Dahlia Dahlia 'Little Dorrit' (Sin/lil)

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
dahlia 'Little Dorrit'


Dahlia 'Little Dorrit' presents itself as a vibrant and eye-catching plant known for its elaborate flowers. The blossoms are characterized by their rich, vivid coloring, which typically showcases a mix of warm tones such as pink, red, or orange. Each flower is constructed of numerous petals that are neatly arranged in a pattern that can either be tightly layered or more loosely configured, resulting in a variety of textures from one flower to the next. The center of the bloom often displays a different hue, sometimes a bold contrasting color such as yellow or white, adding to the flower's visual allure. The petals may have subtle nuances in color or possess a gradient effect which further enhances the beauty of each individual flower. Due to the diverse petal arrangements, the flowers can give off a pompom-like appearance or resemble a waterlily with a flatter, more spread-out form. The foliage of Dahlia 'Little Dorrit' comprises deep green leaves that are divided into smaller leaflets, which often have serrated edges giving them an intricate silhouette. The leaves create a lush backdrop for the bright flowers, framing them and accentuating their colors. Bear in mind that the appearance of Dahlia 'Little Dorrit' can vary since dahlias come in numerous forms and colorations, and thus individual plants may have unique characteristics based on cultivation and breeding. The plant as a whole contributes an elegant and vibrant touch to any garden space that it inhabits, and its blooms are frequently used in floral arrangements due to their striking appearance and longevity.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Dahlias, Garden Dahlia, Little Dorrit Dahlia.

    • Common names

      Dahlia 'Little Dorrit'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Dahlias, including the Dahlia 'Little Dorrit', are generally considered non-toxic to humans. They are not known to contain substances that cause poisoning when ingested. Although not poisonous, any plant material can potentially cause a mild stomach upset if eaten in large quantities or if an individual has a particular sensitivity. However, it is always advisable to keep plants out of the reach of small children who might accidentally ingest plant parts.

    • To pets

      Dahlias are not toxic to pets. The Dahlia 'Little Dorrit', just like other dahlia varieties, is safe for dogs, cats, and other household pets if ingested. There is no known toxicity that could lead to symptoms of poisoning. That being said, as with any non-food plant, consumption of large amounts can cause gastrointestinal upset in some animals due to the fiber content or sensitivity, but this would not be due to toxicity.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3 feet (91 cm)

    • Spread

      2 feet (60 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Dahlia 'Little Dorrit' produces vibrant, colorful blooms that add beauty to gardens and landscapes.
    • Pollinator Attraction: The flowers attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects, promoting biodiversity.
    • Cut Flowers: The blossoms make excellent cut flowers for arrangements and bouquets due to their longevity and structure.
    • Versatility: Suitable for planting in borders, flower beds, and containers, offering flexibility in garden design.
    • Easy Propagation: Can be easily propagated through division or cuttings, allowing gardeners to expand their collection.
    • Seasonal Interest: Blooms from mid-summer to fall, providing extended color in the garden during these seasons.
    • Competitive Plant: Its robust growth can help suppress weeds, reducing garden maintenance.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Dye Source: Dahlia petals can be used to create natural dyes for textiles, offering a range of colors from pinks to yellows depending on the mordant used.
    • Floral Gelatin Art: The edible petals of dahlias can be suspended in gelatin desserts to create intricate, colorful floral art pieces.
    • Culinary Garnish: Dahlia petals can be used as an edible garnish on salads and desserts for an elegant touch.
    • Photography Subject: Dahlia 'Little Dorrit's vibrant colors make it a popular choice for photographers and artists to capture in still life imagery.
    • Eco-Friendly Confetti: Dried petals of dahlia can be used as a biodegradable confetti alternative for celebrations.
    • Creative Crafts: The versatile shapes and colors of dahlia petals are often used in crafting, such as in making paper or fabric flowers.
    • Floral Water Infusions: Dahlia petals can be infused in water to create subtly flavored and decorative ice cubes for special occasions.
    • Bath Bombs and Salts: The petals can be incorporated into homemade bath products for their color and slight fragrance.
    • Botanical Perfumery: Although not commonly used in perfumery, dahlia flowers can contribute to botanical perfume blends with their soft, subtle scent.
    • Edible Flower Cakes: Petals from the dahlia can be crystallized with sugar and used to decorate cakes and pastries.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Dahlia is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Dahlia is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Elegance and Dignity: Dahlia 'Little Dorrit' carries a sense of poise and refinement, making it a symbol of elegance and grace.
    • Change and Diversity: With its wide range of colors and forms, this Dahlia variety exemplifies change and celebrates diversity.
    • Commitment and Bond: Dahlias are often associated with long-lasting bonds and commitments, due to their impressive bloom time and perennial nature.
    • Creativity: The intricate petals and bright colors of 'Little Dorrit' can represent creativity, inspiring new ideas and innovative thinking.
    • Inner Strength: Dahlias bloom for extended periods and can flower even in challenging conditions, symbolizing inner strength and the ability to withstand adversity.

