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Heirloom Dahlia Bulbs

From America’s Expert Source for Heirloom Flower Bulbs
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Order these spring-planted bulbs NOW for delivery SPRING 2021.


‘Prince Noir’, 1954

WHY DAHLIAS? They get better and better in late summer and autumn when many plants are fading. They come in lush colors and astonishing forms. And the more you cut them for bouquets, the more they bloom.

DAHLIA HISTORY — Dahlias were brought into gardens by the Aztecs, and first bloomed in Europe in 1789. For more, click here.

TIPS — Dahlias prefer full sun and summers that aren’t too hot. No, you don’t HAVE to dig and store them. To learn more, click here.


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DREAMY DAHLIASWeb-Only & Sampler

Easy to grow and amazingly diverse, dahlias will light up your late summer and fall garden and give you tons of bouquets. We’ll send you 5 of our favorites, all different, labeled, and fabulous. Sample some excitement!

For all different additional dahlias, order more samplers. For zones 3a-7b(10bWC) only. Dahlia care.

COS-23
1/$38
2/$72
3/$103
Limit 3, please.

ENDLESS BOUQUETSSampler

For fresh, fabulous, long-lasting bouquets at a price you can’t beat, pick your own! We’ll send 3 of our favorite, not-too-big, bouquet-sized dahlias, all different, labeled, and easy to grow. The more you pick them, the more they’ll bloom!

For all different additional dahlias, order more samplers. For zones 3a-7b(10bWC) only. Dahlia care.

COS-30
1/$24
2/$45.50
3/$65
Limit 3, please.

AMBER QUEEN, 1945Web-Only

A warm, pastel amber touched with peach in the center, this WW II-era pompon was raised by Harry Stredwick, winner of the RHS’s Victoria Medal of Honor, whose family introduced their first dahlias way back in the 1890s. Great for bouquets, it blooms early and profusely. Pompon, 2”, 4’, from Oregon. Chart and care.

SD-13
1/$11.50
3/$33
5/$51.50
10/$97.50
25/$230

ANDRIES’ ORANGE, 1936Rarest

Simple yet extraordinary, this charming dahlia became an instant staff favorite when it first bloomed here – and bloomed and bloomed and bloomed. A clear, companionable orange with 3-4 inch, semi-cactus flowers on wiry stems, it’s a flower arranger’s delight. Its full Flemish name, ‘Andries Oranje As’, honors a Jazz Age liqueur from the small Belgian town of As. 3-5’, reintroduced from the UK National Collection and grown for us now in New Hampshire. Chart and care.

SD-44
1/$11
3/$31.50
5/$49.50
Limit 5, please.

ARAB QUEEN, 1949Rarest & Web-Only

With swirling petals of apricot, bronze, yellow, pink, and orange, this exuberant, post-war beauty may remind you of a windblown flurry of autumn leaves. And it’s big, up to 9-12 inches across. No wonder the experts at both Garden Gate and Gardening How-To magazines have recommended it so highly. 4-5’, from New Hampshire. Chart and care.

SD-40
1/$10
3/$28.50
5/$45
10/$85
Limit 10, please.

ARTHUR HAMBLEY, 1955Rarest

This big, beautiful dinner-plate dahlia has ruffled petals of soft lavender-pink with a glimmering of gold deep in the center. The great garden writer Henry Mitchell wrote that dinner-plates are like elephants, walruses, and hippos – each “marvelous in itself” – and this is a marvelous pink elephant indeed. Aka ‘A. Hampley’, formal decorative, 6-10”, 4-5’, from Holland. Chart and care.

SD-87
1/$8.50
3/$24
5/$38
10/$72
25/$170

BISHOP OF LLANDAFF, 1927

Dark-leaved dahlias are hot these days, thanks to this inspiring original. With cut-leaf, burgundy-bronze foliage and glowing scarlet, almost-single flowers sparked by a ring of vivid yellow stamens, ‘Bishop’ has starred at Wave Hill, Heronswood, the Denver Botanic Garden – and here. How can you garden another summer without growing it yourself? 3”, 4-5’, heat-tolerant, from Holland. Chart, care, and learn more.

