Dahlia Colors: What Colors Do These Beautiful Flowers Come in?
Are you thinking about adding some dahlias to your garden, but want to make sure that their colors will look great with your other flowers? The good news is that dahlias come in many different colors variations. In this article, certified master gardener Liz Jaros looks at all the different colored dahlia flowers you can add to your garden this season.
Native to Mexico and South America, dahlias are prized for their bright, vivid hues and exotic personalities. Blooming steadily in most regions from mid-summer to late fall, these tropical tubers range in height from 10 inches to 7 feet and feature blooms that vary in size and shape from golf ball to frisbee. Hardy to zone 8, dahlias can also be grown as annuals in zones 3-7.
Grown best in full sun with rich, well-drained soil, dahlias can be spotted in floral shops and commercial farms, along fences and borders, tucked into mixed perennial beds, or potted on an apartment balcony.
They are versatile and structurally diverse, and they come in so many colors, it can be a little disorienting. A look at some of the most popular dahlias in each color family might help make the selection process a little less daunting.
Dahlia Colors: Short Answer
Dahlias actually come in just about every color you can think of. Some of the most popular colors are red, orange, yellow, purple, white and green. The only color dahlias do not come in is blue. Bottom line is that you have many different colored flowers to choose from, and many dahlias are actually a mix of two different colors at a time.
Popular Dahlia Colors
Now that you know these gorgeous flowers come in almost all the colors of the rainbow, let’s take a look at some of the most popular colors that you’ll find when checking out dahlias in the garden. Many of these flowers are quite popular, and can be found both locally in tuber form, or online. Let’s take a look at some gorgeous colored dahlia varieties!
Red is the color of passion, love, and courage. Red flowered dahlias in this family are bold in character and likely to demand attention over softer, more subtle hued varieties. Use them as anchors in a primary flower palette or to give the yard a dash of tropical style.
This ball-form dahlia features striking, spherical red blooms that lean toward purple and reach 4 inches in diameter. Stems are strong and typically reach heights of 4 feet. Ideal for cut flowers or middle border locations.
Dahlia ‘Alva’s Doris’
Semi-cactus in form, this cultivar is tall and sturdy (4 feet). This dahlia blooms with spiky dark red flowers averaging 4-6 inches in width. A prolific bloomer, ‘Alva’s Doris’ is frequently featured in exhibits and entered in flower shows. Dark green foliage provides great contrast.
Literally translating to ‘hot’ in Spanish, petals on the caliente cultivar are spicy red in color and occasionally tipped with yellow. Blooms are 6 inches wide and sit atop strong, 3-4 foot stems. Long-lasting after cutting, they are often a florist’s go-to.
Dahlia ‘Karma Bon Bini’
Velvet-smooth petals are primarily red, but read orange to yellow toward the center of 4-6 inch blooms. Height ranges from 2-3 feet. Often featured as a singular vase occupant or found floating in a bowl of water, this cultivar is a stand-alone beauty.
Sunny and cheerful, yellow dahlias exude pride, joy and happiness. Use them to attract pollinators and give your garden or cut arrangements a friendly, optimistic vibe.
Dahlia ‘Yellow Star’
Rich, buttery petals fade to white at the tips of these cactus-form dahlias. With blooms spanning 6 inches and long, sturdy cutting stems maxing at 4 feet, this cultivar is a butterfly favorite and a cutting garden darling.
Dahlia ‘Kelvin Floodlight’
A gem in the dinnerplate category, this one wins awards for its formal disposition and monster, 8-10 inch bloom size. Often one of the first dahlias to bloom, ‘Floodlight’ sits atop 2-3 foot stems, making it a good choice for middle border locations. Due to prolific blooming and fragile stems, they must be well-staked for success.
Dahlia ‘Happy Single Party’
With 4-inch, canary yellow flowers in single form and rich, bronze foliage with a bushy habit, this cultivar is a good choice for borders. Height maxes out at 3 feet. Pollinators love the access granted by their clear, open centers.
Dahlia ‘Impression Fortuna’
Rich, 4-inch golden blooms in collarette form give this cultivar a sunny personality. Shorter stems at 12-18 inches make ‘Fortuna’ a natural for border fronts and small containers. Single stems, prolific blooms, and a long vase life give it great value in the cutting garden.
Soft and gentle with a dose of femininity, blush-hued dahlias set a romantic tone wherever they are encountered. Popular in bridal bouquets and centerpieces, dahlia cultivars in light pink can be calming and graceful. Equally as sensual, but with a bit more spice, bright pink dahlias have a bold and vibrant profile. At either end of the intensity spectrum, pink blooms are often a dahlia addict’s first love.
Dahlia ‘Belle of Barmera’
It could be argued that this stunner might fall in the orange category, since its centers are primarily peach, but the petals on this dinnerplate cultivar move quickly to raspberry at the margins and give off a sweetness that’s distinctly pink. Double bloom flower heads can pack a major punch with a diameter of up to 8 inches. Long stems top off at 5 feet and make this one a showy centerpiece in the garden or on the table.
