Discover beautiful companion flowers that perfectly complement dahlia plants


If you want to create a cooler, larger, and more colorful garden, why not consider planting dahlias and their companion flowers together? Dahlia plants are known for their beautiful and vibrant blooms, but they can also benefit from the presence of other flowers. Companion planting is a great way to add diversity and create a more harmonious garden.

When it comes to companion flowers for dahlias, roses make a great choice. Roses and dahlias both love sunlight and thrive in similar growing conditions. Planting roses alongside dahlias can create a stunning rainbow of colors and add a touch of elegance to your garden. Nasturtiums are another good companion plant option. They are easy to grow and their bright yellow, orange, and red blooms can add a pop of color to your dahlia flowerbed.

Spacing is important when planting dahlias with other flowers. Aim to keep the spacing between the dahlia plants and their companion flowers somewhat closer. This helps reduce competition for nutrients and sunlight, and allows the plants to complement each other without overcrowding. Some other flowers that work well with dahlias include cosmos, poppies, geraniums, and nicotianas. These flowers can add beauty and variety to your garden, while also attracting butterflies and other beneficial insects.

When choosing companion plants for dahlias, it’s important to consider the specific needs of your dahlias. For example, dahlias are somewhat frost-sensitive, so you may want to consider planting them with frost-tolerant companions such as caladiums or oxalis. Additionally, dahlias have thick, tuberous roots, so it’s important to avoid planting them near shallow-rooted bulbs or lilies that may compete for space and nutrients.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when planting dahlias with companion flowers:
– Plant taller flowers, like roses and lilies, towards the back of the dahlia bed to create a layered look.
– Consider adding a layer of mulch around the base of the dahlia plants to help conserve moisture and suppress weeds.
– Regularly deadhead the companion flowers to encourage more blooms and prevent them from competing with the dahlias for nutrients.
– Keep an eye out for any signs of pests or diseases that could affect both the dahlias and their companions. Remove any affected plants to prevent the spread.

Companion planting is a personal choice, and what works for one gardener may not work for another. It’s important to experiment and find the companion flowers that complement your dahlias and suit your gardening style. Adding companion flowers to your dahlia garden can create a visually stunning and vibrant space, while also attracting beneficial insects and creating a healthier garden ecosystem.

Six Great Companion Plants for Dahlias

When it comes to companion planting, dahlias can benefit from having the right flowers planted alongside them. Here are six great companion plants that will complement dahlias:

  1. Grass: While dahlias need full sun to grow, planting grass between the dahlias can provide shade-tolerant foliage that will add interest to the garden.
  2. Rosemary: Not only does rosemary smell sweet, but it also helps deter pests like snails and slugs, making it a perfect companion for dahlias.
  3. Sweet Alyssum: This low-growing flower can be planted between dahlias to cover the bare ground and add a carpet of vibrant white flowers.
  4. Salvia: This sun-loving plant will not only attract butterflies and bees to your garden but will also add height and color to complement dahlias.
  5. Geraniums: Geraniums grow in clumps and produce colorful flowers that will provide a beautiful backdrop for dahlias.
  6. Peonies: Peonies and dahlias are a match made in heaven. The large, showy blooms of peonies will perfectly complement the dinner plate dahlias.

Having these companion plants in your dahlia garden not only adds visual interest but also provides a beneficial environment for your dahlias to thrive. Here are some tips for planting companion flowers:

  • Plant the companion flowers closer to the dahlias to allow for easy access to the sun.
  • Group the companion flowers in clusters for a more impactful arrangement.
  • Consider de-heading the dahlias to prevent them from taking over the companion plants.
  • Adding compost or organic matter to the soil will benefit both the dahlias and their companions.
  • Choose companion plants that grow at similar heights to avoid overshadowing the dahlias.
  • Avoid planting companion flowers that are known to be problematic, such as those that attract pests or take away nutrients from the dahlias.

By following these tips and selecting the right companion plants, you can create a stunning garden that will not only showcase your dahlias but also provide a harmonious environment for them to thrive.

My Six Favorite Companion Plants for Dahlias

When it comes to dahlias, adding companion plants can help enhance their beauty and create an even more stunning garden. Here are my six favorite companion plants for dahlias:

Companion Plant Description
Exotic Poppies Grows well alongside dahlias and their attractive blooms add a pop of color to the garden.
Caladiums A smaller plant with colorful foliage that complements the dahlia blooms.
Japanese Grasses Creates a beautiful, wispy effect when planted with dahlias and adds texture to the garden.
Eucomis Known as the pineapple lily, this plant produces unique flowers that resemble a pineapple, making it a personal favorite.
Nasturtiums Not only do they add a burst of color to the garden, but they also attract beneficial insects like bees.
Mint A fragrant herb that can be planted near dahlias to deter pests and add a refreshing scent to the garden.

