Dahlia Islander is a large, striking, heat tolerant dahlia featuring mid to dark pink flowers, with apricot tones. If you’re looking for a way to make a statement in your garden, consider introducing this showstopper into your collection. With its massive 8-10 inch flowers Dahlia Islander is sure to capture the attention of your visitors.
Dahlia Islander is a large flowered decorative dahlia (also know as a dinner-plate dahlia, given the flower size). This means it has fully double flowers with no central disc florets visible. The ray florets are involute (turning inwards) for most of their lengths and, unlike some decorative dahlias, the ends are quite pointed.
The overall effect of the flower is loose and somewhat blowsy, but certainly impressive.
This dahlia variety was introduced by the US growers Wickey in 1983.
The flowers of Dahlia Islander sit on top of straight and sturdy dark green stems, with the flowers nicely set off by the green foliage.
Dahlia Islander is a tall dahlia, reaching about 44-48 inches tall (1.5m). It is a free-flowering plant that will bloom well throughout the summer. Of course, frequent deadheading will prolong the flowering season. You can read more about how to deadhead dahlias in this post.
Where to buy Dahlia Islander
In the US, try the suppliers listed by dahliaaddict.com, Swan Island Dahlias or the Amazon suppliers below.
In the UK, Dahlia Islander is often available at Halls of Heddon, Rose Cottage Plants or Farmer Gracy.
- This Dahlia has massivesoft ruffled 12” flowers. Breathtaking lavender and orange on huge flowers are not only impressive in size but absolutely stunning. These make excellent cut flowers.
- Height: 40” – Bloom Size: 8-10”
- Zone Hardiness: 7-11
- Perennial – Can be over wintered in non tolerant zones
- Grown in the USA – Blue Buddha Farm is a family owned nursery in South Carolina. Support small businesses 🙂
Last update on 2023-05-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Garden Uses for Dahlia Islander
Like all dahlias, Dahlia Islander will flower from mid-summer until cut down by the first frosts. Because of the height of the plant and its large flowers, it is important to stake Dahlia Islander well so that it remains upright throughout the growing season.
Grow Dahlia Islander as a cut flower
Dahlia Islander can be grown as a cut flower. The strong stems mean that it does well in the vase, but you need to cut it soon after the flower has bloomed because the large flowers can get rain and wind damaged.
If you are growing it as a cut flower, it might be a good idea to grow Dahlia Islander in a raised bed for easy access to the plants for cutting.
If you do grow it as a cut flower, remember that when you are cutting it you should immediately place it in clean water to prevent air pockets from forming in the stem.
Grow Dahlia Islander in borders and containers
Dahlia Islander is a medium to large sized dahlia, so you’ll need to plant it in the middle to the rear of the border so that you can grow smaller plants in front.
Islander is strong plant, but the problem with the larger blooms is that they can easily start to look ragged if subject to much wind or rain.
The mid-pink colouring of Dahlia Islander means it will go well with plants of contrasting lighter or darker colours – pale yellows, pale pinks (like Dahlia Wizard of Oz) or white dahlias can work with it it, as can darker varieties, like Night Silence. It might also be worth trying with the multi-hued Dahlia Wine Eyed Jill.
In a mixed border, Islander looks good with hardy geraniums in front and maybe some of the tall grasses behind.
The height of Dahlia Islander means that if it is to do well in a container, the container needs to be large and deep, capable of supporting the necessary staking you will need to put in place to keep the plant upright.
Plant Notes: Dahlia Islander
Dahlias belong to the Asteraceae family of plants.
Dahlias prefer full sun, but can cope with partial shade.
Height approx 1 to 1.5m (44-48 inches). Width approx 50cm to 90cm (20 to 38 inches)
Foliage cut down by frost. Tubers may survive down to -5C (23F). US Hardiness Zones 8+, UK Zone H3
Plant Calendar: Dahlia Islander
|Sow Seeds||Feb, March, April (under cover)|
|Pot up Tubers||March, April|
|Plant Out**||May, June|
|Flowering Time||July, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov.|
These timings assume a last frost in May. Adjust timings earlier or later according to last frost where you live.
**In areas of extreme summer heat, plant out in September.
Caring for Dahlia Islander
Take care of Dahlia Islander just as you would for any dahlia. Note in particular:
Planting and position dahlias
- Dahlias prefer to be positioned full sun in moist, retentive, but well drained soil.
- Improve the soil with organic matter before planting, preferably in the autumn.
- Plant out your Dahlia tubers or sprouts after the risk of frost has passed.
- Plant non-sprouting tubers 4 to 5 inches deep. Plant more deeply if a risk of frost remains, or you live in an area with extreme heat – but only if drainage is good. Otherwise there is a risk of the tubers rotting.
Watering and feeding dahlias
- Keep the plant well-watered, but don’t let it get waterlogged for any prolonged period.
- Feed with a well balanced fertiliser whilst its leaves and stems are developing, but switch to a regular phosphate rich fertiliser (e.g. tomato feed) to encourage flowering.
Stopping dahlias and increasing flower numbers
- If you pinch out the growing tips of the main stems when they have two or three sets of leaves, you can create a bushier plant which will produce more blooms.
- Remember to deadhead your flowers regularly to keep the plant flowering for as long as possible.
End of growing season care
- If you live in an area that suffers from hard frosts or prolonged waterlogging, lift and store the tubers over winter. Follow the guidance in this post on overwintering dahlias.
- If you do not get temperatures below freezing, you can leave your dahlia tubers in position. But it is best to cut back the old stems and mulch well.
More on Growing Dahlias
You can also get much more guidance on growing dahlias in these posts:
- Taking care of dahlias: the trick with deadheading
- Dahlia pinnata: a dahlia original
- How to grow dahlias: the complete guide to dahlia care
- How to overwinter dahlia plants and tubers
- All you need to know about dahlia tubers and dahlia bulbs
- Dahlia varieties: your complete guide to all types of dahlias
- Dahlias in my garden: Six on Saturday
- Dahlia Wizard of Oz – Beautiful pink pompon dahlia
- Can you grow dahlias in raised beds?
- Do dahlias grow in Florida?
- Dahlia Wine Eyed Jill
- Dahlia Ivanetti: magnificent magent dahlia
- Dahlia Night Silence – dusky pink dahlia beauty
- Visit a dahlia farm near you
- Best mulch for dahlias: a comprehensive guide
- Heat tolerant dahlias: beat the heat with these choice varieties
- Dahlia gall: identify and prevent leafy gall and crown gall in dahlias
- When to plant dahlia tubers
Martin Cole has been an avid gardener for more than 20 years and loves to talk and write about gardening. In 2006 he was a finalist in the BBC Gardener of the Year competition. He is a member of the National dahlia Society.
He previously lived in London and Sydney, Australia, where he took a diploma course in Horticultural studies and is now based in North Berwick in Scotland. He founded GardeningStepbyStep.com in 2012. The website is aimed at everybody who has been bitten by the gardening bug and wants to know more.
Gardening Step by Step has been cited by Thompson and Morgan, the UK’s largest mail order plant retailer, as a website that publishes expert gardening content.
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.