How to Grow & Care for Delilah Flower

Written by Ivy

Dec 29 2022

How to Grow & Care for Delilah Flower

Delilah Flowers benefit from wind protection and need 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight each day, preferably in the morning. When planting, keep in mind their mature size. Rich, drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.5 is the ideal environment for their growth.

What is the Delilah Flower?

Delilah Flowers are a particular kind of flower. They both belong to the Asteraceae family, which also includes other well-known flowers like the daisy, sunflower, zinnia, and chrysanthemum. As small, brownish biennial tubers, they can be planted in the spring. The delilah flower prefers mild climates and moist soil.

The so-called Miss delilah has a look that is remarkably similar to a water lily. Depending on the soil it grows in, the color ranges from a pale pink to a dark pink bloom. They are well-liked as cut flowers and keep for up to a week in a cold environment with cool, fresh water.

Delilah Flower Overview

Common Name Delilah Flower
Botanical Name Delilah spp.
Family Asteraceae
Plant Type Perennial
Mature Size 1-6 ft. tall, and 1-3 ft. wide
Sun Exposure Full
Soil Type Loamy, well-drained
Soil pH Neutral, acidic
Bloom Time Summer, fall
Flower Color Red, pink, orange, yellow, purple, white
Hardiness Zones 8-10 (USDA)
Native Area North America, Central America
Toxicity Toxic to dogs and cats

How to Care for Delilah Flower


Delilah Flowerneed full sun, ideally 6 to 8 hours a day, to bloom profusely. In climates more similar to their native growing zone (USDA zones 8 and up) this plant will benefit from shade midafternoon, when the sun is especially hot.


Delilah Flower prefer loamy, rich soil that has plenty of organic matter and is well-draining. Compost should be incorporated if you're not sure your soil is rich enough. Additionally, add sand, peat moss, or manure to your backyard soil to loosen it up for better drainage if it tends to be a denser clay. A pH of 6.5 or higher is considered neutral for Delilah Flower growth.

Watering and Fertilizing

Delilah Flower plants in their infancy don't require a lot of water; in fact, too much water can cause the plant to rot. A good general rule of thumb is to water larger plants if the rainfall is less than an inch in seven days. Regular watering is needed for pots.

Starting with a soil test to determine pH and the unique requirements of the soil is the best approach to fertilizing. The plants will typically benefit from routine applications of a granular or water-soluble fertilizer in the absence of that knowledge. Delilah Flowers are traditionally treated with a high nitrogen fertilizer through the middle of the season but with a low nitrogen fertilizer at the end of the season.

Temperature and Humidity

Delilah Flowers struggle to establish in cold soil, so timing is crucial when planting them. Wait until after the last spring frost and the ground has warmed to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

To give tubers a head start, you can start them indoors in containers, possibly in a garage or greenhouse. After any chance of frost has passed, it is safe to plant them outside. Make sure your storage area has a little humidity if you intend to dig up tubers and store them indoors for the winter to prevent them from drying out and shriveling.


Maintaining plants for show blooms can be done with a thorough routine. There are two fairly easy things you can do to improve the appearance of the plant so you can simply enjoy the magnificent Delilah in your garden. The first step is to tie the plant to the stake multiple times as it grows. The plant's lower stalk should be tethered to the stake with the first tie. The branches should be fastened with additional ties. Use of a tomato cage as a support for the plant is a straightforward substitute for tying. Afterward, tying might not be necessary.

The second step is disbudding, which involves taking out the outer two of the three buds that form at the end of each branch. Although there are fewer flowers overall as a result, there are still plenty, and those flowers still look good on the plant. If all three buds are still attached to the stem, the blooms will likely be hidden and may even disappear entirely. To create stems for tall vases to hold elegant bouquets, you can also cut off some of the shoots that grow along the branch.

Potting and Repotting

The larger the container, the better if you plan to grow Delilah in it. Utilizing a container with at least 12 inches of depth and width is a good general rule. You shouldn't have to repot your Delilah during the season if you use containers this big. Bring your containers outside in the summer to ensure healthy growth and an abundance of blooms, and stake the stems to keep them upright.

Compact Delilah varieties can also be grown; they take up less space.

Types of Delilahs

There are countless varieties of Delilahs, each with its own patterns, textures, and colors. A few favorite varieties take on different shapes and flower patterns and include the following:

  • The pink Dahlia ‘Pianella' is considered a "cactus dahlia" with double-flowering blooms and long, rolled petals that make it look spiny (like a cactus).
  • The Dahlia ‘Kelvin Floodlight' is yellow in color and has broad flat petals that are slightly rolled at the tip. Classified as a "decorative informal," the petals of this flower are irregularly placed, giving the bloom its full look.
  • Certain types of dahlias, like Dahlia ‘Magenta Star' feature only one row of slightly overlapping petals, taking on a much different look than fuller varieties. This one has a name that describes both its color and appearance.
  • The striking red Dahlia ‘Moor Place' is deemed a "pompom dahlia" with small double-flowering blooms. Round and tightly rolled petals on this variety give it a pompom-like appearance.

