How to Arrange Dahlias


Dahlias are beautiful annual flowers that grow anywhere from 12 inches to 8 feet tall. There are 36 species available and thousands of cultivated varieties. The flowers bloom in the summer, in tall tubers. They make excellent cut flowers, lasting for about a week indoors. Arrange dahlias to create a statement in your house.

Step 1

Pick dahlias that are somewhat open but not entirely spread out. You want flowers that won't start to wither as soon as they are in a vase. Picking them as they begin to open allows the best color to happen inside your home.

Step 2

Choose a container. You can use a bottle, vase, glass or ceramic container. Whatever strikes your fancy--as long as there are no drainage holes in the bottom.

Step 3

Create a grid pattern on top of the container to hold the dahlias in place. Use clear tape to lay out the grid in horizontal and vertical lines. This will help you balance the flower arrangement and create volume.

Step 4

Fill the container with fresh water. Add a few drops of bleach to the water to prevent bacteria.

Step 5

Get tree branches from your backyard to add to the arrangement. They form a backbone, complementing and supporting the delicate dahlias. Scrape the bottom of the branches if they are alive and have foliage. Split them up the center a few inches to help the wood absorb water.

Step 6

Snip the bottom of the dahlias on a diagonal with sharp pruning shears. Don't let the stems crack or the water may not absorb. Cut them so they are 4 to 6 inches taller than the top of the vase. You want some taller dahlias for the middle of the container, and shorter for the sides. Remove leaves that will be below the water line.

Step 7

Tie the dahlias together 4 inches below the blooms with a ponytail holder or another type of elastic band if you're not using a grid pattern. This will hold them together and keep your arrangement looking the way you want it.

Step 8

Freshen the water every few days. Every time you do, place the dahlia stems under cool, running water and cut a half inch off the bottom to aid in absorption.

Things You'll Need

  • Flowers
  • Vase
  • Tape
  • Pruning shears
  • Tree branches
  • Elastic
  • Water


  • Apartment Therapy: Everyday Vases and the Scotch-tape Technique
  • Country Living: Arrange Flowers Like a Pro
  • The Garden Helper: How to Plant, Grow and Care for Dahlias
Keywords: dahlia arrangements, arrange dahlia, dahlias

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than ten years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business-related topics. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Marist College.