June 15, 2024

27 of the Best Dahlia Varieties for Your Garden

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Dahlias are unmatched for their myriad of flower forms and brilliant colors in the late summer garden. Discover 27 of the best varieties in this guide on Gardener's Path.

A close up vertical image of beautiful dahlia flowers growing in a sunny garden pictured on a blue sky background. To the top and bottom of the frame is green and white printed text.

With 15 gorgeous flower forms, a brilliant range of colors, and flower sizes ranging from petite pompoms to massive dinnerplates, dahlias provide an outstanding floral display in the late summer garden!

These easily cultivated, tender perennials are often grown as annuals and suit most sunny garden settings, where they make an outstanding border plant or feature massed into groups for knockout focal points.

A close up horizontal image of a collection of different types of dahlia flowers.A close up horizontal image of a collection of different types of dahlia flowers.

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Fast growing, many varieties have a tall profile that’s well-suited for adding color to the back of beds. But there are also plenty of cultivars with a compact size that make fantastic container plants.

And with a long vase life, they’re a must-have for cut flower arrangements!

Gorgeous, versatile, and highly floriferous, are you ready for a superb late summer display? Then let’s jump into 27 of the best dahlia varieties for your garden and yard!

Here’s what’s covered ahead:

27 of the Best Dahlia Varieties

  1. Alfred Grille
  2. American Dream
  3. Apricot Desire
  4. Bishop of Canterbury
  5. Bodacious
  6. Brown Sugar
  7. Chat Noir
  8. Cornel Bronze
  9. Destiny’s Teacher
  1. Labyrinth
  2. Lisonette
  3. Mingus Randy
  4. Moor Place
  5. Mystic Spirit
  6. Orange Impact
  7. Pinkie Swear
  8. Polka
  9. Pooh
  1. Pot Luck
  2. Pulp Fiction
  3. Rip City
  4. Rosie Raven
  5. Sassafras
  6. Thomas Edison
  7. Vancouver
  8. Veronne’s Obsidian
  9. White Star

Dahlias are among the most versatile flowering plants with a staggering range of flower colors, forms, and sizes.

If you need help figuring out what types would work best in your garden, be sure to check out our guide to dahlia classification. It has the lowdown on the many beautiful varieties.

And this dahlia growing guide has all the steps you’ll need to create a magnificent floral display.

With thousands and thousands of cultivars available, your selection is almost unlimited… We’re not going to try and list them all here, but the sampling below is a good place to start!

Let’s have a look.

1. Alfred Grille

Uniquely charming, ‘Alfred Grille’ is a spiky standout dahlia with slender, revolute petals of soft, buttery yellow that smoothly transitions to luscious salmon pink. (Revolute petals curl outward and down, towards the stem.)

A close up horizontal image of a single pink and yellow 'Alfred Grille' dahlia flower pictured on a dark background.A close up horizontal image of a single pink and yellow \'Alfred Grille\' dahlia flower pictured on a dark background.

An Incurve Cactus (IC) variety, the generous flowers measure four to five inches on plants that grow 24 to 48 inches tall.

A beautiful choice when massed into drifts, as a tall border, or at the back of beds, and a stellar choice for cut flower arrangements.

2. American Dream

Large, bold, and showy, ‘American Dream’ features beautiful, fully double flowers of raspberry-streaked bubblegum pink with pretty furled petal tips.

This Semi Cactus (SC) dahlia has massive, dinnerplate flowers of eight to 10 inches and plants reach a height of 40 inches on strong stems that don’t flop in the rain.

A close up of bright pink 'American Dream' dahlia flowers growing in the garden.A close up of bright pink \'American Dream\' dahlia flowers growing in the garden.

‘American Dream’

An excellent choice for drifts or focal points in beds, foundations, and islands or in cottage and cutting gardens.

Single tubers can be found at Burpee.

3. Apricot Desire

Sweetly sumptuous, ‘Apricot Desire’ has fully double flowers with slightly cupped petals in delicate apricot pink with a pale yellow base – a color combo that really pops against the dark green foliage.

A highly ornamental Waterlily (WL) type, the generous blooms measure four to six inches on plants that grow 36 to 48 inches tall.

A close up square image of a single 'Apricot Desire' bloom pictured on a soft focus background.A close up square image of a single \'Apricot Desire\' bloom pictured on a soft focus background.

‘Apricot Desire’

Planted in groups, this dahlia makes a superb centerpiece for foundations and islands, a lovely pastel background in mixed beds, and a gorgeous addition to floral arrangements.