SD-01
1/$9
3/$25.50
5/$40.50
10/$76.50
25/$180

BONNE ESPERANCE, 1948Web-Only

Here’s a sweet little classic for pots or the front of a sunny border. Just 12-24 inches tall, ‘Good Hope’ is loaded all summer with 2-3 inch, rosy pink flowers, each a single row of petals around a cheerful yellow button-eye. Nothing could be simpler, or prettier – and the bees will thank you for it, too! From Oregon. Chart and care.

SD-16
1/$9.50
3/$27
5/$42.50
10/$80.50
25/$190

CAFÉ AU LAIT, 1967

It’s not just for brides! Although its exquisite coloring – “creamy pink, blush, peach, ivory, champagne, and dusty rose,” in the words of brides.com – has made it enormously popular for weddings, this sumptuous flower will look just as good in your garden or a Mason jar on the kitchen counter. You’ll get lots of big, ruffled blooms with long, strong stems on a sturdy plant that blooms and blooms. 6-10”, 4’, from Holland. Chart, care, and learn more.

SD-80
1/$8.50
3/$24
5/$38
10/$72
25/$170

CLAIR DE LUNE, 1946Rarest & Web-Only

As elegant and wildflowery as the great ‘Bishop of Llandaff’, this sublimely simple collarette dahlia is named for Debussy’s romantic ode to moonlight. With a single row of soft yellow outer petals, a frilly ruff of white inner petals, and an eye like a harvest moon, it’s strong-growing in the garden and blissful in bouquets. Fern-like green leaves, 3”, 3-4’, heat-tolerant, from New Hampshire. Chart and care.

SD-25
1/$9.50
3/$27
5/$42.50
Limit 5, please.

DAVID HOWARD, 1960

This dark-leaved, not-so-tall dahlia was a favorite of the great Christopher Lloyd who wrote that it “deserves every scrap of the praise lavished on it. Above bronze foliage, it carries a prodigal, non-stop succession” of apricot-orange flowers that “show up brightly from afar.” Lloyd paired it with lavender Verbena bonariensis and ornamental grasses for a combination that would look stunning in your garden, too. Formal decorative, 3-4”, 3-4’, from Holland. Chart, care, and learn more.

SD-78
1/$8.50
3/$24
5/$38
10/$72
25/$170

DEUIL DU ROI ALBERT, 1936Rarest

Still a popular favorite in Europe (and with us), “Dwee doo” is easy to grow and loaded with 4-6 inch flowers of royal purple tipped with white – sometimes more so, sometimes less – for an effect that’s surprisingly elegant. Albert, the beloved “people’s king” of Belgium, died in 1934, hence its decidedly antique name: “Mourning for King Albert.” Re-introduced by us in 2002 from the UK National Collection. 4-6”, 4-5’, heat-tolerant, from Oregon. Chart, care, and learn more.

SD-26
1/$10.50
3/$30
5/$47
Limit 5, please.

DIXIE’S WINEDOT, 1942Rarest

Much more than just a pretty face, this infinitely varied dahlia is helping researchers at the Stanford University Dahlia Project explore the mysteries of genetics. But trust us, you don’t have to be a scientist to enjoy its big, primrose to cream flowers delicately sprinkled with wine. They’re gorgeous! Michigan-bred by Dixie Dahlia Gardens of Clio, 6-10”, 5-6’, grown for us now at Sun Moon Farm in New Hampshire. Chart and care.

SD-73
1/$11
3/$31.50
5/$49.50
10/$93.50
Limit 10, please.

FASCINATION, 1964

The dark foliage of this Award of Garden Merit-winning dahlia makes its brilliant, lilac-rose, semi-double blooms look even more beautiful. Dark eyes ringed by golden stamens add to its allure, and they definitely make the bees happy! Peony-flowered/semi-double, 4-5” across, 2½-3’, from Holland. Chart and care.

