Dahlia: The Breath Taking Beauty

Authored by Kristelle Falk, Greenhouse Sales Manager
Jan 17th, 2020
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The Dahlia has to be, in my opinion, one of the most breath taking flowers to grace our Manitoba markets. With their blooms piled full of petals that seem to have been hand painted, there is no question that these flowers win the beauty pageant.

Dahlias are sun loving flowers that are delicate to the heat, preferring more moderate temperatures. When caring for dahlias make sure they get lots of sunshine, but mostly in the morning or evening, avoiding the scalding afternoon sun our summers are known for. Dahlias prefer even moisture, so avoid completely drying out, as well as drowning or leaving them in constant sogginess. Dahlias can seem picky when it comes to their moisture, but once you find the sweet spot you’ll see that these beauties are easier to care for then it seems. For the little bit of work they require, they pay off quickly once in full bloom. From double blooms to brush stroked colours you will never regret putting in the effort for a dahlia. They make a wonderful centrepiece in a garden, a stunning potted plant, or even lovely fresh cut flowers!

Dahlias originated in Central America sometime in the 16th century and were later discovered in Mexico by Spanish botanists. Samples of the plant were sent to Madrid in the late 18th century by Spanish settlers in Mexico. A botanist named Andreas Dahl deemed it to be a vegetable rather than a garden flower, based on that particular variety having edible tubers (caveat: do not eat your dahlias!). Funny how the man whom the flower is named after thought that the dahlia was more of a vegetable type rather than a garden flower! Now we would never consider the dahlia to be anything but a garden flower, a beauty deserving the centre stage of our flowerbeds. Never the less, Andreas moved his sights from the edibility of the plant to the blooms as well. As the first plants were bred back in the early 1800’s, they unleashed their stunning double flowers, changing the plants status forever. From a veggie to beauty queen, the Dahlia quickly grew in popularity for it stunning performance of blooms.

There are many types of Dahlias. There are some that are perennial and can grow up to 4 feet tall with dinner plate sized blooms. While others are annual and have smaller fist sized blooms. The ones we carry are the latter. The colours of the annual variety are astounding, my personal favourites have to be the multi-coloured ones. The mixes of yellow and red or pink on the petals look as though they are hand painted on, another breath taking example of Gods creativity! Once in bloom, dahlias are always there to show off their beauty and are ready for a photo or two.

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