Every 3-4 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every year
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Dahlias like 'Little Dorrit' should be watered thoroughly, with water reaching deep into the soil to encourage deep roots, but not so often that the soil stays soggy. Typically, watering once or twice a week with about an inch of water is sufficient, but this should be adjusted based on rainfall and temperature. During hot, dry spells, the frequency may increase to every other day. It's important to provide about a gallon of water per plant each watering session, ensuring even moisture distribution around the plant without wetting the foliage to avoid fungal diseases.

  • sunLight

    Dahlias such as 'Little Dorrit' thrive best in full sun, which means they need at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. The ideal spot would be in an area where they can enjoy the morning sun and are protected from the intense late-afternoon sun in regions with very hot summers. They can tolerate some light shade but too much shade will reduce blooming and can lead to leggy growth.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Dahlias like 'Little Dorrit' prefer moderate temperatures, typically between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. They can survive minimum temperatures down to the low 50s, but freezing temperatures below 32 degrees can damage or kill the plant. The upper extreme they can tolerate is around 90 degrees, but they will require more frequent watering and some shade during the hottest part of the day to prevent stress.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Dahlias like 'Little Dorrit' encourages a bushier plant and more blooms. Pinch out the growing tips once the plant reaches about 16 inches in height to promote branching. Deadheading, or removing spent flowers, should be done regularly to keep the plant looking tidy and to encourage more blooms. The best time to prune for shape is early in the growing season, but deadheading should be done throughout the blooming period.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Dahlias like 'Little Dorrit' thrive best in a well-draining, fertile soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7.0. A mix containing loamy soil, peat moss, and sand or perlite is often recommended. Incorporating compost or aged manure will enrich the soil and help with moisture retention.

  • plantRepotting

    Dahlias such as 'Little Dorrit' do not necessarily need to be repotted on a regular basis; instead, they are typically lifted and divided every 2 to 3 years to prevent overcrowding and maintain plant vigor.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Dahlias like 'Little Dorrit' are not highly particular about humidity and can tolerate a range of conditions, but they perform best with moderate humidity levels, avoiding excessively dry or overly damp air which can encourage pests or disease.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light and keep soil consistently moist.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun, shelter from wind, well-draining soil, regular watering.

    • Hardiness zone

      8-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life of a Dahlia 'Little Dorrit' starts with the germination of tubers or seeds, typically in early spring after the threat of frost has passed. Once sprouted, the young seedlings or shoots grow into a sturdy stem with vibrant, lush foliage. Throughout the summer season, 'Little Dorrit' dahlias bloom, producing their characteristic vibrant, colorful flowers which attract pollinators and please gardeners. After blooming, as autumn approaches and temperatures drop, the plant begins to die back, signaling the time for tubers to be dug up and stored for winter in colder climates, or left in the ground in milder regions. During the winter, the tubers undergo a period of dormancy in which they conserve energy to re-sprout the following spring. The plant then re-grows from the stored tubers, completing its perennial life cycle, unless grown as an annual which would conclude its lifecycle within one growing season.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Dahlia 'Little Dorrit', commonly known as a type of dahlia, is best propagated through division, which is the most popular method for this plant. Division involves separating the tuberous roots in the early spring just before the new growth begins. Each division should contain at least one eye or bud from which new shoots will emerge. The cut surfaces should be allowed to dry for a day or two to form a callous, which helps prevent rot. Once dried, the divided tubers can be planted about 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) deep in well-drained soil with the eyes facing upward. It's essential to water the tubers thoroughly after planting. Division helps to rejuvenate older clumps of dahlias and is an effective way to increase the number of your plants while maintaining the characteristics of the parent plant.