Café au Lait is possibly the most popular and beloved variety of Dahlias. These large 8”, fluffy blooms are always in high demand for weddings and flower arrangements as well as making a showy addition to the summer garden.
Dinnerplate Dahlias are highly popular as cut-flowers as they provide a long season of large and luxurious blooms that repeat continuously from early summer to the fall. What makes these Dahlias so excellent is that the more you pick, the more will grow in their place! For more information on how to plant and grow your Dahlia tubers, check out our growing guide.
Dahlias are tuberous plants that actually originate from Mexico. With their excellent colors and ability to bloom all season, it’s no wonder why they are immensely popular. This tuber was brought over to Europe at the time that America was first discovered. Since then, the Dahlia has been adored in gardens and there are more than 40 different species.
Café au Lait, ‘Coffee with milk’ was given its name due to its decorative, wide ribbon flowers with soft-apricot, creamy-white, pink and beige hues. Café au Lait has been hugely popular amongst florists and has been a staple flower to wedding bouquets and arrangements. Café au Lait has also been a firm favorite for home gardeners, especially when blooming in flower beds and is extra wonderful as a cottage garden flower. The blooms light up the garden and shine cheerfully in the summer sunshine, making them extremely irresistible!
When to Plant
Dahlias originate from Mexico and yearn for sun and warmth in order to thrive. In zones 3-7, dahlias are usually grown as an annual and in zones 8-11, you can enjoy your Café au Lait as a perennial. Dahlias will struggle surviving heavy frosts so depending on your zone, you could grow Café au Lait as an annual or a perennial.
Once the winter frost has disappeared, you can begin planting your Café au Lait tubers in late spring to early summer. Reserve a sunny spot and choose fertile soil that drains well. You can also cover the planting spot with mulch in case of unexpected frosts.
What does Café au Lait need?
Light! - Make sure your Café au Lait has at least 6 hours of full sunlight per day. The more sunshine, the larger the blooms!
Soil - Fertile, well-draining soil is imperative for dahlias. Avoid planting in areas where the soil may become soggy. Loose soil with good drainage is important.
Water - If the ground is dry, it is important to water your Café au Lait tubers but do not over water! Make sure the ground is not constantly soaked as excessive watering can lead to rot and disease. As the dahlia grows, water at the base of the plant rather than the top and flowers to ensure that water reaches the roots to maintain optimum health!
Deadheading - It is important to deadhead any dahlias to ensure repeat blooms. Deadheading is an important step that will make sure your flower will keep producing spectacular blooms throughout the summer. Check every week for spent blooms and remove the dead flower by following the stem down to the first set of petals. Carefully remove with sharp garden scissors. This will encourage new growth. Be sure not to cut the bloom off at the end of the stem as this will not encourage new blooms and does not look appealing.
- Easy to grow
- Excellent fresh cut flowers
- Blooms all season
- Popular for weddings and flower arrangements
- Simply stunning with large creamy petals!
If you have not grown Café au Lait before, hopefully now you can understand why this is one of the most loved dahlia varieties out there. They are truly delightful flowers with too many advantages!