Fall flowers: How to style and arrange Dahlias
Fall is here! It’s time to forget the daisies and sunflowers, and begin embracing a more fall-skewed color palette with your flower arrangements. As far as seasons go, fall has to be one of the most evocative. Just that one word instantly conjures images of crunchy leaves, warm scarves, and pumpkin-flavored everything.
And of course, there are definitely fall-specific flowers and plants! Our absolute favorite flower for this time of year is dahlias. They’re definitely a fall essential –– you’d be mad not to include them in your decor this year.
Let’s take a look at the different types of dahlias you can get, how to style them, and some other fabulous fall picks. We’ve got everything you need to make the autumn flower arrangements of your dreams!
Why are dahlias so good in fall arrangements?
Dahlias have long been a florist’s favorite thanks to just how diverse they can be. Dahlias come in a huge range of colors, shapes and sizes, which definitely makes for interesting bouquets and arrangements.
Here’s a quick rundown of the different types of dahlias:
Single dahlias have one single ring of petals that circle a central disc. The petals can be pointed or rounded, and often overlap.
On their own they’re stunning, but they really come in handy as an accompaniment to bigger, flasher dahlias in an arrangement. Here, light-colored single dahlias and a low, wide bowl add volume and levels to the piece without taking away from the bright focal points.
Cactus dahlias are round blooms that add a lot of character to an arrangement. The petals are narrow and curved, which gives it a distinctive spiky look.
Semi-cactus dahlias look fluffier than the full cactus variety. The petals are softer and broader, rolling in on themselves as they protrude from the central head of the flower.
One of the most beloved semi-cactus dahlias is the Hollyhill Black Beauty –– a real showstopper of a flower. It’s a deep crimson red, long-stemmed, and grows to about 6” in diameter. Paired with lighter-colored blooms, and placed in an upright vase to add height, they make for a dramatic element to any arrangement.
Pompon dahlias are perfect spheres, formed of petals which curve inwards. They’re small and are a great accent in an arrangement.
Because pompons are so small, they can easily be paired with larger, more showy flowers –– adding depth without stealing the show. When mixing different shades and shapes, it’s a good idea to keep your vase neutral: a simple brass vase is perfect for fall.
Ball dahlias are similar to pompon dahlias, but a lot larger. They have the same distinctive spherical shape, though.
You’ll often see them as the highlight of a large arrangement, paired with smaller neutral flowers like white roses or ranunculus. Ball dahlias have a great texture which you can play up with spiky leaves or fluffy reeds in your arrangement. Don’t forget that they’re fairly large, so you’ll need a bigger vase or urn to display them in your home.
Waterlily dahlias are broad and shallow flowers that resemble – you guessed it – water lilies. The petals are flat or slightly curved.
Waterlily dahlias add a very interesting dimension to any arrangement. Here, the dahlias are the focal point, accompanied by foraged native plants and a few pieces of fruit for accent. The rich orange and reds are great for fall, complimented by a brass bowl in place of a typical vase.
Most waterlily dahlias come in deep, rich tones, making them perfect for a fall bouquet. If they’re a little too dark and gloomy for your decor, use them as strategic accents in a light-colored arrangement –– keep the vessel wide and shallow to allow the flowers to spread out.
Anemone dahlias are distinctive, thanks to their tubular florets at the center, surrounded by a flatter ring of petals on the outside.
They’re a soft and romantic flower –– they look great in bouquets but also have enough personality to stand out on their own. We love pairing them with antique-looking furnishings such as votive candle holders.
Of course, sometimes less is more! If you’re a minimalist at heart, a single anemone dahlia, paired with some strategic blooms, leaves, and branches, can make for a striking centerpiece for any fall occasion. Go for a sleek white vase and dark black wood sticks for the classic minimalist aesthetic.
Decorative dahlias are the largest type of dahlia. They’re spherical, but unlike pompoms and balls, they have flat and broad petals which curve outward. They can be up to 25cm in diameter, and are often the main element of an arrangement.
They come in some beautiful colors – when you’ve got so many colors happening in one place, stick with a simple white vase so nothing clashes.
Collarette dahlias have large overlapping petals on the outside, which surround a ring of smaller petals around the center disc.
We love this mix of dahlias and hydrangeas for an autumnal arrangement which shies away from the classic orange and browns of the season. If you want to opt for white and pink flowers, you can bring the element of fall into the arrangement with dark foliage, and a rustic vase.
The best flowers for fall arrangements
It can’t all be dahlias, right? Here are some great fall flowers and foliage that’ll complement whichever dahlias you choose to go with.
- Zinnias for a bright pop of color
- Marigolds in a soft orange or yellow
- Bittersweet branches, which are studded with orange berries
- Thistle leaves to add texture
- Baby eucalyptus to contrast orange hues with some greenery
- Pokeweed for bulbous texture
- Sweet potato vine – it’s in season!
Planning a perfect fall arrangement but need something special to top it all off? Have a look at our huge range of vases, bowls, buckets and urns that will make any flower arrangement magical.