Dahlia coccinea (Red Dahlia)

Scientific Name

Dahlia coccinea Cav.

Common Names

Red Dahlia, Scarlet-Flowered Dahlia


Bidens coccinea, Dahlia bidentifolia, Dahlia cervantesii, Dahlia chisholmi, Dahlia coccinea var. coccinea, Dahlia coronata, Dahlia crocata, Dahlia crocea, Dahlia gentryi, Dahlia gracilis, Dahlia jaurezii, Dahlia lutea, Georgina coccinea, Georgina crocata, Georgina frustranea, Dahlia popenovii

Scientific Classification

Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Dahlia


Color: Red, orange or yellow
Bloom Time: August to September


Dahlia coccinea is a flowering plant with dark leaves and red, orange, or occasionally yellow flowers. It grows up to 1 m tall. The simple flowers are up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter and appear from August to September.

Dahlia coccinea - Red Dahlia

How to Grow and Care

Feed Dahlias about once a month with an organic fertilizer lower in nitrogen and higher in phosphorus and potassium, such as a 1-2-2 ratio. With enough compost, your Dahlias will do fine without fertilizer. Make sure your Dahlias get an inch of water per week. Keep track of rainfall so that the water is consistent.

Clip off spent blossoms to encourage more blooming. While optional, some gardeners remove many of the flower buds to focus the plant's energy on fewer, larger, and showier blooms with long stems. The flower buds come in clusters of three. If desired, remove the two side buds, allow the middle one to grow, and keep pinching off any more side buds that form along the stem's end.

For a more natural look, pinch back Dahlia plants when small to encourage branching. Dahlias can be divided in fall or spring. Dig up the tubers and use a sharp knife to cut into sections, making sure each section has at least one eye. Allow tubers to dry overnight before replanting.

If Dahlias are hardy in your zone, simply cut them back after the first heavy frost and apply an extra layer of mulch to protect them from the cold. Remove the extra mulch in spring. In colder climates, dig up and store the tubers in a basement or garage, then divide and replant them in the spring. See more at How to Grow and Care for Dahlia.


Native to Mexico.


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