Black Dahlias have an almost haunting beauty that makes them a favorite of gardeners and flower aficionados around the world. But, before you dive in, it's important to do your homework. All Dahlias are not created equal. Just like any flower, some varieties will do well under certain conditions while others will die. You should know if the plant needs full sunlight or can it survive in partial shade? Some Black Dahlias need more water than others. It's also crucial that you have the right type of soil to ensure a healthy plant.
We have assembled the information you need to choose the right Black Dahlia. Each one comes with its own set of advantages and requirements. Knowing a few important facts will give you the best chance to enjoy these unique plants in all their glory.
Black Jack Dahlias
Black Jack Dahlias have a striking appearance due to the size of the flowers and its curving, pointed petals. A semi-cactus, the Black Jack does best in sandy loam, yet, they can succeed in most garden beds provided they are well-drained and the soil is slightly acidic. You'll also need to make sure they get lots of sunlight. Even if you live in colder zones, the tubers should survive in the ground over the winter.
Black Wizard Dahlias
Another semi-cactus variety, the Black Wizard Dahlia doesn't need much care yet can deliver magnificent results. Dark reds and purples characterize the flower, with the inner petals transitioning to black as the dahlia matures. Plant this one in the summer and you can enjoy its hypnotic beauty throughout the fall. You'll need to add plenty of compost to the soil and keep the plant well watered.
The Fidalgo Blacky is an aptly named Dahlia that appears to be almost totally black. Yet, a closer look reveals that the bloom is actually a dark red that is truly arresting. This is an ideal cutting flower that can be grown as an annual. Plant in mildly acidic to neutral soil. And don't overdo the watering. You won't have any trouble seeing the Fidalgo Blacky in garden or border, as it grows up to four feet tall.
Lights Out Dahlias
Another gorgeous reddish-black variety with broad, velvety petals is the Lights Out Dahlia. If you live in a rural area these can be a good choice as they are deer resistant. Deer avoid them is because parts of the Lights Out Dahlia plant are poisonous. Full sunlight and average watering are the rules to remember. Despite the name, make sure the plant gets full sun. You can get more information.
Tamburo is one of the more unusual looking varieties on the list. The wine red petals have a misleading spiky appearance but are soft to the touch. It doesn't grow tall so plan on putting it front and center in your border. Be aware that this semi-cactus Dahlia requires frequent watering and abundant sunlight. They offer a long bloom life and are excellent for cutting. Go here for more information.
Burgundy Black Dahlias
This is another example of a Dahlia that appears to be pitch black at first look but yields pleasing colors upon closer examination. The flowers are round with dark burgundy petals complemented by hints of chocolate. The Burgundy Black variety is perfect for unconventional bouquets or serves as a nice contrast in an arrangement. Fans praise the size of the flowers and rich color. Take a closer look here.
Opera Violet Dahlias
Looking for a more colorful Black Dahlia? Opera Violet is less moody looking than other plants in its family and violet isn't your only color option. Considered a dwarf (it only reaches about 14 inches in height), the blooms are devoid of the darker hues that characterize other varieties. Rich, well-drained soil is preferable. Give it full sunlight and watch it thrive.
Karma Choc Dahlias
Karma Choc has a nearly black center that lightens to a dark red. The unusual name comes not from its color but the subtle fragrance of the plant which chocolate lovers will find intoxicating. Unlike some Dahlias, this is one shines late in the season. Karma Choc requires rich soil, partial sun, and moderate water. This is one of the best Dahlias for cutting.
Hollyhill Black Beauty Dahlias
Lovely blooms and strong stems are the salient features of the Hollyhill Black Beauty. The red-black blooms are even more enthralling due to the upturned petals. It is a prolific plant that can produce many flowers. This one is a favorite at shows and can make a dramatic addition to your flower bed. Wherever you choose to plant your Hollyhill Black Beauty, you need to make sure it gets full sun. There is more to learn here.
Arabian Night Dahlias
Speaking of award-winners, the Arabian Night has garnered more than its share of accolades at flower shows. Even a novice can see there is something special about this plant. These attractive "double Dahlias" grow quite tall and produce blooms of black and red. Keep the soil wet and give it full sun to ensure success. If you would like to find out more, go here.
Sam Hopkins Dahlias
Birds, bees and butterflies are drawn to the Sam Hopkins Dahlia. Gardeners are pretty taken with them, too. Classified as a waterlily, it features velvety, dark maroon flowers that resemble the Karma Choc. The flowers are small, averaging four to six inches in diameter. Sun or even partial shade will suffice. Fertile soil is a necessity. You can learn more here.
For such an exotic looking flower, Black Dahlias are not especially difficult to grow. No matter where you live, there are several varieties that should do just fine. But, it won't happen by chance. With a little planning and patience, you should be able to enjoy this one of a kind plant in your garden or home.
Pictures of Black Dahlias
We'll leave you with a gallery of pretty photographs of black dahlias. These show just how gorgeous the deep dark reds can be in these flowers. Enjoy!