Our Top Ten Dahlia Picks

Our Top Ten Dahlia Picks

think it’s fair to say once you’ve been introduced to dahlias, there’s no turning back! Dahlias captivate with their vibrant colours, intricate petal formations, and diverse sizes, making them a beloved choice for gardens, events, and floral arrangements. These gorgeous blooms effortlessly add elegance and charm to any setting, whether creating a wedding bouquet or enhancing a backyard landscape. From the petite pompom dahlias to the dinner plate-sized varieties, blooming from midsummer to fall, there's a dahlia to suit every taste and space.

Currently, we cultivate more than sixty varieties, although not all are selected for sale. We continuously trial new varieties to determine their suitability as cut flowers or garden additions, selecting those we believe are optimal to offer to our customers. Our criteria for assessing whether to continue growing certain dahlias include the following qualities:

Plant Health and Strength - Naturally we aim for robust plants that thrive, but beyond that, when selecting plants for a cutting garden we are looking for an upright growth habit, featuring multiple branches and long, sturdy stems. For certain varieties intended for gardens or containers, we look for fuller plants with a compact growth habit to enhance landscapes or fit snugly into containers.

Prolific Bloomer - The focus is undeniably on the blooms! We prioritize early bloomers, prolific producers, and rapid recovery post-harvest. Let me come out and say, Cafe Au Lait will never rank in my top ten! While undeniably stunning with unmatched coloring, she's a late bloomer and lacks in production. Is she in our lineup as a grower? Yes, but unfortunately she's not a top choice.

Bloom Durability - We aim for resilient blooms, both in the field and post-harvest. We prefer ball varieties for their tight petals, which tend to withstand adverse weather and maintain a longer vase life. So you’ll notice our selections primarily consist of these varieties.

Stem Strength - Stem strength and health is crucial for more than just supporting blooms; it directly impacts the plant's overall well-being. As cut flower farmers, we prioritize long, sturdy stems capable of supporting blooms. We prefer blooms that face upward, atop stems rather than forward-facing; however, there are exceptions…Arabian Night! We also look for stems strong enough to endure adverse weather conditions, including wind and rain and don’t allow plants to topple over or break.

Tuber Production - We love dahlias that yield abundant tubers, it is our business after all! The size and quantity of tubers per clump may fluctuate depending on the season and variety, but we don't fuss over that, what matters most is their health. A healthy tuber, regardless of its size or shape, will yield a productive and robust plant so don’t fret if your tubers are smaller or shaped different than you might expect. If they have a viable eye, they will produce a beautiful plant.

Tuber Storage - It's incredibly disheartening to invest an entire season nurturing plants, meticulously preparing them for storage, only to find them withered or rotting halfway through winter. Despite our best efforts, some tubers simply struggle to survive in storage. If we consistently encounter difficulties overwintering certain dahlia varieties, we opt to cull them from our selection and trial other varieties.

Explore our top ten picks:

  1. Apricot Desire
  2. Arabian Night
  3. Caitlin’s Joy
  4. Cornel Bronze
  5. Golden Sceptre
  6. Ivanetti
  7. Labyrinth
  8. Maarn (Sylvia)
  9. Petra’s Wedding
  10. Wine Eyed Jill

Selecting the perfect dahlia varieties for your garden or cut flower farm is a rewarding journey filled with endless possibilities. There are so many varieties to choose from, there’s always something new and fresh to trial, but these are our favourites (for now)!

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