Dahlia ‘Magenta Star’
Featuring bright pink petals in flat, single form and a fringy gold rim around its center, this dahlia has a small bloom size at 4 inches, but a very tall stature. Reaching heights of 5-6 feet with stems and foliage reading dark purple to bronze, this plant makes a great backdrop in mixed borders. Its open center attracts bees and butterflies.
Dahlia ‘Jersey Beauty’
Formal and showy with 6-8 inch double blooms in true pink, this one is a Dahlia snob favorite. With prolific blooms topping sturdy, 5-foot stems, ‘Jersey Beauty’ stands up well to frequent cutting and keeps sending up new flowers all season long.
Dahlia ‘Mary’s Jomanda’
A ball form dahlia with tubular petals on 4-inch round magenta heads, this cultivar has a bushy form and dark foliage with stems that top out at 4 feet. Use it to take up space in mixed borders or give it the spotlight in a patio pot. This one is a classic.
Eliciting feelings of purity and innocence, white dahlias are a wedding-day favorite for obvious reasons. They also provide a nice clean backdrop for their more flamboyant dahlia relatives. Bright and clean without stealing the show, they come in a broad range of shapes and sizes, each with its own distinct personality.
Double blooms on this cactus-form dahlia are grand at 8-10 inches wide and demand to be appreciated. Crisp white blossoms radiate out from green/yellow centers and sit atop 4-foot stems. With an extra-long vase life, this one is a natural choice for the cutting garden. When grown in the backs of borders, Dahlia ‘Verda’ can have a picket-fence-like effect.
Dahlia ‘Honka White’
Thin, pointy petals fan out like a pinwheel in this star-form dahlia cultivar. Delicate and charming with a bright yellow center, this is a pollinator favorite and has a more subtle presence in the garden. Blooms reach four inches and stems about 2 feet. Use in middle border locations or patio pots.
Dahlia ‘Small World’
This miniature pompon dahlia features petite white blooms that max out at 2 inches and read yellow in the center. With stem heights of just 12-18 inches, this is one of the smallest dahlia cultivars and does particularly well in border fronts. A prolific bloomer that holds up well in a vase, ‘Small World’ makes a nice accent flower in a small bouquet or centerpiece.
Dahlia ‘White Perfection’
Creamy and dreamy with multiple layers of quilled white petals, this dinnerplate champion delivers 10-inch blooms long into the fall. At heights of 4 feet, these oversized beauties are good anchors for the mixed bed and hold up surprisingly well in the rain. These blooms can often be found floating in posh pools or ponds.
Bold and exuberant, with a zesty attitude, orange dahlias are perhaps the most energetic of the bunch. Known for being the color of passion, orange also has a reputation for warmth and kindness. Cultivars that fall into this part of the color spectrum are particularly coveted by dahlia junkies.
Dahlia ‘Bed Head’
With whimsical, incurved petals in the cactus style, these 4-inch tangerine blooms pop from 6-foot stems and just keep coming. Their unique form, long bloom time, and persistent vase life makes them particularly attractive to floral designers, and they are a natural backdrop for mixed beds.
Dahlia ‘Punkin Spice’
Several shades of orange (and raspberry and gold) are displayed on this eccentric dahlia with 7-inch blossoms. One of the earliest dahlias to bloom, ‘Punkin Spice’ screams for attention with fringy petals and a 4-foot stature. It is a natural choice for autumnal displays.
Dahlia ‘Irish Glow’
Considered miniature in the world of dahlias, these petite pompons do not exceed 2 inches in diameter and grow on 3-foot stems. Perfectly spherical blooms with raspberry-tipped orange petals are offset against rich, dark foliage. A sturdy, upright habit and an energetic personality make this one popular for cutting gardens.
Dahlia ‘Sherwood’s Peach’
Massive, coral to peach blooms grow up to a foot wide on this much-adored dinnerplate dahlia. A dusty mauve center lends some mystique, while 5-foot stems hold blooms high in the garden scape. A prolific bloomer that’ll keep producing until the snow falls if properly cared for, this one is a delight.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do dahlias come in blue?
No! Blue is the most elusive flower color of all and this is true for dahlias as well. No blue cultivars exist to date, but I’m sure a botanist somewhere is working on it.
Why are my dahlias changing color?
While dahlias typically hold their color well throughout the growing season, variables like soil acidity, excessive or inadequate sun, and fungal disease may alter their appearance. Genetic variation or reversion may also alter their color from year to year.
Are there black dahlias?
No. There are cultivars that are referred to categorically as black dahlias (‘Black Jack,’ ‘Black Wizard,’ ‘Fidalgo,’ and ‘Lights Out’ are a few), but their blooms are actually deep burgundy to red.
Having barely scratched the surface here with dahlia color groups, it’s clear to see why these cottage charmers have stolen so many hearts. Give them lots of sunshine, careful staking, and plenty of room to grow. A kaleidoscope of breathtaking blooms will be your reward.