Packets of two, four, or eight tubers are available at Eden Brothers.

4. Bishop of Canterbury

A crown jewel among dahlias, ‘Bishop of Canterbury’ is resplendent with double rows of gorgeous, slightly cupped petals of deep magenta, a deep purple disc tipped in saffron anthers, and dark, almost black foliage.

The blooms of this Peony (PE) variety measure four to five inches and plants grow up to 36 inches tall.

A close up square image of 'Bishop of Canterbury' dahlia growing in the garden pictured on a soft focus background.A close up square image of \'Bishop of Canterbury\' dahlia growing in the garden pictured on a soft focus background.

‘Bishop of Canterbury’

A good choice for containers and planters, and simply divine in borders, beds, and cutting gardens.

Two-, four-, and eight-packs of tubers can be found at Eden Brothers.

5. Bodacious

Long lasting for floral arrangements, ‘Bodacious’ has massive flowers with double rows of tousled, twisted petals of tomato red with creamy yellow tips and stripes, and a bright yellow disc.

The huge blooms of this Informal Decorative (ID) dahlia measure eight to 10 inches on strong-stemmed plants that reach up to 48 inches in height.

A close up of red and yellow 'Bodacious' dahlia flowers growing in the garden pictured on a soft focus background.A close up of red and yellow \'Bodacious\' dahlia flowers growing in the garden pictured on a soft focus background.

‘Bodacious’

A bright, dramatic choice to add height and color to foundations, islands, and cottage gardens.

Single tubers can be purchased at Burpee.

6. Brown Sugar

A sweet choice for vases, ‘Brown Sugar’ has beautifully proportioned flowers with glowing, involute petals of coppery orange that darken at the center. (Involute petals curl inward and upwards.)

A fully double, handsome Ball (BA) variety with a flattish top, blooms measure up to four inches on plants that grow 36 to 48 inches tall.

A close up square image of a single red 'Brown Sugar' dahlia flower pictured on a soft focus background.A close up square image of a single red \'Brown Sugar\' dahlia flower pictured on a soft focus background.

‘Brown Sugar’

Plant in groups of five or more for bonbons of autumn color in beds, borders, and foundations.

Tubers in two-, four-, and eight-packs are available at Eden Brothers.

7. Chat Noir

You’ll be happy to cross paths with the velvety, dark merlot blooms of ‘Chat Noir,’ featuring cupped and slightly furled petals that transition to a lighter shade of burgundy at the tips.

A Semi Cactus (SC) dahlia, the flowers measure up to six inches on plants that reach 48 inches tall.

A square image of a gardener holding a large bunch of deep burgundy 'Chat Noir' dahlias recently cut from the garden.A square image of a gardener holding a large bunch of deep burgundy \'Chat Noir\' dahlias recently cut from the garden.

‘Chat Noir’

A standout in floral arrangements or to add a touch of dark intrigue to beds, foundations, and islands.

Tubers in packs of two, four, and eight can be found at Eden Brothers.

8. Cornel Bronze

The blooms of ‘Cornel Bronze’ give dazzling symmetry with multiple rows of gorgeous, incurved petals of bronzy orange or peach that lighten at the tips.

An exquisite spherical Ball (BA) variety with three- to four-inch flowers, plants grow 36 to 48 inches tall.

A close up square image of a single 'Cornel Bronze' dahlia pictured on a soft focus background.A close up square image of a single \'Cornel Bronze\' dahlia pictured on a soft focus background.

‘Cornel Bronze’

Flowers have an outstanding vase life and add elegant, pastel charm to tall borders and cottage, courtyard, and cutting gardens.

Packets of two tubers are available at Burpee.

9. Destiny’s Teacher

A bicolored beauty with a single row of delightful, twisted petals, ‘Destiny’s Teacher’ is a highly colorful dahlia with streaked burgundy and white flowers and a shaggy orange disk.

This Orchid (O) variety shines in a star-shaped form with three-inch blooms on plants that reach 24 inches tall.

A square image of 'Destiny's Teacher' dahlia growing in the garden pictured on a soft focus background.A square image of \'Destiny\'s Teacher\' dahlia growing in the garden pictured on a soft focus background.

‘Destiny’s Teacher’

A unique choice for containers and planters, grouped into low or mid-height borders, and floral arrangements.

Five-packs of tubers can be purchased at Nature Hills Nursery.