SD-91
1/$8
3/$23
5/$36
10/$68
25/$160

FASHION MONGER, 1955Rarest

With its creamy, raspberry-brushed petals, its feathery ruff, and a golden eye, this mid-century collarette dahlia is striking enough to look right at home on the runway. It’s a prolific bloomer, too, and always draws an adoring entourage in the garden – of people and bees. 2-3½”, 3-4’, from Holland. Chart, care, and learn more.

SD-85
1/$8
3/$23
5/$36
10/$68
25/$160

FATIMA, 1961Web-Only

Bigger than a pompon but just as perfectly composed, this vivid, rose-pink dahlia almost seems to glow with an inner light. Its many flowers are held on strong, dark stems and make a dazzling display in garden or vase. The year it was introduced, Pope John Paul II visited the Portuguese village of Fatima where in 1917 the Virgin Mary had miraculously appeared to three shepherd girls. Ball/formal dec, 2-2½”, 4’, from Oregon. Chart and care.

SD-14
1/$10.50
3/$30
5/$47
10/$89
25/$210

G.F. HEMERIK, 1936Rarest

The bee-friendly, button-eyed flowers of this sweet little dwarf are a gentle shade of orange with undertones of copper and rose. It’s just the right size for containers and small gardens, or try it at the front of your vegetables. Blooming non-stop, it looks especially good combined with purple flowers or bronze foliage. Single, 2-3”, 1-2’, from Holland. Chart and care.

SD-07
1/$7.50
3/$21.50
5/$34
Limit 5, please.

GLORIE VAN HEEMSTEDE, 1947Rarest

There’s a Zen-like simplicity to waterlily dahlias. With fewer petals than most, they have a peaceful, uncluttered look, proving once again that less can be more. Winner of the Stredwick Medal, one of the dahlia world’s highest awards, ‘Glorie’ is a buttery yellow of classic form, early blooming, and loaded with flowers. Strong stems make it great for bouquets. 4-5”, 4-5’, from Holland and New Hampshire. Chart and care.

SD-23
1/$8
3/$23
5/$36
10/$68
25/$160

GLORIE VAN NOORDWIJK, 1969Web-Only

Just over the dunes from the Dutch bulb fields lie the beaches of Noordwijk, “Europe’s floral seaside resort.” This 1960s beauty is a worthy namesake, with its soft, warm shades of sand and sun and its frequently split petal tips which give it a relaxed, almost windblown look. Pronounced NORT-vike, formal decorative, 4-5”, 4’, from New Hampshire. Chart and care.

SD-95
1/$8.50
3/$24
5/$38
10/$72
25/$170

GOLDEN HEART, 1955Rarest

This sunburst of beauty is a warm red-orange brightened by what seem to be rays of golden light streaming from its center. It’s dazzling anytime but we like it best as it carries the torch of summer deep into the cool, waning days of fall. Aka ‘Mary Poppins’, semi-cactus, 6-10”, 4-5’, from New Hampshire. Chart and care.

SD-74
1/$10
3/$28.50
5/$45
10/$85
Limit 10, please.

GOLDEN SCEPTER, 1926

Superb as a cutflower, and still popular in the UK, this glowing little dahlia is a soft yellow touched with butterscotch and deepening to ruddy gold in the center. Its centennial year is on the horizon, and with your help it will make it there! Pompon/formal dec, 2-3½”, 2½-4’, from Holland. Chart and care.

SD-88
1/$7
3/$20
5/$31.50
10/$59.50
25/$140

GYPSY GIRL, 1947Rarest

The lavender-to-pink-to-white petals of this post-war beauty are decorated with a confetti of ruby speckles and flecks for a look that’s as festive as a birthday party. Bred by Albert Parrella, once known as the “Dahlia King of the Bronx,” formal decorative, 3-4”, 4-5’, grown for us at Sun Moon Farm in New Hampshire. Chart and care.

