We thought it would be cool to offer some of the more unusual species and garden-worthy dahlia hybrids often overlooked by the dahlia societies. Many of the purple leaf dahlia cultivars are truly stunning in the summer garden, as are the lesser-known, wild-collected species.
Read More About Dahlia
For us, most dahlias are winter-hardy perennials in Zone 7b when grown in well-drained soil. In colder zones, dahlia plants can be dug and stored just above freezing in dry peat moss for the winter. During the rest of the year your dahlia will be happiest in a full sun garden location in well-drained soil.
Dahlia plants produce roots close to the surface of the soil so no hoes around your dahlias....actually we propose a no hoe policy for your entire garden. Your dahlia will start to bloom in the late spring but will slow down during the hot part of the summer and resume flowering in the fall. The flowers attract both butterflies and hummingbirds. When you're ready to buy dahlias for your perennial garden, we hope you'll check out our online listing of dahlias for sale below.
Since 1988, Plant Delights Nursery has been the choice of serious gardeners and plant collectors looking for the best and rarest perennial plants. We are pleased to have received the Perennial Plant Association Retail Award in 2011, the American Horticulture Society Commercial Award in 2002, and to have been selected as one of the Best Mail Order Plant Sources - Garden Design Magazine 2010. Welcome to our family of plant lovers!
If you have been looking for a nice companion to Dahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff', look no longer. This delightful dahlia has cut-leaf, dark purple foliage on a well-formed 2' tall clump. Dahlia 'Bednall Beauty' flowers throughout late spring and summer, and again in late summer and fall...a hummingbird double delight. In areas with oppressively hot summers, don't expect many flowers until the weather cools. Dahlias will also perform wonderfully well in those Zone 9 and 10 regions blessed with cool, high summer temperatures. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
This new addition to the "Bishop" dahlia series boasts the same wonderful dark-purple foliage, topped with 3' tall spikes of 2" dark, fluorescent wine-purple flowers. We tried to find an RHS color code, but this is obviously a new color for the RHS unless they are boycotting fluorescent purple. This plant is also unique since there is no such thing as a Bishop of Canterbury. There is an Archbishop of Canterbury, but that's several pay grades higher. For us, Dahlia 'Bishop of Canterbury' flowers from June until frost...perfect for a touch of purple in the border...a hummingbird treat. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Dahlia 'Bishop of Leicester' is another in the wonderful Gardening Diocese series of dark foliage dahlias. This particular "Bishop" makes a 2' tall x 18" wide clump of dark purple foliage topped, starting in late June, with light lavender (RHS 78C) flowers, often streaked with a lighter hue. The flowers, revered by hummingbirds, are highlighted by a contrasting center cone of orange with a dark center...praise Jeeesus. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
The bronzy-black foliage of Dahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff' makes a stunning feature in the border, even before it is topped with wow-red flowers (RHS color 45A) held above the foliage. For us, "The Bishop" flowers in late June and July and then takes a break from flowering until nights cool in early September, when it resumes attracting hummingbirds with its floral show. For trivia buffs, this dahlia was named for Bishop Hughes of Llandaff (now Cardiff), Wales, UK, in 1924 and won the prestigious Award of Merit from the RHS in 1928. In 2004, Dahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff' made the RHS list of the top plants of the last 200 years...quite an honor. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
This new "Bishop" has the same dark purple foliage, topped with 3' spikes of 3.5" golden flowers brushed with orange (RHS 17A). The robust clump is topped with hummingbird-revered flowers from June until frost. Just like the Bishop of Canterbury, there is also no Bishop of York. I'm sure the Archbishop of York will be quite dismayed to find he's been demoted by the horticultural community...one of the worst nomenclatural faux pas I've ever seen. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
If single-flowered dahlias just don't have enough "oomph" for your garden, then Dahlia 'David Howard' is for you. The dark black-purple foliage composes a 2' clump, topped for most of the summer with large, 4", fully double flowers. Each flower is light orange at the base of the petals and bright orange in the center...attractive to hummingbirds. The orange flower color in front of the dark purple foliage is a real screamer of a combination. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