10. Labyrinth

Lose yourself to the mesmerizing beauty of ‘Labyrinth’ featuring flowers with a myriad of graceful, twisting petals in blended shades of pale pink, peach, and rose.

A stunning Informal Decorative (ID) type, the large blooms measure up to eight inches on plants growing 36 to 48 inches tall.

A square image of a single 'Labyrinth' dahlia growing in the garden pictured on a soft focus background.A square image of a single \'Labyrinth\' dahlia growing in the garden pictured on a soft focus background.

‘Labyrinth’

Highly effective and colorful when grouped into beds, borders, and cutting gardens, as a standalone centerpiece, or to add magical charm to vases.

Tubers in packs of two, four, or eight are available at Eden Brothers.

11. Lisonette

Ablaze in fiery tones, ‘Lisonette’ shines like the summer sun with multiple rows of tightly rolled, narrow petals of lemon yellow tipped in bright vermillion.

A Cactus (C) dahlia, the massive blooms measure up to nine inches and plants grow 30 to 36 inches.

A close up of a single 'Lisonette' yellow and red dahlia flower growing in the garden.A close up of a single \'Lisonette\' yellow and red dahlia flower growing in the garden.

‘Lisonette’

A stellar choice for vibrant color blocks in beds, borders, containers, cottage and cutting gardens, or cut flower arrangements.

Packets of two tubers are available at Burpee.

12. Mingus Randy

Spiky and striking, the purple buds of ‘Mingus Randy’ open to reveal fully double flowers with narrow, rolled petals of lavender tipped with ivory and a yellow throat.

The huge blooms of this Semi Cactus (SC) variety measure eight to nine inches on sturdy plants growing up to 50 inches tall.

A square image of a light purple 'Mingus Randy' dahlia pictured on a soft focus background.A square image of a light purple \'Mingus Randy\' dahlia pictured on a soft focus background.

‘Mingus Randy’

A spectacular showy thriller for large plantings in beds, foundations, islands, and cut flower arrangements.

Tubers are available at Nature Hills Nursery.

13. Moor Place

A geometric gem, ‘Moor Place’ is simply ravishing with perfectly incurved petals of deep burgundy to purple.

This Pompom (P) dahlia has immaculately rounded, two-inch flowers and grows up to 36 inches tall.

A close up square image of a single 'Moor Place' dahlia growing in the garden pictured in bright sunshine with foliage in the background.A close up square image of a single \'Moor Place\' dahlia growing in the garden pictured in bright sunshine with foliage in the background.

‘Moor Place’

A highly showy choice for dark drama in formal beds, borders, containers, and planters, or displayed in vases.

Packets of two, four, or eight tubers are available at Eden Brothers.

14. Mystic Spirit

Serenely alluring, ‘Mystic Spirit’ features a single row of overlapping petals in pale peach, a chocolate disc ringed in golden anthers, and handsome, mahogany black foliage.

A Single (S) variety, the flowers measure up to four inches and plants grow 24 to 36 inches in height.

A close up of three 'Mystic Spirit' dahlias with orange petals pictured on a soft focus background.A close up of three \'Mystic Spirit\' dahlias with orange petals pictured on a soft focus background.

‘Mystic Spirit’

Sublimely inspirational as a long-stemmed cut flower or grouped into beds, borders, containers, and planters.

Four-packs of tubers are offered at Burpee.

15. Orange Impact

Juicy as ripe summer fruit, ‘Orange Impact’ has gorgeous, globe-like flowers with row upon row of frilly, curled petals of apricot orange and a peek-a-boo yellow center.

This Formal Decorative (FD) variety has three- to four-inch flowers on plants that grow up to 48 inches tall.

A square image of 'Orange Impact' dahlias growing in the garden with foliage in the background.A square image of \'Orange Impact\' dahlias growing in the garden with foliage in the background.

‘Orange Impact’

An excellent choice for creating vibrant rows or blocks of color in beds and borders, or bunched into showcase groups for foundations, islands, and cottage gardens.

Tubers in five-packs are available at Nature Hills Nursery.

16. Pinkie Swear

Pretty as the promise of summer, ‘Pinkie Swear’ has a creamy yellow throat with multiple rows of lightly curved petals in shades and streaks of cerise and fuchsia that darken at the tip.

An Informal Decorative (ID) dahlia, the large flowers measure up to nine inches on sturdy plants reaching up to 48 inches tall.

A close up of a 'Pinkie Swear' dahlia pictured in bright sunshine in the garden.A close up of a \'Pinkie Swear\' dahlia pictured in bright sunshine in the garden.

