Slideshow | Spring Planted Bulbs

Dainty Dahlias: Border Dahlias, Ball Dahlias and Pompon Dahlias


Big, bold, and beautiful dahlias steal the hearts of many. The larger-than-life Dinnerplate Dahlias win awards at the state fair and stun viewers. Decorative Dahlias with their 4-6″ diameter blooms will stop traffic even though their blooms are only 4-6″ in diameter. However, the dahlia world has more to offer than big and bold. Dainty dahlias can still be bold but the blooms and overall plant size are often smaller. These small dahlias serve a great purpose in the summer garden as well and should not be overlooked.

Dainty Dahlia Details

Ball Mixture Dahlias

Ball Mixture Dahlias

Before we get into the specifics of the different categories of smaller dahlias, let’s talk about reasons to plant varieties with smaller blooms and smaller stature. Small varieties like Ball Dahlias, Border Dahlias, and Pompon Dahlias are an excellent choice for planting in pots. When planting in pots be sure to use soil that drains well, such as a good soil mix for container gardens.

Because of the small blooms and shorter height they work well in the front of garden beds. When they start blooming in mid-summer they will continue to bloom until frost. This long bloom time and compact habit make them an excellent choice for center stage in the front of a garden area.

For optimal growth plant in full sun. Small dahlias are considered low-maintenance plants and don’t require staking like some of the larger varieties.

Border Dahlias

This kind of small dahlia encompasses any varieties that have a compact growth habit. The blooms on border dahlias can be single petaled or double petaled. However, the blooms will be 3″ or less in diameter. Border dahlias grow well in the front of a garden bed or border. They can also be planted as foundation plants in front of the house.

When mature they range in height from 12-36″ depending on the variety. This range of heights as well as bloom colors and shapes provides plenty of options to add to the sunny garden.

Top Mix Purple Miniature Dahlias

Top Mix Purple Miniature Dahlias

Jenny’s 3 Favorite Border Dahlias

  1. Top Mix Purple Miniature Dahlia– I love the cheery blooms from this dainty variety. The deep purple flowers are accented by golden yellow centers, a perfect color pairing. The 16-20″ height makes them perfect to use as the centerpiece of a mixed container planting. They also can be planted in larger groupings in tight garden spots, like next to a walkway or near a building.
  2. Orange Nugget Border Dahlia– Meant for the border this small variety will grow 2-3′ tall and is best suited for a mixed planting border. The double blooms are bright and blissful! If you are looking for a smaller dahlia that still packs a punch Orange Nugget is a great option.
  3. American Pie DahliaDainty and delightful! The dark purple foliage combined with pink and yellow blooms creates a multi-dimensional look. Growing 6-12″ tall it’s perfect for containers and small planting areas.

Pompon and Ball Dahlias

These two types of dahlias look similar but have different bloom sizes. Ball dahlias have slightly larger blooms than Pompon Dahlias, generally, the flowers will be 2-4″ in diameter. Pompon dahlias are also globe-shaped with 1-3″ diameter blooms.

Both ball and pompon dahlias have round blooms, some varieties have a flat top. The petals are formed in a spiral shape. The unique look of the blooms creates an interesting texture in the garden. These are some of the best flowers for cutting!

These dahlias will grow to be 2-3′ tall with a similar spread, making them perfect for planting beds and borders.

Marble Ball Dahlia

Marble Ball Dahlia

Jenny’s 3 Favorite Pompon and Ball Dahlias

  1. Marble Ball Dahlia– It’s hard not to fall in love with this flower. The unique formation of the petals that are mottled with purple and white coloring makes this variety a show stopper. Growing 2-3′ tall when mature, plant in a sunny location where it can be the focal point of the garden.
  2. Jan Van Schaffelaar Pompon Dahlia– This bright pink dahlia is a tried and true classic variety. The hot pink pompon blooms appear in mid-summer and last through fall. The compact blooms and habit make it a low-maintenance solution for a sunny garden spot!
  3. Double Jill Pompon Dahlia– This dainty and delightful dahlia will have you doing a double-take! The blooms are multi-toned with shades of white, yellow, and peach. Growing 2-3′ it will help brighten up the garden with its warm and sunny blooms.

Bigger Blooms Aren’t Always Better

It may be tempting to want the biggest and most unique blooms available. However, these dainty and delightful choices above have a special place in the garden. Small dahlias are lower maintenance than larger varieties. They bloom in an array of colors and bloom shapes. Gardeners with smaller spaces will love being able to grow dahlias without worrying about them taking up too much room. They are deer resistant, easy to grow, and thrive in full sun.

If you are still convinced that big and bold dahlia blooms are the way to best check out this article How to Grow the Big and Bold Dahlia Blooms!

Need Gardening Help?

If you need any help with gardening or if you have plant-related questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to Jenny San Filippo. She can provide you with the knowledge and tools needed to succeed with your next project!

Contact Jenny

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