SD-83
1/$9
3/$25.50
5/$40.50
10/$76.50
25/$180

JANE COWL, 1928Rarest & Web-Only

More than any other lost dahlia, people kept asking us for ‘Jane Cowl’ – and when we finally tracked it down, we understood why. It’s a big, gorgeous dahlia, with undulating petals of buff, bronze, and gold, like the tresses of a goddess – or actress Jane Cowl (1883-1950), who was once “the most beautiful woman on the American stage.” It’s expensive, yes, but worth every penny! 6-10”, 5-6’, from New Hampshire. Chart, care, and learn more.

SD-27
1/$18.50
3/$52.50
Limit 3, please.

JERSEY’S BEAUTY, 1923Rarest & Web-Only

Once the world’s most popular dahlia – the one even non-gardeners knew by name – this glorious, true pink, New Jersey native is still amazing. Tall and vigorous, it will give you more of its sublimely simple flowers in late summer and fall than you can find a vase for. We’re proud to have re-introduced it to American gardens, and we urge you to give it a chance to show you why it was once such a big deal. Learn more. 4-6”, 6-7’, formal decorative, from New Hampshire. Chart, care, and learn more.

SD-03
1/$17
3/$48.50
Limit 3, please.

JUANITA, 1949

‘Juanita’s big, jewel-toned flowers are a whirl of narrow, curving petals of deep, vibrant burgundy and ruby. Bred in South Africa and named for a flamenco dancer, it’s been one of the most popular dahlias on six continents for decades. 6”, 4-5’, heat-tolerant, from Oregon. Chart and care.

SD-24
1/$11
3/$31.50
5/$49.50
10/$93.50
25/$220

KELVIN FLOODLIGHT, 1959Web-Only

This giant dinner-plate is the biggest dahlia we offer – a huge 10 to 12 inches across when well grown – but size is only one of its many impressive qualities. It’s also so easy to grow that it’s often recommended for beginners. It blooms a lot, its stems are strong, and its sunny, light yellow color manages to be bright without being glaring or harsh. Gardeners have been enjoying it for over 50 years now, and it always impresses the neighbors! Formal decorative, 9-12”, 3-5’, heat-tolerant, from Holland. Chart and care.

SD-81
1/$7
3/$20
5/$31.50
10/$59.50
25/$140

LAVENDER CHIFFON, 1957Rarest

Cool, man, cool! From the year that brought us Old Yeller, “Wake Up Little Susie,” and the coolest Chevy ever comes this enduring New Zealand classic. With its rippling, snow-white petals blushed with rosy lavender, it may remind you of sea anemones on a coral reef – or senior prom? 4-6”, 4-6’, semi-cactus, from Oregon. Chart and care.

SD-69
1/$12
3/$34
5/$54
10/$102
25/$240

LITTLE ROBERT, 1964Rarest & Web-Only

With wiry stems and flowers not much bigger than a pompon dahlia’s, this bright little formal decorative seems custom-made for bouquets, but it’s a joy in the garden, too. Its white petals are brush-stroked at the tips with deep vivid rose, giving it an almost neon-like glow. Formal dec, 2-3”, 3-4’, from Holland. Chart and care.

SD-84
1/$7
3/$20
5/$31.50
10/$59.50
25/$140

LUTT WICHEN, 1941Rarest & Web-Only

It’s back! This unusual dwarf could almost be called a ground-cover dahlia. Barely 2 feet tall, it spreads out to make a dense, self-supporting plant 3 feet wide or more – which makes it great for pots, too. Abundant gardenia-like flowers glow against deep green foliage. Its name – often misspelled Leutwitchen – seems to honor Germany’s Little Wichen mountain, but if you can tell us more, please do! Waterlily, 3”, 2-3’. Chart and care.

SD-71
1/$10
3/$28.50
5/$45
Limit 5, please.

MISS ROSE FLETCHER, 1948

This angelically soft pink sunburst would be perfect for a frothy Sweet-16 party, a summer wedding, a pastel cottage garden, or (best of all) a simple vase on your desk or kitchen counter from August till frost. Australian-bred, it was introduced to great acclaim shortly after WWII, a peaceful beauty for a new age. 4-6”, 4’, from Oregon. Chart and care.