Propagating Delilahs

Delilahs can be grown from cuttings or from tubers that have spent the winter dormant. Wait until your tubers sprout in the spring before starting a new plant from cuttings. By splitting your Delilah tubers and planting them indoors in containers before the weather outside warms up, you can, however, start the growing season early. Your plants' full maturity and potential for earlier flowering by summer. Additionally, splitting your tubers before planting will result in more plants and, ultimately, more flowers.

How to Grow & Care for Delilah Flower

Here's how to propagate Delilahs from tubers:

  1. Collect your overwintered Delilah tubers, a trowel, garden shears or pruners, potting soil with vermiculite, peat, large growing containers, and a 5-gallon bucket.
  2. Peat and soil are combined in the bucket, and it is then lightly moistened with water. Place the soil in a number of different growing utensils. (The period when tubers are growing a root system and sprouting is especially crucial for the soil to be moist.)
  3. Find the tubers with eyes by looking at a clump of them; if you can't, leave the clump in a warm, moist place for a few days until the eyes swell or sprout. Take those tubers out of the neck-clump clump. You can take several tubers out of each clump, depending on its size.
  4. Make a hole in the soil of each container—2 to 3 inches deep for small tubers and 6 to 7 inches deep for larger ones. Lay individual tubers in the planting hole horizontally with the eye pointing up, or plant tuber clumps vertically and upright with at least an inch of soil covering the stem from the previous year.
  5. Allow the tubers to sprout in a bright window, but keep the soil moist at all times. Remove the top by pinching it once it has sprouted three sets of branches.
  6. Delilahs should be planted in your garden at a distance of 3 to 4 feet for larger varieties and 2 to 3 feet between rows once the soil has warmed up in the late spring.

Here's how to propagate Delilahs from cuttings:

  1. Get a 4-inch pot, potting soil, rooting hormone powder, alcohol pads, and a sharp knife ready.
  2. A minimum of 3 inches must sprout from your tubers before harvesting them. Then, use the alcohol pads to clean your knife. Next, make your cut just below the sprout and into the tuber, allowing it to dry.
  3. Trim off the lower leaves after laying your cutting out on a sturdy surface. Poke three or four small holes along the pot's edge after filling your pots with potting soil.
  4. Put the hormone powdered end of your cutting into the hole and backfill it with soil after placing it there. Continue by making additional cuts and holes.
  5. Place the pot in a window that gets plenty of sunlight after watering it and letting it drain. Keep the soil moist.
  6. Your cuttings ought to root after two to three weeks. When they are healthy and the weather has warmed up, plant them in your garden bed outside using the suggested spacing.

How to Grow Delilahs from Seed

You can grow Delilahs from seeds you buy at your neighborhood nursery. or from seeds collected from last year's plants. To do this, prepare a seeding tray by adding seed starting mix, and then indoors, four to five weeks before the last frost, sow seeds directly into this medium. Keep the soil moist and move the tray to a window with natural light. When the seeds have sprouted, wait until they have one complete set of leaves before replanting each seedling into a separate cell or small pot. Keep the soil moist. Transplant the seedlings into an outdoor garden bed as soon as the soil outside reaches a temperature of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

When to Plant Delilahs

  • Cold soil is inhospitable to Delilahs. When there is no longer any risk of a frost and the soil temperature has reached 60°F (15°C), you can plant.
  • Delilahs should be planted in the ground a few days after tomatoes.
  • To start the season off early, some gardeners start tubers indoors in containers a month in advance. Delilahs from dwarf to medium size will thrive in containers.

How to Grow Delilahs in Containers

Delilahs of the medium to dwarf size grow well in containers with drainage holes and that are large enough to hold the plant when it is fully grown. In most cases, a 12x12-inch container will do.

  • As directed on the package, use a soilless mix and moisture-retaining co-polymer crystals.
  • adhere to the depth specifications.
  • Add several inches of soil-crystal mix over the tuber.
  • If necessary, mist the tuber with water to encourage growth.
  • If the soil is moist 1 inch below the surface, do not water.
  • Follow the instructions for fertilizing throughout the summer.
  • If the roots become exposed, add soil.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

Delilahs are a favorite of common pests like slugs, earwigs, caterpillars, and thrips. When the foliage is tender and young, slugs are a particular problem. Slugs are typically not a problem once the plants reach maturity.4 While some gardeners report having issues with deer, others assert that the animals stay away from their Delilahs. The variety of other munchies in your garden may be the only factor here. Just in case, keep your flowers safe.

Additionally susceptible to powdery mildew and other fungi-related ailments, Delilahs. Keep the foliage as dry as you can, and space your plants widely enough to allow for adequate airflow. Neem oil or another natural remedy can be used to treat an infection if you notice one.

When and How to Make Delilah Bouquets?