Remember to consider the needs of your dahlias when choosing companion plants. While some plants may thrive in the same conditions, others may require different levels of sun or water. Additionally, it’s important to avoid overwatering as it can lead to root rot. By carefully selecting and planting companion plants, you can create a beautiful garden that complements and enhances your dahlias.

A Closer Peek at This Year’s Dahlias

When it comes to dahlias, there are so many choices to consider. These beautiful flowers compliment any garden, adding a splash of color and beauty.

One of the great things about dahlias is that they are shade-tolerant, so you can plant them in areas of your garden that don’t get much sunlight. They love shallow-rooted plants, so they can be planted among other perennials without causing any harm.

If you’re looking for some companion plants to grow alongside your dahlias, cosmos is a perfect choice. These white, exotic blooms will add depth and interest to your garden. Salvia is another great option, as its spiky flowers and cool colors contrast nicely with the dahlias. Geraniums are also a personal favorite of mine, as their small, creeping blooms compliment the larger dahlias.

One type of dahlia that tends to do well in cooler climates is the gladiola. I love the way its tall stalks and vibrant blooms stand out against the other flowers in my garden. Another choice that I highly recommend is the peony. Its large, showy flowers are a real showstopper next to the dahlias.

When it comes to planting dahlias, there are a few important things to keep in mind. They prefer full sun, so make sure to find a spot in your garden that gets plenty of light. Dahlias also require well-drained soil, so if you have heavy clay soil, consider planting them in pots or raised beds. They are also heavy feeders, so be sure to fertilize them regularly.

Another benefit of dahlias is that they attract pollinators to your garden. Bees and butterflies love their colorful blooms, so if you’re a fan of these buzzing creatures, dahlias are a must-have. In addition, dahlias make great cut flowers, so you can bring a piece of your garden inside and enjoy their beauty there as well.

This year, I’m excited to plant some eucomis alongside my dahlias. These unique plants have interesting foliage and unique flower spikes that will be the perfect compliment to my dahlias. I’m also planning to leave some space in my garden for some mint, as its refreshing scent will add a pleasant aroma to the summer air.

In conclusion, dahlias are a beautiful and versatile addition to any garden. With their wide variety of bloom types and colors, they can be planted with a variety of other plants to create a stunning display. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, dahlias are sure to delight you with their vibrant and showy flowers.

So, take a peek below to see what’s happening in the dahlia world this year. Keep an eye out for new varieties and happenings in the dahlia community. They are a true delight to grow and enjoy!

Other Garden Happenings

When planning your dahlia garden, it’s not just about the dahlias themselves. There are other garden happenings to consider, such as the companions and other plants that can enhance the beauty of your dahlia display.

One option is to plant dahlia companions that have flat, silvery foliage. Cosmos is a popular choice as it not only complements the colorful dahlias, but also works well as a cut flower. Another thought is to grow alyssum, a sweet and pungent flower that can provide a wonderful fragrance to your garden.

Early in the season, before your dahlias have matured, you can plant smaller perennials like geraniums and salvia. These plants will mature and fill in the gaps while your dahlias grow. 1

If you want a bit of a tropical feel, consider planting caladiums. These exotic plants have colorful foliage that can complement the rainbow of dahlias that you have planted. They do require sufficient water, so be careful not to overwater, as this could kill your dahlias.2

Another wonderful option is to plant grasses as a complement to your dahlias. They provide a backdrop of foliage that can accentuate the beauty of the flowers. Some grasses, like miscanthus and feather reed grass, can grow quite tall, which works well if you have dahlias that tend to be on the larger side.

When considering other plants to accompany your dahlias, it’s important to find ones that have similar growing requirements and are compatible with dahlia roots. Some plants, like gladiolas and geraniums, can become aggressive and compete with your dahlias for food and moisture. On the other hand, some plants like marigolds and marjoram act as pest repellents and can keep insects at bay, making them perfect companions for your dahlias.

In addition to flowers, you can also consider adding other garden happenings such as solar lights, a trellis or arbor for vertical interest, or a hand-painted sign that adds a personal touch to your garden.

  • Note 1: It’s important to note that some plants, like gladiolas, can become aggressive and compete with your dahlias. Be sure to give your dahlias sufficient space to grow and access to sunlight.
  • Note 2: Snails are a common problem in dahlia gardens, as they love the young foliage. Planting pungent herbs like marigolds or marjoram can help deter them from your dahlias.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.