This horticultural libido-raising dahlia from the Happy Dahlia series is hotter than a night in Bangkok's Phat Phong district. The dark purple leaves adorn the 28" stalks (a dwarf...how kinky), which serve as foils for the 5" flaming orange-red flowers with bright golden centers...a hummingbird magnet. Hide the straight kids and grandparents...this is one sexy dahlia! You can dig it figuratively all summer, but also do so literally in the fall if you garden north of Zone 7b. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
I have this fetish for growing peculiar things, and the giant tree dahlia is at the top of my list. In the wild, Dahlia imperialis can reach 30', but our garden plants only reach a meager 9' in height. The bamboo-looking stalks easily grow to a massive 3" in diameter and are topped with oversized but typical dahlia foliage. If you garden in Zone 7, you can forget flowers, which are single pink and always manage to open the day we have our first killing frost. Nevertheless, this tropical-looking gem is worth growing just for its stature and texture in the garden...and to fool all your neighbors with its identity. Have someone take your photo standing alongside your dahlia, and you're a sure-fire winner for the next Miracle-Gro® commercial. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
(aka: Dahlia imperialis Double White) From the late California plantsman, Wayne Roderick, comes this unusual form of tree dahlia that we named in 2005. Just like the more commonly grown forms, this selection of the giant tree dahlia makes a clump of bamboo-like stems to 8' tall, topped with typical dahlia foliage on the top half. In mid-November, the clumps are topped with large double white flowers...just about the time of our first frost. Although we love the plant for its form in the garden, those of you with later first frost dates will also get to enjoy the flowers...and so will your hummingbirds. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
(syn: Dahlia imperialis Double Purple) Thanks to customer Larry Depuy for sharing this wonderful form of the giant tree dahlia. We eventually tracked these back to the late California plantsman extraordinaire Wayne Roderick, who introduced a plethora of great garden plants. Since it had no valid cultivar name, we have given it one. The 9' bamboo-like stalks are topped in late October with sprays of 3" anemone-like, lavender double flowers...very spectacular and attractive to hummingbirds if you can hold off the frosts long enough to enjoy the flowers. If not, the stalks are a great structural element in the garden anyway. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Dahlia 'Juliet' is one of the stunning new series of black-foliaged Happy Dahlias. Dahlia 'Juliet' makes a compact 2' tall clump of nearly black foliage topped, starting in late June and continuing until fall, with 4" lilac-pink (RHS 78A) flowers. Warning...Dahlia 'Juliet' should be kept at a distance from Dahlia 'Romeo' due to a lethal allelopathic reaction when the two are grown close together. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
If you thought your partying days were over, think again. Imagine a stunning display of bright yellow against shiny black and you get the picture. No, it's not the re-emergence of disco days, it's Dahlia 'Party'. This hot little number from the Happy Single® Dahlia Series makes a 28" tall clump of black foliage topped from late June until frost with 4" bright yellow flowers, each highlighted by a light brown center...a hummingbird hangout. It's time to boogie down...I mean, dig down and plant your Dahlia 'Party'. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Looking for a Shakespearian moment in your garden? It's love at first sight with Dahlia 'Romeo', another gem from the Happy Single® Dahlia Series. The dark black-foliaged Dahlia 'Romeo' is topped with stalks of dark crimson-red flowers, whose color doesn't correspond to anything in the RHS color chart. The 4" wide flowers top the short 22" tall plants from late June until frost...a hummingbird treat. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
I remember exactly where I was when my Dahlia 'Yellow Hammer' first flowered...we tend to do that with really important events. Yes, I was standing in my garden looking at my Dahlia 'Yellow Hammer'. It was indeed a memorable sight, the dark black of the night, I mean...of the foliage and the stunning single flower, opening a butterscotch-yellow (RHS 163A)...did someone mention scotch? Sorry, butterscotch-yellow with orange streaks...that might be the scotch and not the flower. For us, Dahlia 'Yellow Hammer' flowers from early summer until fall, taking time to rest only in the hottest of weather.
Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)