Home Blog FLOWER FOCUS: My Favorite Dahlias
February 14th 2014

FLOWER FOCUS: My Favorite Dahlias

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It’s that time of year again. Time to take all of those winter daydreams and turn them into some sort of clear and easy to follow plan. If you’re struggling with this tricky feat, just know you’re not alone. I’m in the exact same boat!

So, as a little break from the mind dumbing task of tweaking spreadsheets, planting plans and field maps I thought I’d share my favorite 16 dahlias. These photos serve as a little reminder that spring really is just right around the corner.

Next week we’ll dive into to the best sources for tubers, how to build up your stock plants, plus a million photos and all of the nitty gritty growing specifics you’ll need to succeed with these amazing blooms.

Be sure to leave any specific questions below and I’ll make sure to cover them in the upcoming posts.







  1. Alexandra Ward on

    Curious to know if I can buy many of these varieties in the UK, having had a quick look online, I can only find Cornel, Karma Royal and Cafe au lait?

  2. Alexandra Ward on

    Absolutely beautiful! Like you I have had a fascination with flowers since being little – my grandmother told us a story which featured the Cup&Saucer Canterbury Bells which she grew in her garden and fairies! You have inspired me to grow more flowers this year – I shall commandeer my father-in-law’s tomato greenhouse for a few months to start some seedlings. Now living in Northern Ireland, which could be a weather challenge, but we shall have a go in my south facing back garden. Maybe I will take over some farmland (dairy farm) in time lol. Thank you Erin! I look forward to your next post x.

  3. Meg on

    I’m wondering how often do you water the Dahlias? Also, I’ve read NOT to water upon first planting the bulbs, but to wait until you see the shoots to begin watering – so as to avoid root rot? Also, how many days from planting to flowering? I’m trying to grow for a late August wedding. Thanks so much!

    • Shannon on

      Hi Meg!
      I am planting my tubers today for my Sept 4 wedding. How did you do with yours?? Would love to hear your story. Xxoo

  4. Susie Sew and Sow on

    Love your posts and your out-of-this-world blooms! Wow! What a way to welcome Spring!

  5. Helen on

    I grow about 800 dahlias in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana. I think the dahlia you called Alway Candy is really Alloway Candy, a pink stellar form dahlia.

    • Floret on

      Oh Helen, you’re right. Oops!

  6. Leslie Emanuels on

    I know it will be great!
    I will then pray for more time for you! :) Or maybe just an assistant and some extra hands on the farm.

  7. Leslie Emanuels on

    I love your blog! The pictures are beautiful and the advice clear. Have you thought about writing a book? I go back looking for a old blog and can’t find it. I would so love to have it in a handy beautiful source.
    Thanks for all you do!

    • Floret on

      Leslie, thank you!

      I’m actually working on a book proposal now : )

  8. Dahlia | Flora Weather on

    […] couple weeks ago a read a blog from a flower farmer and she had some of her favorites.  It was a great read as always with her posts and to see which […]

  9. kim on

    Harvesting, to flame or not to flame? Or just put in boiling water & leave overnight, then cut & arrange? We grow dahlias & other cut flowers for our CSA, we also do small events & flowers for restaurants.

  10. BB on


    How do you deal with earwigs? I have grown dahlias for the past two summers and the earwigs just love to nestle in between the petals. I often find them in my cafe au laits and other dinnerplate dahlias (makes my skin crawl sometimes).


  11. Jesi on

    Who knew there were so many different types of Dahlias! They are such a beautiful flower. I’m loving reading your blog, learning a lot about flowers, and feeling very inspired by all of the knowledge I’m soaking up through your words! Thanks so much for the sweet card you included with the magazine, and can’t wait to meet you this summer!

  12. lisa on


    Do you use primarily untreated seeds to maintain your organic certification and get the cultivars and varieties you want? Ivy Garth is not certified organic and I wonder how you make sure your seeds comply with the organic standards. Also, do you buy plugs and if so from who and again how do you make sure you comply with organic standards? Any help would be appreciated. Love your blog!


  13. VillageRat on

    You are making me look at dahlias in a new way, thanks.

    I have been pouring over your site and eating up so many facets of it, especially given I am sitting in AK with the most snow we have had all winter, just in the last few days!!

  14. Karen on

    Hi. Could you share cutting techniques to achieve long stems. Thank you.

  15. Susan on

    PS IF you have time in the winter you should write a book. I’d buy it.

  16. Susan on

    Its a dreary damp day here in London and these beauties have cheered me up.

  17. Amy on

    Looking forward to your how-to post! Questions I have: Spacing, how close can they go in the field for cuts?
    Can I get earlier blooms in an unheated tunnel? June blooms in the Greenhouse? (Zone 6)
    Also, when should I plant tubers in same tunnel for late fall blooms? Thank you for your wisdom and sharing.

  18. Lana Robinson on

    Thanks for all the information you providing for people who are interested in flower farming. I am very interested in any information you have on fertilizing and prep of the soil. I have always heard you were not to fertilize dahlias. I am also very interested in what to grow for greenery. Thanks for all you do.