SD-18
1/$10
3/$28.50
5/$45
10/$85
25/$200

MRS. I. DE VER WARNER, 1920Rarest & Web-Only

Preserved by a Kentucky farm family since the 1930s, this remarkable dahlia is hardy enough to survive most winters in the ground in mid-zone 6 and then bloom weeks before any other. A tall, lavender rose beauty, it came to us from 80-something Joyce Dowell who inherited it decades ago from her dahlia-loving grandmother, Fannie Williams. You can read their whole wonderful story here. Then plant this rare relic and when it blooms, remember Joyce and Fannie. 5-6”, 5-6’, from Oregon. Chart, care, and learn more.

SD-52
1/$11
3/$31.50
5/$49.50
10/$93.50
25/$220

MUSETTE, 1954

Just two feet tall, this happy little harlequin will bring a pop of color to the front of your garden or a favorite container. Its non-stop, cherry-red flowers are tipped with white (sometimes more so, sometimes less) and it’s named for a spirited, jazz-inflected dance style that was wildly popular in France in the 1950s. Formal decorative, 2-3”, 1½-2½’, from Holland. Chart and care.

SD-89
1/$7.50
3/$21.50
5/$34
10/$63.50
25/$150

NATAL, 1959Rarest

Too big to be called a pompon, the 3” flowers of this old-fashioned ball dahlia are a deep, dark, velvety red. You’ll get lots and lots of them, too, with long, strong, bouquet-friendly stems. In Portuguese Natal means Christmas, and it’s the name Vasco da Gama gave to a region in South Africa when he first landed there on Christmas Day in 1497. Ball, 2½-3”, 3-4’, from Holland. Chart and care.

SD-93
1/$7.50
3/$21.50
5/$34
10/$63.50
Limit 10, please.

NEW BABY, 1964

The celebrated British gardener Sarah Raven describes this lively little ball dahlia as “a long-standing favorite” that “opens tangerine” before gradually “deepening to vermillion.” Although its yellow button eye may keep it off the show bench, in the garden it only adds to its baby-like charm. Ball, 2-3”, 3-4’, from Holland. Chart and care.

SD-92
1/$7
3/$20
5/$31.50
10/$59.50
25/$140

NITA, 1959Rarest

This speckled beauty is a variegated form of ‘Juanita’, one of the 20th century’s most popular dahlias. It’s just as strong growing and floriferous as ‘Juanita’, but its flowers are a lively lavender-pink delicately streaked and stippled with burgundy. Discovered by a backyard dahlia grower in tiny Brighton, Illinois, it went on to become a record-setting award-winner. Cactus, 6”, 4-5’, heat-tolerant, from New Hampshire Chart and care.

SD-76
1/$10
3/$28.50
5/$45
10/$85
25/$200

NONETTE, 1958

In his celebrated poem “Pied Beauty,” Gerard Manley Hopkins praises all things dappled, stippled, brindled, and freckled – so you know he would have loved ‘Nonette’. Set against dark green leaves, its apricot petals are intricately speckled and streaked with burgundy for a look that’s as natural as a finch’s egg yet totally sumptuous. Wow! Waterlily, 4-6” 4-5’, from Holland. Chart, care, and learn more.

SD-64
1/$7.50
3/$21.50
5/$34
10/$63.50
25/$150

OLD GOLD, 1947Rarest

Martha Stewart Living has featured this burnished beauty in the garden and stylish, hand-made vases of our good customer Frances Palmer. Brush-stroked with ruddy orange on amber, its flowers have a lively, almost flickering effect in the garden and improve any fall bouquet. 4-5”, 5-6’, from New Hampshire. Chart, care, and learn more.

SD-43
1/$9.50
3/$27
5/$42.50
10/$80.50
Limit 10, please.

PREFERENCE, 1955Rarest

The blooms of this peachy-pink, semi-cactus dahlia are just the right size for bouquets, and its intriguingly dark stems add to its appeal both as a cut-flower and in the garden. It’s also a personal favorite of Vanessa, who urges you to give it a try! Semi-cactus, 3-5”, 4’, from Holland. Chart and care.