‘Pinkie Swear’

A colorful performer as a focal point at the backs of beds, and in tall borders, cottage gardens, and vases.

Two-packs of tubers are available at Burpee.

17. Polka

You’ll have a barrel of fun with ‘Polka’! These lively flowers have a buttery yellow center and perfectly curled, creamy petals with the thinnest, purple picotee margins.

A unique Anemone (AN) variety, the strong-stemmed flowers measure four to six inches on plants up to 48 inches tall.

A square image of a single 'Polka' dahlia pictured on a soft focus background.A square image of a single \'Polka\' dahlia pictured on a soft focus background.

‘Polka’

A vibrant choice for pastel rhythm in beds, borders, cottage and cutting gardens, or in vases.

Two-, four-, and eight-packs of tubers are offered at Eden Brothers.

18. Pooh

There’s no bother with the vibrantly colored ‘Pooh,’ with wide, flat outer petals in bold vermillion and smaller inner petaloids of pale yellow surrounding a saffron disc. 

An eye-catching Collarette (CO) dahlia with blooms of three to four inches, plants grow 40 to 50 inches tall.

A close up of red and yellow 'Pooh' dahlias growing in the garden pictured on a soft focus background.A close up of red and yellow \'Pooh\' dahlias growing in the garden pictured on a soft focus background.

‘Pooh’

A bright, sunny choice when grouped in cottage and cutting gardens or as an appealing color mass at the back of mixed beds.

You can find ‘Pooh’ available via Walmart.

19. Pot Luck

‘Pot Luck’ is sure to impress with beautifully spherical blooms of involute petals in a smorgasbord of burgundy, pink, red, and freckled or streaked colors from a single tuber.

This Formal Decorative (FD) type has four-inch blooms on plants with a mature height of 35 inches.

A close up of pink and pink and white 'Pot Luck' dahlias growing in the garden pictured on a soft focus background.A close up of pink and pink and white \'Pot Luck\' dahlias growing in the garden pictured on a soft focus background.

‘Pot Luck’

Excellent for adding red and pink tones to cut flower arrangements and containers or massed as a mid-sized centerpiece in beds and borders.

Two-packs of tubers can be found at Burpee.

20. Pulp Fiction

There’s nothing cool about the dramatic colors of ‘Pulp Fiction’!

The fiery red, open-faced dahlia flowers have wide, overlapping petals surrounding a dark, almost black disc that matches the deep aubergine foliage.

A spectacular Mignon Single (MS) variety, blooms measure three inches on compact plants of up to 12 inches tall.

A close up square image of bright red 'Pulp Fiction' dahlias with dark foliage.A close up square image of bright red \'Pulp Fiction\' dahlias with dark foliage.

‘Pulp Fiction’

An exceptional choice as a bold focal point in containers, planters, and window boxes or at the front of beds and borders.

Tubers in packets of three are available at Nature Hills Nursery.

21. Rip City

Emphatic as a slam dunk, ‘Rip City’ produces gorgeous, shaggy-petaled burgundy flowers with hearts of dark mahogany.

An Informal Decorative (ID) type with multiple rows of petals, the magnificent blooms measure up to eight inches and plants grow up to 36 inches tall.

A close up square image of a deep red 'Rip City' dahlia pictured on a soft focus background.A close up square image of a deep red \'Rip City\' dahlia pictured on a soft focus background.

‘Rip City’

These showy gems are superb as cut flowers and make an exciting addition to beds, foundations, and planters.

Tubers in packs of two, four, or eight can be purchased at Eden Brothers.

22. Rosie Raven

You’ll be speechless at the sight of the wonderfully elaborate, mulberry red flowers of ‘Rosie Raven,’ featuring a single row of wide petals, an inner ring of ray florets, and a massive center of frilly burgundy petaloids.

A close up horizontal image of 'Rosie Raven' dahlias growing in the garden pictured on a soft focus background.A close up horizontal image of \'Rosie Raven\' dahlias growing in the garden pictured on a soft focus background.

This Anemone (AN) variety has meaty, three- to four-inch flowers and plants grow up to 40 inches tall.

Spectacular massed into drifts or as an eye-catching accent in beds, foundations, and islands.

23. Sassafras

Sassy and spiky in sunshine yellow, ‘Sassafras’ has an orange-tinged center that transitions to pale peach at the tips of the multitudes of tightly furled, split petals.

