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Dahlia

Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Dahlia x hortensis
Phonetic Spelling
DAHL-ee-a
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Dahlias are the darlings of the late summer garden. Visit any county or state fair in the autumn and you will likely find dozens of dahlias. The array of flower colors, sizes, and shapes is astounding. Check out the American Dahlia Society website for the many classifications and colors.

Dahlias are available in almost any color:  white, shades of pink, red, yellow, orange, shades of purple, and various combinations of these colors. Some of the flower forms are truly amazing, from the charming single, daisy-like flowers to the popular double varieties which can range from the 2-inch-pompons to 12 inches across. They are divided into ten groups: single, anemone, collarette, waterlily, decorative, fall, pompon, cactus, semi-cactus and miscellaneous.  Some of the most spectacular are the peony and cactus forms.

Any garden with fertile, well-drained soil and lots of sun can become a home to dahlias. Since all garden dahlias are hybrids, they are most often planted as tuberous roots. Seeds are available for mixed, small-flowered types. Plant the tuberous roots or plants about the time of the last frost date. They look best planted in groups of at least 5.  Varieties that get taller than 2 feet may need stakes or other supports. Dahlias may languish during the heat of summer, but keep them mulched and provide plenty of water and they will reward you with a show from late summer through fall.

The tuberous roots will not survive winter in the ground in most of the Piedmont region and the western part of the state, so those of us in these regions must be prepared to dig roots in the fall to store during the winter. The dahlia is hardy in the Raleigh area and east to the Coast.

When planting, cover tubers to a depth of 3 in.  Injured below 25 degrees F (2 degrees C).

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  They can be difficult to grow and suffer from many problems including aphids, leafhoppers and caterpillars.  Potential diseases include powdery mildew, root rot, crown gall, viruses and wilts.

Family name Asteraceae (Compositae)

Quick ID Hints:

  • dimorphic involucral bracts, outer row broad, obtuse, veined
  • heads vertical in orientation
  • leaves opposite, simple to pinnately compound

Perennial herb to 6 ft, tuberous-rooted.

Blooming summer til frost; headscommonly on noddingpeduncle apex, thus oritation is vertical; bedding plant or perennial bed; massing, accenting, cutflowers. 

Seed germinated selections are dwarfs, often not heat tolerant, ;lack uniformity of growth, and are poor bloomers; tuberous selections tall, may require staking tubers dug up & stored overwinter in cool place. 

Sun or partial shade, well-drained, moist soils.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#poisonous#heat tolerant#houseplant#perennial#container plant#cut flowers#window boxes#cpp#bedding plant#borders#groups#fantz
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#poisonous#heat tolerant#houseplant#perennial#container plant#cut flowers#window boxes#cpp#bedding plant#borders#groups#fantz
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Dahlia
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Root Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Tropical America
    Bulb Storage:
    In Zone 8 harvest tuberous roots in fall, dry carefully (do not wash), and store in vermiculite or dry sand at 35-45 degrees F (2-7 degrees C). In Zone 7, just mulch.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Bulb
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Black
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Pink
    Variegated
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Corymb
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Flowering heads large, with many petals, variously colored bloom from mid-summer to mid fall with showy flowers that make excellent flower arrangements. Axillary, 1 to 3 heads in a corymb; head oriented vertical, 2-12" diam., aster to double forms Involucral bracts dimorphic, in two rows; outer row obovate, conspicuously reticulate veined, spreading to reflexed, inner row broad, membraneous, green, appressed to ray flowers. Disc and ray flowers variable in color, anthocyanin or carotenoid pigmented. Garden origin.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Black
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves pinnately lobed or divided. Opposite, simple (terminal leaflet) to 3-5-7-pinnately compound, segments ovate to oblong to lanceolate, dentate.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    TOXIC ONLY IF LARGE QUANTITIES EATEN. Skin irritation following repeated handling of the tubers and contact with leaves and light.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Phototoxic polyacetylene compounds
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Leaves
    Roots