SD-79
1/$7.50
3/$21.50
5/$34
10/$63.50
Limit 10, please.

PRINCE NOIR, 1954Rarest & Web-Only

Tall, dark, and handsome, this ‘Black Prince’ offers up armful after armful of ruffled, semi-cactus blooms of deep, dark burgundy that are just the right size for bouquets. (Try it with ‘Andries Orange’, if you dare.) We grow lots of great dahlias here, but this one seems to be on everybody’s list of favorites. Reintroduced by us in 2004 from the UK National Collection. 4-5”, 5-6’, heat-tolerant, now grown for us in New Hampshire. Chart, care, and learn more.

SD-37
1/$10
3/$28.50
5/$45
10/$85
25/$200

REQUIEM, 1952Rarest

Anything but somber, this rosy purple dahlia blooms today in the famous Purple Border at Sissinghurst, England’s best-loved garden. Its 4-5 inch blooms have a loose, informal look – much like a waterlily dahlia – and its strong, dark stems make it great for bouquets. Formal decorative, 4-5”, 3½-4½’, from Holland. Chart and care.

SD-90
1/$7.50
3/$21.50
5/$34
10/$63.50
Limit 10, please.

ROCCO, 1962

One of the smallest-flowered pompons we’ve ever seen, and dramatically dark, this was a staff favorite of all the dahlias we trialed in 2018. Its deep boysenberry-colored globes are produced in profusion, and their strong stems make it great for bouquets. Pompon, 1½”, 3-3½’, from Holland. Chart and care.

SD-94
1/$7.50
3/$21.50
5/$34
10/$63.50
Limit 10, please.

ROSEMARY WEBB, 1956Rarest

The peony-like flowers of this blissful dahlia open pale, primrose yellow and then mature to apple-blossom pink, giving you a bouquet of colors on every plant. They’re just the right size to pick for bouquets, too, and they bloom so abundantly you’ll never miss the ones you cut. Waterlily, 4-5”, just 3-4’ tall, from New Hampshire. Chart and care.

SD-75
1/$10
3/$28.50
5/$45
10/$85
25/$200

STOLZ VON BERLIN, 1884

Charmingly antique, ‘Pride of Berlin’ has plump, lavender-pink flowers that nod ever so slightly, like a demure Victorian fraulein. When it was introduced in 1884, Germany was a hotbed for exciting new dahlias, and since 1897 it’s been lovingly preserved by the venerable Deutsche Dahlien, Fuchsien, und Gladiolen Gesellschaft. Ball, 2-2½”, 3-4’, from Holland. Chart and care.

SD-19
1/$7.50
3/$21.50
5/$34
10/$63.50
25/$150

THOMAS EDISON, 1929

This velvety classic is still the truest deep purple of all dahlias, a color that photos can’t quite capture but that modern breeders envy. It was “named for the famous Electrical Wizard with his approval,” according to the L.L. Old’s catalog of 1939. Grow it and we think you’ll agree – it’s electrifying! Formal decorative, 6-8”, 3-4’, heat-tolerant, from Holland. Chart, care, and learn more.

SD-05
1/$7
3/$20
5/$31.50
10/$59.50
25/$140

TSUKI YORI NO SHISHA, 1953

The deeply fringed petals of this big, spectacular dahlia give it an otherworldly air, which is fitting since its name means “Messenger from the Moon” (the title of an enormously popular Japanese novel). When we look at it, though, we see Fourth of July sparklers and big shaggy dogs. What will you – or your kids or grandkids – see? Free-blooming, laciniated, 5-8”, 3-4’, from Holland. Chart and care.

SD-62
1/$7
3/$20
5/$31.50
10/$59.50
Limit 10, please.

WHITE ASTER, 1879Rarest

This is the world’s oldest surviving garden dahlia. (Do you need to know more?) With fresh green foliage and hundreds of small, ivory globes – each touched in the center with a bit of honey, or sunshine? – it has all the pristine, elemental beauty of a newborn baby. Preserved by a German nursery that has specialized in dahlias for close to a century, it’s a timeless classic. 1-2”, 3-5’, from Holland and New Hampshire. Chart, care, and learn more.

