• Dee

Dahlia - October Flower of the Month

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October is here! And although the leaves are starting to fall from the trees and the nights are getting longer, there is sill colour and beautiful flowers to admire in the garden.


One of the most varied flowers that you can find at this time of the year are bright and beautiful Dahlias.


In this post, I take a closer look at these voluptuous blooms. I find out what makes their different structures and forms, share the symbolism and meanings behind them, and of course, share my favourite Dahlia gift ideas that are perfect for October birthdays and celebrations.


Dahlia Flowers


Dahlias are herbaceous perennial flowering plants that grow from tuberous roots. They are native to Mexico and Central America but are now a widespread garden favourite.


Dahlias make excellent cut flowers as they produce only one flower head per stem, plus the more you cut them the more they flower! This makes Dahlias an excellent choice for florists as they add colour and dimension to floral displays and bouquets.


Dahlias range dramatically in size, shape, form and colour so you really can find one to fit any garden, pot or border.


Why Are Dahlia Flowers So Varied?


Dahlias range massively in size, from small varieties growing to around 30cm tall to giant plants that reach between 6-8 ft! They also vary in flower size, colour, form and petal structure. So why do all these variations occur?


Well, it's down to genetics!


Dahlias are Octoploids, meaning that they have 8 sets of chromosomes compared to most other plants that only have 2.


On top of this, Dahlias have transposable elements within they gene sequences that enables pieces of their DNA to change places, altering the outcome of each plant.


This not only gives rise to the beautiful variations that we see in Dahlias today, but it also makes them an easy plant to hybridise if you ever wanted to give it a go.


It should be noted however, that the outcome of crossing Dahlias is never in your control due to these fascinating genetic factors!


Overwintering Dahlias


Although Dahlias are perennial, they don't do well in colder climates and wont survive the winter if left out in freezing temperatures.


If you want to keep your Dahlia plants for next years display, then it is important to lift your Dahlia tubers each year once the plants have finished for the season.


I find the overwintering Dahlias guide on Longfield Gardens site really helpful as it goes through, step-by-step how to dig up, preserve and store Dahlia tubers for the best results year after year.


Here are a few things to remember before storing Dahlias.

  • Only choose healthy, disease free plants to store

  • Label the base of the plants you want to keep well before you cut them back

  • Keep an eye on the weather! Don't leave it too late to prep your Dahlia tubers. A hard frost can really damage or kill the plant if they are left exposed for too long.


Don't have Dahlias in the garden? No problem! You can still enjoy these beautiful blooms all year long with pretty art, jewellery and accessories. Keep reading to find our favourite Dahlia gift ideas from small, independent creatives and makers.


Dahlia Meanings & Symbolism


I'm particularly drawn to the symbolism and meaning behind beautiful Dahlia flowers.


As an October baby, Dahlias are my birth month flower so I feel even more connected to them for this reason.


One of my most favourite meaning behind the Dahlia is that of creativity. As a creative person, I find this both satisfying and endearing.


Dahlias also symbolise inner strength, encouragement and the sentiment of "you can do this". All these attributes make Dahlias the perfect flower to gift to someone in need of a little boost.


Other strong meanings behind Dahlias are dignity, generosity and faith all of which I think link in beautifully to these gorgeous flowers.


Are you also an October baby, or do you have friends or family who are? They check out the beautiful Dahlia themed gift ideas below, all of them are from talented independent Etsy sellers.


Dahlia Flower Gift Ideas

Dahlia Illustrated Letter Print A-Z by HayleyJadeDesign


1. Dahlia Drop Necklace

by MorningHeirloom


Such a delicate and beautiful Dahlia jewellery piece! An absolutely perfect gift for an October birthday.


This Dahlia necklace has been hand sculpted using polymer clay and set onto a gold plated finding and chain.


The extra beaded detail makes this a gorgeous accessory for any October occasion or Fall bride.


2. Dahlia Pencil Drawn Card by BeautifulOtherness


What a stunning and simple Dahlia greetings card!


Featuring an intricate pencil drawing of a single Dahlia flower. The card says 'dahlia' in small typewriter style lettering on the front but has been left blank inside for your own message.


Perfect for any occasion or when you just want to tell someone you're thinking of them.


3. Dahlia Illustrated Letter Print A-Z by HayleyJadeDesign


What a beautiful and personal art print for an October birthday!


This hand drawn Dahlia print can be made to include any letter, so you can get one for every friend.


Printed on beautifully textured natural and uncoated card, it would add a special touch to any room.



4. Dahlia Ring by LeeReneeJewellery


Such an exquisite Dahlia ring! This stunning jewellery piece has been handcrafted with the most intricate of details.


Each one is handmade to order so not only can you get your perfect size, but you can also choose to have it made from recycled sterling silver, solid 9ct yellow gold or solid 9ct rose gold. Just beautiful!