Dahlias Top Flowers for Autumn

Dahlias have got to be at the number one spot for flowers for late summer and early autumn colour. I’ve grown quite a lot this year. Some from seed and some from tubers.


dahlia-beeThese are Pompons, Cactus, and Waterlily types. There are more than 57,000 different Dahlias to choose from so if you prefer flowers with a more open centre for bees and butterflies then there are plenty of those to choose from too. Whilst I was taking these shots a very wet and bedraggled Bumblebee arrived and picked out the only open flower in this bunch. I think it’s important to grow single flowers as well these dramatic blooms. You can choose short varieties for pots and containers or bedding schemes or tall plants to borders and cut flowers. Dahlias come in most colours except blue. There are shades of red, orange, yellow, pink and white. Their foliage is attractive too with strong stems and broad green or chocolatey bronze leaves.



It’s not just the open flowers that are beautiful. Dahlia buds are something special too. They are easy to grow but watch out for earwigs which like to hide inside the folded petals. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve waited for a lovely big fat bud to open only to find that all the tips of the petals have been nibbled by earwigs. Setting earwig traps is the only way to prevent your beautiful blooms being ruined.


Did you know that you can grow Dahlias from seed? If you want to collect seeds from your Dahlias then wait until the seed heads become nice and brown and crispy like these then collect them on a dry day and store them somewhere cool and dry in paper bags or envelopes until next spring. They may not turn out exactly like their parents but that’s half the fun of sowing seed. It’s always exciting to see what pops up.


Love GillianThanks to Cathy at Rambling in the garden for hosting In a Vase on Monday.

Do you grow Dahlias from seed or tubers?
Thanks for reading, liking and commenting. Gillian 🙂


40 thoughts on “Dahlias Top Flowers for Autumn

    1. Yes, Dahlias are fabulous aren’t they. The seeds I sowed in spring produced good plants and beautiful flowers this summer.

      1. Do you know anything about how/when to dig up and store bulbs for winter? I have a gorgeous yellow dahlia that’s a good three feet tall and I don’t want to lose it!

      2. With Dahlias it’s best to let the first frosts blacken the leaves before you cut off the foliage I believe. Then lift the tubers and store them in a dry place for the winter. Some people say that you shouldn’t wash off all the soil because a good coating of dry crusty soil makes the tubers very unattractive to hungry animals. Here’s a link to the RHS website… they know what they are talking about! https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=592

  1. 57,000 different dahlias – gosh!! 🙂 You have some beauties there and although I have grown some Bishop’s Children from seed and have bought some other seed for next year I hadn’t thought about collecting my own seed but will definitely do so now! Thanks for sharing that

    1. I grew Bishop’s Children this year for the first time too. I’ve collected a few seed heads so far but only popped them in envelopes for now and made a nice big pile on the table. Really must get around to picking out the seeds then we can all eat in the dining room again!

      1. My seed collection is expanding too, both with collected seeds and ones I have bought – definitely need some sorting out!

  2. What a super variety of Dahlias you have. They do look fabulous en masse in the vase. A really generous arrangement. I always leave my dahlias in the ground and then lose them so I’ll definitely try and remember to save some seed from my one D. Onesta. A good tip, thank you.

    1. I must admit that I used to do that too and all was well until we had a really harsh winter in 2010 and I lost all my beautiful big Dahlias. I don’t know whether it was the cold or wet or hungry slugs… anyway had to start again!

    1. It’s funny how we go through different stages and our tastes change isn’t it? I am well and truly past my tasteful phase!

  3. You’ve got a beautiful collection of Dahlias, Gillian! I especially like the yellow one with the red-orange tips but they’re all gorgeous. I’ve never been particularly successful with them – my former garden was too shady and I’ve been too stingy with water during our drought to make them happy in my current, sunnier garden.

    1. Thanks Kris. It does make sense to grow what suits your conditions and if you have drought each year then Dahlias won’t really work.

    1. Thanks Dorris. I must admit that I have surprised myself with the Dahlia combinations. I had planned to colour theme the flowers but just plonking them in one vase all together seemed to work out just fine.

  4. Your Dahlias are so gorgeous, Gillian, the perfection of the pompom ones always amazes me, I don’t know why I don’t have some. I have two of the cactus ones I really love, I have been leaving them in the ground but they came up so late this year and are just beginnining to bloom so I am considering digging them. I’m realizing after reading the RHS site that would involve a lot of work and also a place to store them over the winter. I’m going to a Dahlia grower’s store this Saturday to look into getting some orchid Dahlias I saw this year, they were entrancing and also fragrant.

    1. Yes, I’m liking them more and more and especially the very stiff Pompons which seems odd because I usually go for the natural/wind blown look. If you only have a few to dig up it’s not that much work- pop them in a plastic pot/seed tray and keep them in a dry shed/garage over winter.

  5. I cannot even get them to grow from tubers. This year they had plenty of sun and rain and still they are just beginning to set flowers….too late I fear for this year. I think the continual cold spells and flooding rains in spring may have been a reason.

    I was hoping to pick many dahlias this fall for vases as stunning as yours.

    1. Thanks very much Cathy. I am trying to take some photos every day if I can then I can see what works and what doesn’t.

  6. These are absolutely phenomenal! Loved the vase full of them in all the clashing colours- so joyful. The close up pics were amazing too. I’m guessing those are the ones called pompons? They looked like those paper Chinese lanterns. Such a beautiful post! What’s an earwig trap though? X

    1. Thanks Ella. Earwigs like to hide in dark crevices (like Dahlia petals) so to lure them away just place a small upturned plant pot (filled with straw/stalks) on top of a bamboo cane right next to the plants you want to protect. With a bit of luck your earwigs will nest in the pot… then empty the contents away from your plants. Some people squash them but I usually walk up the lane and tip them into the field.

  7. I love dahlias, but the slugs do, too, so I’ve given up growing them. Though seeing all the lovely Monday vases has me reconsidering.

    1. Yes slugs do seem to like them. I don’t mind a few chewed leaves and we have the wild ducks and hedgehogs that eat some of the slugs.

    1. They are so easy to grow Ann. Nice big seeds… you can’t go wrong. Sow in Feb/March for flowers July-October.

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