A bouquet of Dalilah flowers looks stunning. With the added benefit that more blossoms can be produced the more you cut your delilah, they are the ideal flowers to decorate and infuse life into your home.

Make sure to cut the stems early in the morning when it's not too hot if you want to gather delilah flowers for your bouquet. In a vase filled with cool water, separate the leaves from the stems. If the water is checked daily and the flowers are kept in a cool location, delilah flowers can last up to a week.

Here are some more tips about harvesting your delilah flowers:

  • The stems should be horizontally cut until they reach the desired length using a pair of scissors.
  • Make sure to only cut blooms that are open or nearly open, as cutting the buds will prevent them from opening again.
  • If you can, try to cut above the leaf nodes and side buds because new shoots can emerge from there.
  • Make a fresh horizontal cut at the stem of your delilah flowers, then submerge them for up to an hour in nearly boiling water.
  • As with any flower arrangement, make sure to remove all the leaves that are below the water line before arranging the flowers in the vase; leaves below the water line release bacteria that shorten the life of the flowers.

How to Get Delilahs to Bloom

Use stakes and twine to maintain their upright position as Delilahs bloom best when the plant is not toppling to the ground. Delilahs should be fertilized every two weeks to promote flower production. Strong stems and a good flowering rate are guaranteed by an organic fertilizer that is high in phosphorous. If your dahlia bed has large varietals, make sure to give it plenty of water, and mulch the bottom to keep moisture in. You ought to have some Delilahs blooming in a few months. As soon as the flowers on your plants have faded, deadhead them. removing dead flowers promptly will encourage more blooms.

A Few Facts About Delilah Flower

When the word "Delilah" is used, it refers to all Delilah varieties, including delilah because it is the name of the entire genus. When given as a gift, Delilah flowers stand in for a couple's commitment. This flower's numerous petals perfectly fit the entire head, which has led some people to view it as a symbol of acceptance and diversity. A lot of people associate grace and kindness with the delilah flower because of its pink hue.

Common Problems With Delilahs

Delilah beds with heavy soil and inadequate drainage as well as those that have received excessive irrigation can both lead to stem rot. Never allow standing water in your garden beds and always amend your soil before planting to prevent this. During the sweltering heat of a midsummer day, Delilahs also appear to topple over and wilt. Since the plant is responding to stress in this way, it's not necessarily a problem. Your Delilahs ought to revivify at dusk if the bed is damp.


Do Delilahs Need Full Sun

Plant them in a full sun location (giving them 6-8 hours of direct sunlight) and enjoy blooms all summer long. All summer long, you can cut and enjoy a profusion of colorful flowers from their blooming plants. A Delilah plant will bloom more the more you cut it.

How Tall Do Delilahs Grow

Delilah plants range in height from 15 inches to more than 6 feet tall; and while some Delilah flowers are less than 2 inches wide, others can grow to more than 10 inches in diameter. Dinner plate or giant Delilahs are common names for the dahlias with the biggest flowers.

How Deep to Plant Delilah Tubers

Dig holes in the soil about four to five inches deep. The tubers should be inserted into the hole with their points (or eyes) facing upward. Add one to three inches of soil over the tubers.

Can You Leave Delilahs in the Ground over Winter?

Delilahs can't endure cold temperatures because they are warm-weather plants. The bulbs will remain warm underground, despite the fact that everything above ground may wither in the winter. The tubers can be left in the ground if you live in a climate where the temperature rarely rises above 20°F, but you must trim the plants back to a few inches above the soil. With the right dahlia winter care, your flowers may survive if you live somewhere where the winter lows are above 20°F.

When and How Should I Harvest My Delilah Flowers?

Since Delilah flowers don't open much more after being cut, they are ready to be harvested when they are almost fully opened.6 For the longest stems, cut the flower at the base of its stem; don't be hesitant to sacrifice the small side shoots. Cut long stems for fuller plants and more blooms because harvesting the plant promotes additional branching and flowers.

How Do You Keep a Cut Delilah Arrangement Fresh?

Cut flowers in the morning when it's cool outside and the plant has plenty of water to ensure a long-lasting arrangement. Bring the cut stems inside, seal them off by submerging them in 2 to 3 inches of hot tap water (not boiling), and then arrange them in a vase or container with fresh water.

What Colors Do Delilahs Come In?

Delilahs come in almost all colors, with the exception of blue, black, and green, and there are over 20,000 cultivars and 30 species.

How Do You Keep Delilahs Blooming?

Though partially shaded locations can also support Delilah blooms, full sunlight is ideal for keeping your Delilahs there. They prefer rich, well-drained soil; however, keep in mind that the soil should have a consistent moisture level but not become overly wet, as this could cause the roots to rot.

Do Delilahs Come Back Year After Year?

Yes, Delilahs are perennials and can resprout from their underground tubers to bloom every summer. The likelihood of Delilah returning is even higher if you reside in a warm climate.