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Dahlia mania

Jessica Hulme of Meadows Flowers, Staffordshire, explores why dahlias are so beloved by flower farmers, gardeners and florists up and down the country.

When it comes to the world of flowers, one species stands out as a true masterpiece of nature – the dahlia. These captivating blooms have captured the hearts of garden enthusiasts and florists alike with their vibrant colors, intricate petal formations, and remarkable diversity.

a close up of the intricate petal formations of a deep burgundy pom pom type dahlia

From the petite pompom dahlias with their tightly packed spherical petals to the dramatic dinner plate dahlias that can span a foot in diameter, there’s a dahlia variety for every taste and preference. With over 42 recognized species and thousands of cultivars, dahlias offer a kaleidoscope of colours, shapes, and sizes. Their sheer variety allows them to fit into any garden or floral arrangement, making them a favourite choice with gardeners and florists alike.

A patch of bright orange and pink pom pom type dahlias glows in the summer sunshine at Meadows Flowers

One of the most enchanting aspects of dahlias is their wide array of colours. These flowers come in virtually every shade of the rainbow, from the fiery reds and oranges to the serene lilac-blues and rich purples. Their rich and vibrant hues have a way of brightening up any space, whether they’re in your garden or adorning a vase on your dining table.

Dahlias carry a range of symbolic meanings that have contributed to their popularity. Traditionally, they are are associated with sentiments of gratitude, dignity, and elegance and are said to symbolize inner strength and the ability to overcome challenges.

The perfectly peachy dainty form of this dahlia called preference contrasts in this flower bed with the dramatic dark burgundy colour of the decorative dahlia 'Rip City'.

One of the unique features of dahlias is their late-season bloom. While many flowers peak in the spring or early summer, dahlias come into their full glory during late summer and autumn. This characteristic makes them a valuable addition to gardens, as they provide a burst of colour and beauty when most other flowers are starting to fade.

Despite their exquisite appearance, dahlias are surprisingly easy to cultivate. They thrive in a variety of climates and soil conditions, making them accessible to both experienced and novice gardeners. With proper care and maintenance, dahlias reward gardeners with an abundance of blooms that can last for months. Their low-maintenance nature and generous flowering make them an attractive choice for anyone looking to enhance their garden.

A pink dahlia is the focal flower in this shot of the dahlia bed at Meadows Flowers.

Dahlia mania has gripped us for generations – and they’re currently on trend with a vengeance! Next time you encounter these mesmerizing beauties, take a moment to appreciate them up close – by cutting the flowers you encourage more to form, so enjoy a vase full of summer colour on your table without feeling bad!  If you leave the flowers to die on the plant, it will think it has done its duty in forming seed and will stop producing more blooms. If you’ve not got access to a garden, dahlias will grow happily (with plenty of sunshine, water and regular feeding) in a large pot – or alternatively you can find your nearest flower farmer and buy theirs to enjoy!