Dahlia 'Café au Lait'

Huge, pillowy flowers which open pale pink then fade to the perfect colour, a warm cream-blush, which mixes well with so many different colour combinations. More
1 tuber 229285-1 £3.95 Delivery late February
Due to increased levels of demand, please allow up to 3 weeks for despatch.
3 tubers 229285-3 £8.50 Delivery late February
Due to increased levels of demand, please allow up to 3 weeks for despatch.
6 tubers 229285-6 £15.50 Delivery late February
Due to increased levels of demand, please allow up to 3 weeks for despatch.
1 x 3 litre pot 229285-3L £10.50
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Or buy this as part of our Rubens Dahlia Collection and Café au Lait Dahlia Collection.

More Details

Huge, pillowy flowers which open pale pink then fade to the perfect colour: a warm cream-blush, which mixes well with so many different colour combinations.

Our dahlias:
  • are first class, healthy tubers – the largest and best you can buy
  • come with full planting, spacing and cultivating instructions for beginner gardeners
  • tubers should be potted up when they arrive and be kept in a light, frost-free place until the frosts are over and then be planted into the garden.

This can be gift wrapped in our exclusive hessian sack, with ribbon and a Sarah Raven gift card. You will be able to add this to your basket once you begin the checkout process. To add a gift message to your order, simply fill out the details at the delivery stage of the checkout.

Please note: only items which are showing ‘in stock’ can be gift wrapped.

Genus Dahlia
Group/Species Decorative Group

Broad and flat petals, normally bluntly pointed, with no central disc showing. Click here for more information about dahlia groups.

Variety Café au Lait
Type Tender Perennial Tuber
Common Name Dahlia
Border Position Back, Middle
Bulb Size I
Soil Type Acid, Chalky, Fertile, Neutral
Scent Unscented
Site Full Sun
Moisture Moist but Well-drained
Height 1.2m (3ft 11in)
Spacing Plant just under the soil surface, 75cm (30in) apart.
Sowing, Seeds, Planting Pot them up undercover March or early April in a generous pot (at least 2 litre) filled with multi-purpose potting compost. Place them in a light, frost-free place and keep the compost moist. Pinch out their growing tips when they have reached about 8" tall. They will have formed bushy plants by the time the frosts have ended and will be in flower by the beginning of July. If you don’t have anywhere to grow the potted tubers, you can put them straight into the ground when the frosts are nearly over, mulching them or protecting with a cloche or protective horticultural fleece if the foliage appears before the frosts are over, but this will delay flowering.
Care Tips Support with a stout stick, tie in every couple of weeks. In the south you can mulch deeply and overwinter them in the ground, alternatively, lift and overwinter your dahlias frost free undercover.
Flowering July - November
Vase Life Only pick dahlias in full flower. Recut the hollow stem ends under water to avoid airlocks.
Cooking Notes All dahlia flowers are edible. I use the petals scattered over salad and to decorate a range of puddings.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  • Sow Under Cover/Plant Indoors
  • Direct Sow/Plant Outdoors
  • Flowers/Harvest
Advice & Videos
History of the dahlia

First discovered by Aztec Indians and used for food and medicine, this tuber has an interesting history of cultivation.

Understanding dahlia groups

A list of the different dahlia groups, along with some classification info and an example of a variety in each group.

How to plant and grow dahlia tubers

Discover how to grow strong, healthy dahlias – how to plant, look after and overwinter them, and what to do with your bulbs when they arrive.

How to overwinter dahlia tubers

Sarah discusses the best options for overwintering dahlias – lifting or mulching.

Sublime dark dahlia flower arrangement

Sarah shows you how to make a gorgeous large arrangement of dahlias.

Planting narcissi bulbs with dahlias

Have a beautiful display of flowers in your garden from March to the first frosts with this simple planting technique.

New favourite dahlia arrangement

Sarah shows you how to make a quick arrangement of colourful dahlias.

Growing dahlias in pots

Sarah shows you her favourite dahlia varieties for pots, and gives you some tips on how to grow them successfully.

How to take dahlia cuttings

Watch and learn how to take dahlia cuttings – turn 1 tuber into 10.

How to plant up your dahlia tubers

In this video Sarah shows you how to plant up your dahlia tubers.


Bulb Delivery - Due to increased levels of demand, please allow up to 3 weeks for despatch.