SD-10
1/$8.50
3/$24
5/$38
10/$72
25/$170

WISCONSIN RED, 1910?Rarest

This striking family heirloom with its ruby flowers on dark stems is SO easy to grow and store that it’s been a pass-along plant in Wisconsin since the early 1900s. We got our start from our friend Vytas Virkau who got it from Catherine Becker of Wausaukee who’d been growing it since the 1940s. Then we met Brenda and John Hagman whose family has been passing it down since 1910 or before – or so it seems. Learn more here, or just plant it and join the tradition! Ball, 3”, 4-5’, heat-tolerant, grown for us in Oregon. Chart and care.

SD-63
1/$10
3/$28.50
5/$45
10/$85
25/$200

YORK AND LANCASTER, 1915?Rarest

The history of this intriguing dahlia is a mystery. One British expert told us it was rediscovered in a chateau garden and dated to 1915. Another said he saw it growing in a rural hamlet near Lyon and it dated to the 1850s. We’ll keep researching its past, but one thing for certain is its garden appeal. Every flower is different. A few open deep red, a few pearly white, but most are an unpredictable mix of both colors – trè intéressant! Ball, 3”, 4-5’, grown for us in Oregon. Chart and care.

SD-61
1/$10
3/$28.50
5/$45
10/$85
25/$200

GERRIE HOEK, 1942

Is this really “the most popular dahlia of all time”? That’s what experts have called this shell-pink beauty, praising it as “a superb cut flower” with “splendid stems” that’s “easy to grow,” great in the garden, and “the ideal waterlily” dahlia. Who could ask for anything more? 3-4”, 3-4’, from Holland. We hope to offer this variety again next spring. If you’d like to be notified when it’s back in stock, sign up for an email alert.


KIDD’S CLIMAX, 1940

Big, beautiful ‘Kidd’s Climax’ is one of the 20th century’s Top 10 dahlias. It offers colossal blooms of an ineffable, sunrise blend of pink, lavender, and creamy yellow that looks so luscious we bet you’ll want to take a bite. Easy to grow, free-flowering, and sturdy, it’s still winning tons of blue ribbons today at dahlia shows and county fairs across the country. 8-10”, 3-4’, heat-tolerant, from Oregon. We hope to offer this variety again next spring. If you’d like to be notified when it’s back in stock, sign up for an email alert.


LITTLE BEESWING, 1909

In 1997 when we asked in the ADS Bulletin if anyone grew this relic, we heard from just one person, David Murphy. He eventually sent his entire stock to us with a note: “In recognition of your efforts to preserve old dahlias. Their survival now rests in your hands.” Will you help? Lively and cute, ‘Little Beeswing’ produces an abundance of yellow pompons tipped flame-red. It’s a fine keeper, too, so you’ll soon have extras to pass along, as David did. Aka ‘Little Beeswings’, 1-2”, 3-4’, heat-tolerant, from New Hampshire. We hope to offer this variety again next spring. If you’d like to be notified when it’s back in stock, sign up for an email alert.


MRS. H. BROWN, 1947

Is this the love-child of the great ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ and luminous ‘Clair de Lune’? Could be! Its abundant flowers are small enough to avoid being garish but brilliant enough — like tiny flames — to add a jolt of excitement to any garden or bouquet. 2-3”, 4-5’, re-introduced by us from the British National Collection, and grown for us now in New Hampshire. We hope to offer this variety again next spring. If you’d like to be notified when it’s back in stock, sign up for an email alert.


PRINCESSE LOUISE DE SUEDE, 1947

Chic, sophisticated ‘Princess Louise of Sweden’ offers 4-inch flowers of a tantalizing color that’s hard to describe: maybe frosted coral? It’s not orange, not pink, not rose, but if you blended all three together and added a bit of mist, you’d be close. For added elegance, its petal tips seem dipped in silver, more on some flowers, less on others. Very cool! 4 inches, 4 feet, from New Hampshire. We hope to offer this variety again next spring. If you’d like to be notified when it’s back in stock, sign up for an email alert.