A large-flowered Laciniate (LC) variety, the blooms measure up to six inches and plants reach a height of up to 48 inches.

A close up square image of yellow 'Sassafras' dahlia flowers growing in the garden.A close up square image of yellow \'Sassafras\' dahlia flowers growing in the garden.

‘Sassafras’

Ideal as a long-lasting cut flower or as an accent at the back of mixed beds and borders or in cottage gardens.

Five-packs of tubers are available at Nature Hills Nursery.

24. Thomas Edison

You’ll light up the garden with the large, glowing flowers of ‘Thomas Edison,’ featuring fully double blooms with luscious involute petals of deep magenta that lighten at the tips.

An Informal Decorative (ID) dahlia, the dinnerplate blooms measure up to eight inches on sturdy-stemmed plants of 36 to 48 inches tall.

A close up square image of a purple 'Thomas Edison' dahlia growing in the garden pictured on a soft focus background.A close up square image of a purple \'Thomas Edison\' dahlia growing in the garden pictured on a soft focus background.

Thomas Edison’

Superb in cut flower arrangements, massed into drifts, for tall borders, or as a focal point in mixed beds.

Five-packs of tubers are available at Nature Hills.

25. Vancouver

Fresh as a sea breeze, ‘Vancouver’ has fascinating flowers with lightly curled magenta petals tipped in white that sparkle like whitecaps in the summer’s sun.

A highly floriferous Fully Double Novelty (NX) variety, the big blooms measure eight to 10 inches on strong-stemmed plants that grow up to 40 inches tall.

A close up of a single burgundy 'Vancouver' dahlia with white tips on the edges of the petals pictured on a soft focus background.A close up of a single burgundy \'Vancouver\' dahlia with white tips on the edges of the petals pictured on a soft focus background.

‘Vancouver’

A sparkling choice for the back of beds, tall borders, foundations, or in cottage gardens, these ample blooms also make excellent cut flowers.

Single tubers can be found at Burpee.

26. Veronne’s Obsidian

A standout for its striking contrast, ‘Veronne’s Obsidian’ has fantastic, star-shaped flowers.

The folded petals are a dark, almost black maroon that surrounds a shaggy saffron disc, with the petals flattening and getting lighter in color as they open.

An exceptional Orchid (O) dahlia, the flowers measure three to four inches on tidy plants that grow 25 to 35 inches in height.

A square image of a 'Verrone's Obsidian' dahlia pictured in bright sunshine growing in the garden.A square image of a \'Verrone\'s Obsidian\' dahlia pictured in bright sunshine growing in the garden.

‘Veronne’s Obsidian’

An exquisite choice for containers, planters, and floral arrangements or as a focal point when grouped in beds and borders.

Tubers can be purchased from Blue Buddha Farms via Walmart.

27. White Star

Explosive as a supernova, ‘White Star’ features magnificent spidery blooms with twisted, involute to slightly curled petals of creamy white radiating from a buttery chartreuse center.

A freely flowering Semi Cactus (SC) type, the six- to eight-inch flowers rise above the pretty foliage on robust plants that grow up to 48 inches tall and may need extra support when in full bloom.

An image of a single 'White Star' dahlia growing in the garden pictured on soft focus background.An image of a single \'White Star\' dahlia growing in the garden pictured on soft focus background.

‘White Star’

A dazzler when massed into beds and borders or as a showpiece in cottage and moon gardens.

Two-packs of tubers are available at Burpee.

Late Summer Splendor

With close to 60,000 cultivars, dahlias produce a wide range of distinctive flower forms and dazzling colors that are unparalleled in providing late summer splendor!

A close up horizontal image of different colored dahlias growing in the garden.A close up horizontal image of different colored dahlias growing in the garden.

From the amazingly symmetrical ball varieties to demure collarettes to boldly brazen decorative giants, there are countless options for almost any setting.

Use the taller cultivars for the back of beds and borders or massed in groups for a standout focal point or big blocks of color.

Mid-sized dahlias work almost anywhere, including beds, borders, islands, and foundations, and compact varieties are superb for low borders, the front of mixed beds, or in containers and planters.

And whatever dahlia type you choose, they all make excellent cut flowers!

Have you found a few that you need to plant this year? Let us know what your favorites are in the comments section below.

For more information about growing dahlias in your garden, read these guides next:

  • Why Dahlias May Fail to Bloom (And What to Do About It)
  • How to Propagate Dahlia Stem and Tuber Cuttings
  • 19 of the Best Flowering Companion Plants for Dahlias

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