Dahlia Wine Eyed Jill: striking dahlia for the border or the vase

Wine Eyed Jill

Dahlia Wine eyed Jill is a ball dahlia, with peach, pink, apricot and sometimes lavender colouring that changes over the lifetime of the bloom.

There is also a yellow version with a purple centre and yellow flecking on the petals. The image below shows the yellow version which I grew in a pot.

This variety of dahlia gets its ‘wine eye’ name from the dark wine coloured centre of the plant caused by the inner petals sporting purple tips. This striking contrast of colours adds a unique touch to the flower.

As the season progresses and temperatures cool, Wine Eyed Jill’s flower changes from richer to creamier tones showcasing its tremendous visual interest.

My research shows that colouring can also be a little bit variable between blooms and plants, suggesting the weather or soil conditions may have an impact.

I haven’t yet grown the yellow version in the ground. But it will be interesting to see whether the amount of yellow colouring differs at all, as a result of different soil and growing conditions.

Wine Eyed Jill Dahlia’s eventual height is about 3 to 3.5 feet (1m) , with blooms about 4 inches (10 cm) across. With a good programme of deadheading, it can bloom profusely over a long period.

Like all dahlias, Dahlia Wine Eyed Jill will flower from mid-summer until cut down by the first frosts.

Is it worth growing Dahlia Wine Eyed Jill – the Verdict

Wine Eyed Jill is a neat, compact and quite dainty flowered dahlia, with unusual colouring that can sometimes vary with conditions. In my experience it does not flower profusely. So you will need several separate tubers for a fuller display and more stems.

En masse, it looks great in a border, although the foliage is a bit dull. The good things is that the flowers are held on sturdy stems, well above the foliage. So the flower display is good.

The tall straight stems also mean that is a great dahlia for the vase, but you’ll need plenty of plants for a good amount of blooms.

So, my verdict is YES. Dahlia Wine Eyed Jill is worth growing and I have been dividing tubers recently so that I can get more of these lovely flowers.

Where to buy Wine Eyed Jill Dahlia

In the US, try the suppliers listed by dahliaaddict.com.

In the UK, Dahlia Wine eyed Jill is available at J Parker Bulbs or Marshalls. If you want to support an independent business, try Hart’s Nursery.

Garden uses for Dahlia Wine Eyed Jill

Grow Wine Eyed Jill dahlia as a cut flower

The blooms of Wine Eyed Jill dahlia are compact and held quite high above the plant’s green foliage. This makes it an ideal dahlia to grow as a cut flower.

If you grow it as a cut flower, the following tips will help you get the best from your blooms:

  • As soon as you cut the stem, place it in clean water to prevent air pockets from forming in the stem;
  • Change the water in the vase every couple of days to prolong the life of the flowers; and
  • Keep the arrangement out of direct sunlight and away from heat and drafts.

Wine Eyed Jill’s interesting colour patterns make it a standout in any arrangement. The diversity of colour, within and between blooms, as well as the neat compact flower form, make it a a perfect addition to any bouquet or centrepiece.

Grow Dahlia Wine Eyed Jill in borders and containers

As well as being grown to produce cut flowers for the vase, the upright habit and mixed colouring of the plant means it can suit a perennial border (grown towards the front) or a cottage or courtyard garden scheme.

Although it is not the largest of dahlias, you will probably need to stake the plant, unless planted very closely to other strong plants in the border.

You can also grow Dahlia Wine Eyed Jill in pots or containers, as long as they are large enough to be water retentive. Again, you’ll need to prove for some support or staking to keep the plant upright.

The colouring of this variety, means it will go well with other pink, yellow or peachy hued dahlias or contrast nicely with blue-hued perennial plants like thalictrums, geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue‘ or grasses like the Pheasant’s Tail grass (Anemanthele lessoniana).

Dahlia wine eyed Jill in pot in author's garden
Dahlia Wine Eyed Jill, grown in a pot in my garden

Plant notes: Dahlia Wine Eyed Jill

Dahlia Wine Eyed Jill plant family icon


Dahlias belong to the Asteraceae family of plants.

Wine Eyed Jill plant type icon

Plant Type

Dahlias are tuberous herbaceous perennials.

Wine Eyed Jill soil type icon

Soil Type

Moist well-drained loamy soil.

Wine Eyed Jill plant aspect icon


Dahlias prefer full sun, but can cope with some partial shade.

plant size iconWine Eyed Jill

Eventual Size

Height approx. 1m (3 feet 4 inches). Width approx. 50 cm (1 foot 6 inches)

Wine Eyed Jill plant hardiness icon


Foliage cut down by frost. Tubers may survive down to -5C (23F). US Hardiness Zones 8+, UK Zone H3

Plant calendar: Dahlia Wine Eyed Jill

Dahlia seedsSow SeedsFeb, March, April (under cover)
pot up dahlia tubersPot up TubersMarch, April
plant out dahliasPlant Out**May, June
dahlia flowersFlowering TimeJuly, 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 Wine Eyed Jill Dahlia

Take care of Dahlia Wine Eyed Jill just as you would for any dahlia. Note the points below 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.
  • Mulch well.

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 water-logging, 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.
Wine Eyed Jill

More on growing dahlias

You can also get much more guidance on growing dahlias in these posts:

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.

Join Us! Subscribe to the Gardening Step by Step NewsletterSign up below to receive the latest gardening tips and updates*

*by entering your details, you're agreeing to the gardeningstepbystep.com terms and conditions and privacy policy. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Leave a Comment