ROXY, 1964

Although only about two feet tall, ‘Roxy’ is so vibrant and unusual that it won’t be overlooked. Its chocolate-tinted foliage provides the perfect contrast for its brilliant flowers, and its dark eye ringed by yellow stamens adds to its smoldering appeal. Bred in Hamburg during the boisterous Sixties, it’s making a big comeback today in England – where the RHS has dubbed it “Perfect for Pollinators.” 2-4”, 1½-2½’, from New Hampshire. We hope to offer this variety again next spring. If you’d like to be notified when it’s back in stock, sign up for an email alert.


WHY GROW DAHLIAS? They keep getting better and better in late summer and autumn when many plants are fading. They offer opulent flowers with lush colors and astonishing forms. And the more you cut them for bouquets, the more they bloom.

HISTORY — Dahlias were brought into gardens by the Aztecs, arrived in Europe in 1789, and by the 1840s garden writers in America were hailing scores of new varieties every year. Exciting new cactus forms were introduced in the 1870s, and in 1927 F. F. Rockwell reported that dahlias ranked in “the leading position of all bulbs grown in America.”

DAHLIA ARCHIVES — For customer tips and raves, the stories behind the bulbs, links and books, history, news, and more, see our Dahlia Newsletter Archives.

DAHLIAS AS CUT FLOWERS — For tips for longer lasting dahlias in bouquets, see our Bulbs as Cut Flowers page.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS — Dahlias prefer full sun and rich soil. Blazing hot summers are hard on them, but see our tips for the Deep South, below. Yes, you’ll need to stake them, but it’s easy. No, you don’t HAVE to dig and store them — it’s not a law in any state! When they freeze dead, just add them to the compost pile. We send complete instructions with all of our bulbs.

PLANTING & CARE — DON’T plant outside too early! Wait till after all danger of frost is past — when you’d plant tomatoes or later. Or you can start them inside 4-6 weeks early and transplant them outside when it warms up, which is what we do here at Old House Gardens.

Dahlias thrive in light, fertile, well-drained soil. If your soil is heavy (clay), add organic material or plant in raised beds. Full sun is best, but eight hours will do. Dahlias do NOT like extreme heat, so avoid hot spots such as near south or west walls.

If you garden in zone 8(10WC) or warmer, check out our special advice at oldhousegardens.com/DahliasForHotNights .

Space your dahlias 18-24 inches apart. Dig a hole a foot deep and wide; enrich the soil and return some to the hole. Pound a sturdy stake into the ground near the center of the hole so that 4-6 feet of it remain above ground level (depending on the ultimate height of the dahlia). In front of this, lay the tuber horizontally with the eye, if visible, pointing up – or set the entire pot-root cluster with the stem facing up – about 6 inches below ground level. Cover with 2-3 inches of soil. If your soil is moist, DON’T WATER tubers until they sprout. In soggy soil, un-sprouted tubers are prone to rot. If your soil is dry or the weather is hot, you will need to water, but don’t overdo it – till sprouts emerge.

As shoots grow, gradually add soil till the hole is filled. For bushier plants, “top” them after they get three sets of leaves by pinching or cutting out the center shoot. If slugs or snails are a big problem for you, consider bait.

Water regularly during the growing season, and fertilize lightly every 3-4 weeks until early fall. Don’t over-feed! AVOID HIGH NITROGEN FERTILIZERS such as lawn fertilizer. Use rose, tomato, or general garden fertilizer instead. Hand-weed; avoid ALL herbicides. Tie stalks to the stake as they lengthen. Double strands of garden twine work well. Dead-head by cutting spent blooms to encourage more vigorous flowering – or simply pick lots of bouquets! Dahlias like cool conditions (they are native to the mountain plateaus of Mexico), so growth and flowering peak as temperatures cool in late summer and early fall.

FOR EVEN MORE INFORMATION on growing dahlias, including how to store tubers over the winter (IF you decide to do that), click here for our spring Planting and Care page.


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