Dahlias for cut flowers: 20 Inspirational dahlia flower arrangements

The point of this post is to provide some inspiration for your dahlia growing – to show you how beautiful dahlias can look when arranged artfully in vases and placed carefully around the home.

And you should know from the outset that I have used AI to create these images. I have increasingly found AI to be incerdibly helpful in providing gardening design ideas. Therefore, I use it when I want to provide examples of what might be – rather than what is. The images in this post are the stuff of imagination, that can provide prompts for your own creativity.

dahlia flower arrangements

Growing dahlias for cut flowers: some tips

If you are growing dahlias to create your own arrangements there are some things worth knowing to help give you the best chance of achieving what you want.

First, here is all of the important content I have on how to grow dahlias:

Below I have also included the key additional information you need when growing dahlias for the kinds of dahlia flower arrangements featured here.

dahlia flower arrangements
dahlia flower arrangements
dahlias for cut flowers

Types of dahlias to grow

When growing dahlias for cut flowers, the first thing to recognise is that you will need to grow lots of dahlias if you want to create a succession of dahlia flower arrangements. So, you need to plan your space carefully to have enough room for multiple plants. The National Dahlia Society in the UK suggests that 10 to 15 plants should be enough, if well cared for, to meet your needs.

Fortunately, all dahlias require more or less the same growing conditions, so it is fine to mix the various dahlia varieties you want to grow in one place. However, pay attention to the eventual height and width of the plants. Make sure you grow the taller varieties behind the smaller ones, so that the smaller ones are not shaded out.

The second point to bear in mind is that it is important to select the right varieties.

Dahlias come in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and colours, but some types are better suited for cutting due to their stem strength, bloom size, and vase life. Here are some recommended types:

1. Decorative dahlias

Decorative dahlias are known for their large, full blooms and sturdy stems, making them ideal for cutting. Varieties like ‘Cafe au Lait,’ with its creamy, blush-toned petals, and ‘Thomas Edison,’ with its deep purple flowers, are popular choices.

2. Cactus dahlias

Cactus dahlias feature spiky, dramatic petals that add texture to arrangements. Their blooms are striking and often large, and come in a variety of colours. ‘Karma Corona’ and ‘Lambada’ are excellent choices for cut flowers.

3. Ball and pompon dahlias

Ball and pompon dahlias produce round, tightly packed blooms that are perfect for adding shape and structure to bouquets. ‘Cornel’ and ‘Jowey Linda’ are standout varieties with excellent vase life.

4. Waterlily dahlias

Waterlily dahlias have flat, open blooms that resemble water lilies. They offer a delicate, elegant appearance. ‘Bristol Stripe’ and ‘Fascination’ are beautiful options for cut flowers.

cut flower dahlias
dahlia flower arrangement
dahlia flower arrangement

Harvesting dahlias

Knowing when and how to harvest dahlias is crucial for ensuring the best quality cut flowers. Here are the key steps:

1. Timing the harvest

Harvest dahlias in the morning when the temperatures are cooler, and the flowers are well-hydrated. Choose blooms that are fully open or nearly open, as dahlia buds do not continue to open well after cutting.

2. Cutting the stems

Use sharp, clean scissors or pruning shears to cut the stems. Cut the stems at an angle to maximize water uptake and trim them to your desired length. Make the cut just above a set of leaves to encourage new growth and more blooms.

3. Conditioning the blooms

Immediately after cutting, place the stems in a bucket of cool, clean water to keep them hydrated. Allow the flowers to rest in a cool, dark place for several hours to condition them before arranging.

dahlia flower arrangement
dahlia flower arrangements
dahlia flower arrangements

Dahlia flower arrangements: ensuring long vase life

To maximise the vase life of your dahlia blooms, follow these tips:

1. Clean vases and tools

Always use clean vases and tools to prevent bacterial growth that can shorten the life of your flowers. Wash vases with soap and water and rinse thoroughly before use.

2. Water and preservatives

Fill vases with fresh, cool water and add a floral preservative to nourish the flowers and inhibit bacterial growth. Change the water and trim the stems every 2-3 days to keep the blooms fresh.

3. Placement

Place arrangements in a cool location away from direct sunlight, heat sources, and drafts. Avoid placing flowers near ripening fruit, as the ethylene gas released can cause them to age prematurely.

dahlia flower arrangement
Dahlia cut flower arrangements
dahlia flower arrangements

Arranging dahlias

Dahlias are versatile and can be arranged in various styles, from simple bouquets to elaborate centerpieces. Here are some tips for creating stunning dahlia arrangements:

1. Choose a focal point

Select one or two standout blooms to serve as the focal point of your arrangement. These should be the largest or most striking flowers in your collection.

2. Add supporting blooms

Use smaller dahlias and other complementary flowers to fill in around the focal blooms. Consider incorporating foliage, such as eucalyptus or fern, to add texture and depth.

3. Vary the heights

Create visual interest by varying the heights of the flowers in your arrangement. Use floral foam or a flower frog to help position the stems at different angles and heights.

4. Balance the colours

Balance bold and soft colours to create a harmonious look. Dahlias come in almost every colour imaginable, so play with different colour combinations to achieve the desired effect.

5. Maintain proportions

Ensure that the size of your arrangement is proportionate to the vase or container you are using. Overcrowded arrangements can look messy, while sparse ones may seem incomplete.

dahlia flower arrangements
dahlia flower arrangement
dahlia flower arrangements

Conclusion

Growing dahlias for cut flowers can be a very rewarding experience. You need to grow a lot of dahlias, and you need to pinch them out to plenty of blooms. But once you have the stems available, you can let your creative urges go and produce beautiful decorative displays for your home.

dahlia flower arrangement
Cut flower arrangement: dahlias
dahlias in vase

All images created with Midjourney

Love Dahlias?I've written the book on them

Check out my comprehensive step by step guide, with plain language explanations and ultra-useful images and illustrations. This is for you if you love dahlias and want to the best out of the dahlias you grow.

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