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Dahlia Show

Dahlia Show


Free with Gardens Admission

Longwood Gardens and The Greater Philadelphia Dahlia Society host The American Dahlia Society’s 2018 National Show. More than 2,000 blooms will fill the Conservatory during this competitive show, with major dahlia forms featured in Exhibition Hall. Guests will enjoy a display of many types, sizes, and colors of dahlias, in single and three-bloom exhibits, baskets, floral designs, and vases. Thousands of dahlia blossoms amid the beauty of our Gardens will create an unforgettable experience for the senses.

To register as an exhibitor, please visit The Greater Philadelphia Dahlia Society website.

In celebration of the National Dahlia Show, we're featuring dahlias in our 2018 Trial Garden, where you'll discover a display of different dahlia forms, as well as aesthetic combinations of dahlias and companion plants. Stroll Flower Garden Walk to enjoy the many dahlia varieties in bloom, and find inspiration for their design and use in your own home garden.

Education Sessions

Location: Visitor Center Auditorium
Free with Gardens Admission

Saturday, September 22, 2018

  • 2:00 pm—“Viruses in My Garden: How to find them and (more importantly) how to deal with them?” by Dr. Hanu Pappu of Washington State University
  • 3:00 pm—“Dahlia” by Dr. Jorge Nieto Sotelo of the National Autonomous University of Mexico

Sunday, September 23, 2018

  • 1:00 pm—“How to Grow Prize-winning Dahlias” by Wes Bowers, President of The Greater Philadelphia Dahlia Society
  • 3:00 pm—“Landscaping with Dahlias” by Dana Miller, Landscape Architect

About the Greater Philadelphia Dahlia Society

The Greater Philadelphia Dahlia Society is a nonprofit organization formed in 1948 for the purpose of stimulating interest in and promoting the culture and development of the dahlia, disseminating information relating to the dahlia, and hosting public exhibitions.

The Greater Philadelphia Dahlia Society meets quarterly and solicits the aid of all flower lovers. Meetings in March, May, and November are held at Longwood Gardens. The May meeting includes a sale of dahlia tubers harvested from members' gardens, while the August meeting is a pot-luck picnic at a member’s home. In addition to the quarterly meetings, they stage a dahlia show in the beautiful setting of Longwood Gardens in September, where they show off the fruits of the gardening season.

About the Dahlia

A member of the aster family, the versatile dahlia blooms from early August to frost, offering spectacular late season color. Native to the mountains of Mexico, it is believed that the Aztecs used various parts of the dahlia for food and medicine. After 200 years of culture, selective breeding, and hybridizing, today's dahlia has one of the greatest variations in form, color, and size of any flower grown. More dahlia hybridizers are active now than at any time in history, providing new varieties every year.

The American Dahlia Society recognizes 15 different colors, 21 flower forms (shapes), and six sizes, from 10-inch giant flowers to 2-inch pompons. Ranging in height from 15 inches to over six feet tall, there are dahlias for every garden, border, container, and arrangement. All told, 40,000 varieties are available from around the world.

For many years at Longwood, dahlias have been a late summer attraction on Flower Garden Walk, continuing a tradition that most likely started with our founder, Pierre S. du Pont. He purchased around 500 batches of dahlia tubers between 1909 and 1934, and probably grew them in the full sun of Flower Garden Walk.