Information About the Dahlia Plant


Dahlias can be grown as border specimens, potted plants or background plants. There are hundreds of varieties of dahlias in existence. The majority of dahlias are hybrid versions.

Dahlia image by "Pretty flower" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: DavidK-Oregon (David K) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.


The dahlia is a tuberous root system plant. Dahlias range in height from 12 inches to 6 feet. Flowers come in various shapes and an assortment of colors, such as magenta, pink, yellow, red, white and picotee.


Dahlia plants are indigenous to Mexico and Guatemala. The Aztecs utilized the dahlia for medicinal purposes. Once dahlias made their way to Europe in the 1900s, they became a highly hybridized plant.


Grow dahlias in an area that has a minimum of six hours of sunlight. Well-draining, rich and fertile soil that is slightly acidic is a must for growing dahlias. Dahlias cannot abide soggy roots.


Dahlia varieties are categorized by the shape of their flowers. Varieties include cactus, ball, pom-pom, collarette, formal decorative, informal decorative, single anemone and semicactus.

Fun Facts

Dahlias attract butterflies to your garden. A compound known as Atlantic starch, an extract from the dahlia tuber, was once used to treat diabetes. The dahlia is Mexico's national flower and San Francisco's official flower.


  • National Gardening Association: Dahlia
Keywords: dahlias, compositae, cactus dahlia

About this Author

Katelyn Lynn has been writing health and wellness articles since 2007. Her work appears on various websites. Lynn is a certified holistic health practitioner who specializes in orthomolecular medicine and preventative modalities. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in health sciences from TUI University and has extensive experience in botany and horticulture.