterscotch,” and “Hy Suntan.”

Lyn’s Brooke

Lyn’s Brooke

Roban Butterscotch

Roban Butterscotch

Sierra Glow

Sierra Glow

Bronze shades like “Sierra Glow,” “Terracotta,” and “Cornel Bronze” mix with both of those groups—and never forget “Iced Tea!”

Iced Tea

Iced Tea

Amber Queen

Amber Queen

Valley Tawney

Valley Tawney

Linda’s Baby

Linda’s Baby

Peaches-N-Cream

Peaches-N-Cream

A La Mode

A La Mode

Cafe au Lait

Cafe au Lait

Peach Bud

Peach Bud

Pennhill Watermelon

Pennhill Watermelon

Pennhill Watermelon

Pennhill Watermelon

Islander

Islander

Wine Eyed Jill

Wine Eyed Jill

Southern Belle

Southern Belle

Creme De Cassis

Creme De Cassis

Wildwood Marie

Wildwood Marie

Karma Choc

Karma Choc

Lee has been a source for our wedding and demonstration flowers since 2013. She’s got a designer’s eye, so her attention to color nuances is precise. Searching out and providing rare varieties is a strength of hers. I know you’ll enjoy adding these thoughtfully curated specimens to your collection!

— Kelly Perry, Team Flower & Philosophy Flowers

Top: Narrow’s Pam  Bottom: Sir Richard

Top: Narrow’s Pam

Bottom: Sir Richard

Cafe au Lait

Cafe au Lait

Narrow’s Pam

Narrow’s Pam

Verrone’s DF - “Stellar”

Verrone’s DF - “Stellar”

Double Jill

Double Jill

“Double Jill” was all over the place with coloring, from pure white to yellow/white calico with wine tips. One plant produced the most incredibly shaded peach blush wash over white. All bloomed nonstop. 2.5" flowers.

Top: Blizzard, Bottom: White Nettie

Top: Blizzard, Bottom: White Nettie

Shiloh Jazzman

Shiloh Jazzman

Yuukyu

Yuukyu

Sydney Farris Photography

Sydney Farris Photography

Keep in mind folks: not all dahlias are meant to be cut flowers. There are plenty out there that are absolutely beautiful on the plant but end up having stems that are too short, fat, or weak to make it very far out of the field. For me, the deciding factor in keeping a variety is how it performs in my particular climate and soil. Regional differences in day length, variable temperatures, soil composition, and fertility (as well as available moisture) can affect petal color, flower size, stem strength, and general productivity. At the end of the day, it is up to the grower to figure out what works best for them through trial and error. It takes time, observation, and tenacity. But the successes are worth the bombs—I promise!

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