About Dahlia’s

Dahlias are a genus of bushy, tuberous, herbaceous perennial plants native to Mexico and Central America. A member of the Asteraceae family, they are related to sunflowers, daisies, chrysanthemums, and zinnias. Here’s a comprehensive overview of dahlias:

Origin and History

  • Native Region: Originally from Mexico, dahlias were grown as a food crop by the Aztecs. They were brought to Europe in the 18th century and have since been hybridized extensively.
  • Cultural Significance: Dahlias are the national flower of Mexico and have been used in gardens and medicinal remedies for centuries.

Botanical Features

  • Flowers: Dahlias are prized for their vibrant and diverse flower shapes and colors. They range from tiny 5 cm (2-inch) pompoms to giant 40 cm (15-inch) “dinnerplate” blooms.
  • Leaves: The foliage is typically green, but some cultivars have bronze-tinted or variegated leaves.
  • Size: Plant sizes vary greatly, from compact border varieties to tall plants that can reach over 6 feet.

Varieties and Classification

  • Dahlias are classified by flower shape and size, with over a dozen categories including pompon, single, cactus, decorative, and ball.
  • Thousands of cultivars exist, offering a wide range of colors and forms.

Growing Conditions

  • Sunlight: They thrive in full sun but can tolerate partial shade.
  • Soil: Prefer well-drained, fertile soil. They benefit from regular fertilization.
  • Climate: While they are hardy in USDA zones 8 to 11, in cooler climates, they are grown as annuals or the tubers are lifted and stored for the winter.

Planting and Care

  • Planting: Plant tubers in the spring after the danger of frost has passed.
  • Watering: Require consistent moisture, especially during growth and flowering stages.
  • Staking: Taller varieties often need staking to support their heavy blooms.
  • Pruning: Deadheading and pruning can encourage more blooms and a bushier plant.

Pests and Diseases

  • Vulnerable to pests like slugs, snails, and aphids.
  • Common diseases include powdery mildew, botrytis, and viral infections.


  • Widely used in gardens for their stunning and diverse flowers.
  • Popular in floral arrangements, especially in weddings and events.
  • Some varieties have edible tubers, although these are not commonly eaten today (Dahlia’s from ILoveDahlia can not be eaten!).


  • In colder regions, tubers are dug up after the first frost and stored in a cool, dry place over winter.

Symbolism and Meaning

  • Dahlias symbolize dignity and elegance, as well as change and diversity. Different colors have additional meanings, like red for strength and love, and pink for kindness and grace.


  • Can be propagated through division of tubers, cuttings, or seeds, though cultivars do not always come true from seed.

Dahlias are a gardener’s delight due to their spectacular blooms and the extensive variety they offer. Their care can be a bit labor-intensive, but the rewards are plentiful in the form of stunning, colorful, and diverse flowers.