  19. Christina on

    Your efforts with growing and arranging beauty inspire me so very much! I have been a dahlia lover and grower for a number of years now. I am trying to expand my collection in my quaint yard and would LOVE to add Hamari Gold and Ice Cube to the mix. Where might I order these tubers for Spring 2014 delivery? Thank you!

  20. Tania Cubberly on

    I so admire Dahlias! Curious if you’ve set any dates to your workshops?

    Many thanks!

  21. Tari on

    I have never grown Dahlias and will attempt too this year. Karma caught my eye in a catalogue. I have gardened organically for 40 years and love to grow my own flowers for bouquets and veggies. Love your blog!

  22. nichole norby on

    Do you propagate before putting them in the field? what do you propagate in?

  23. Jonathan Leiss on

    I love the “Appleblossom” and many of the other simple, single collerettes. Can you share some other varieties of this type? Thanks.

  24. Krys on

    A question we have is when is the best time to cut the dahlias, as well as several questions your other posters already asked such as staking, shriveled bulbs, where the best place is to get bulbs. Also do you store your bulbs over winter, and if so how do you store them.

    Thank you so much for all your wonderful information and beautiful flower pictures, they are a great pick me up during this dreadful winter, as well as an inspiration for starting our own flower farm here in NY.

  25. erin on

    Hi Erin –

    I too am curious about your experiences starting dahlias from seed vs. bulbs. And do you have a good bulb source?
    You and your flowers and your website are BEAUTIFUL.


  26. Katie on

    How far apart do you plant your dahlias?

    • Floret on

      Yes, Wrinkled Crinkled is my favorite. It starts out as a little tuft of green and then shoots up 3ft. silvery seed covered stems. I think it’s about 50-60 days from seed to harvest.

  27. Ruth on

    Hi Erin
    I am from Melbourne, Australia. Like you I adore flowers, with dahlias and bearded iris being extra special with childhood happy memories. The last 4 of your favourites are stunning. Are they the very big variety? I am so impressed with the resilience of Bishop of Landorf to hot weather – ‘he’has flowered through successive days of 40 degrees, our hottest summer ever.

  28. Ashleigha on

    You, your farm, your flowers are so inspiring. I am starting to add more and more varieties of flowers to my garden and putting them in rows. I was wondering what you do to prevent weeds. Is there a tarp or somekind of cloth? If so, what do you call it and how do you use it!
    Thanks for helping a newbie!!

  29. corinne on

    also curious about any varieties to start from seed. Thank you so much for your incredibly helpful posts.

  30. Amelia Amish on

    love the pictures. have a ?for next week, what is your vase life?how do you condition them and do some varieties last longer in the vase.thank you.

  31. Leslie Spang on

    Beautiful. Can’t wait for next post! Hope farm shopping has been good too!

  32. Georgianna on

    Incredible! This post gets me all kinds of excited for the season to come! I so admire how organized you are. :)

  33. Heidi Joynt on

    *And by row cover, I meant landscape fabric.

  34. Heidi Joynt on

    Hi Erin, I’ve been looking forward to your dahlia post :) I’d love to know your staking techniques, especially when using row cover. When to net or not. Lots of trial this past year with success and error. Lastly, what’s your best storage technique when you have hundreds of bulbs? Any tips on getting shriveled/questionable looking ones to be viable would be greatly appreciated! Loving these varietal blog posts…Thank you!

  35. Alice White on

    Holycrap those last four are showstoppers. So gorgeous. Dahlias have always been my favorite.

  36. wasabi honey bee on

    Exciting and beautiful!! I’ve never grown Dahlias before, but have dreamed of it often : ) I’m hoping that now that I’m in the Pacific North West, this spring will hold a whole slew of new flower experiments…

    Happy Valentines Day,

  37. Beth S on

    Man, Apple Blossom just takes my breath away.

  38. Carolyn on

    How does Karma Royal stack up to Karma Naomi and Karma Choc? I’ve never tried Royal.

  39. Penelope R on

    Is there a white one you like? Next post will be sources for these beauties? Thanks so much…Happy Valentine’s Day!!

  40. Robin Lensi on

    Thank you so much for your generous sharing. Your comments and photos are truly inspiring.

  41. tom | tall clover farm on

    Thanks for your generous sharing of your knowledge and experience. I love to see what you’re up to in the flower fields. We share some favorites, and I look forward to planting some newbies, thanks to your tips.

  42. Meg on

    Where do you order your dahlias from? These are great!

  43. Emily on

    I have a terrible time with gophers. They can smell a tulip or lily anywhere and I have to plant my bulbs in cages. I’ve never grown dahlias before, but am going to give it a try this year. Do you think I will have tout these in cages/crates too?

  44. Nikki on

    If I were a poet, I’d write an ode to the dahlia to kick things off! Can’t wait!

  45. Lindsay on

    What is the most effective, organic way to control pests/diseases? My dahlias last year were beautiful, however I could not sell to my florist due to aphids and a rust like color on the tips of the petals. Thank you so much for your words of wisdom.

  46. Amanda on

    Do you ever start dahlias from seeds? I started some last year and was surprised by how easily the grew so I am considering getting more this year. What are your thoughts?

  47. Cedar on

    What a beautiful post, dahlia’s are my favorite flower. I think my favorite are Intrigue, the color is so stunning!


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