Plant Delivery - When in stock, please allow up to 3 weeks for delivery. 

Click here to find out more information about our delivery rates and times.

Dahlia 'Café au Lait' reviews

* * * * - Average based on 40 reviews

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Reviewed 7th September 2019 by Jennie

Gorgeous flowers. Plants doing well. Highly recommend.

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Reviewed 3rd September 2019 by Alex

Cafe au lait is the third of the three dahlia types I bought this year. As at 3 Sept I have still had no flowers though the leaves are happy and glossy and i can see a couple of buds on one plant. I bought 3 tubers each of cafe au lait, la recoleta and wine eyed jill. One of the cafe au lait tubers never grew and had one broken limb when it arrived so not sure if that was why (first time dahlia grower!). The other two have not flowered yet but healthy plants. Compared to 3/3 for each other type and flowers on all other plants grown from tuber.

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Reviewed 20th August 2019 by Sarah

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Reviewed 16th August 2019 by Sarah

This was the one I was most looking forward to growing, it looks beautiful in the catalogue. However it also failed to grow at all, despite being treated exactly the same as Penhill Dark Monarch. Really disappointed.

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Reviewed 16th August 2019 by Linda

Very slow and only one shoot but now showing buds

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Reviewed 15th August 2019 by Linda

Very slow and only one shoot but now showing buds

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Reviewed 10th August 2019 by Elizabeth

Lovely strong plant with lots of buds, no flowers just yet but showing promise

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Reviewed 7th August 2019 by Rebecca

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Reviewed 6th August 2019 by Sue

The plant is healthy and growing well but yet to flower - I am looking forward to the blooms!

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Reviewed 5th August 2019 by Jocelyn

Good tuber, strong plant, flowering well.

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Reviewed 2nd August 2019 by Sarah

Great big pale coffee cream flowers. Smashing. Repeat flowers. Withstood a fierce storm very bravely

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Reviewed 2nd August 2019 by Esther

Smaller tubers than last year
I am a professional gardener and several of my tubers didn’t grow. In fact the tubers were broken off from the crown or bent badly- so pretty useless. I felt I was sent the barrel scrappings

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Reviewed 1st August 2019 by Kate

See above!But spectacular on the plant!

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Stuart

They were exactly as I expected. High quality.

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Patrick

No flowers so far, hopefully they will get better

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Katie

i'm sure not your fault but no sign of any flowers yet.

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Nicola

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Angela

Great dahlia, grown really well, lovely huge flowers- def a talking point.

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Gillian

Still waiting for it to flower

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Sylvia

I was very disappointed with the size of my tuber, I felt I could have done better from my local garden centre for size.

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Jill

The only reason I haven't given this 5 stars, is because I'm fairly sure it's not 'Cafe au Lait', as this dahlia is pale pink. It's lovely, but not the colour I was expecting. Photo attached

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Annie

Looked fine when bought and hope they are doing well as they were a present.

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Sue

This was a replacement for a tuber that was refusing to come to life. It was sent without hesitation or quibble.

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Sue

Always the exceptionally good quality and service that you get from Sarah Raven.

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Christine

Healthy vigorous plant which produces gorgeous blousy flowers.

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Jane

Good size tubers, well packed. They are growing and making very healthy looking plants on my allotment. No flowers as yet.

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Linda

Excellent service and great plants. I am never disappointed. My dahlia have just got to the bud stage. I can’t wait to see the flowers.

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Sara

Oh WOW. My first time at growing Dahlia from tuber and I could not be disappointed with these. Just incredible! Yes they are a little needy and need regular watering and feeding but the blooms are insane. Having planted my tubers in the shed in March and brought them outside in late April, the plants are now nearly four feet tall, the blooms the size of plates and already I have cut 5 flowers. Certainly piqued interest with the neighbours as have some in the front and the back garden! Highly recommend.

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Lynda

The most beautiful dahlia ever !!

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Christine

Didn't come up. Previously purchased, flowered nicely, but didn't survive the winter. Probably won't try again with this one

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Christine

Although beautiful the dahlia are not the colour I expected. They are very pink instead of cafe au lait colour.

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Janet

Didn't sprout. Too late in the year? I bought one last year from Sarah Raven and it grew beautifully.

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Reviewed 14th July 2019 by Jackie

Growing no sign of any flowers yet

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Reviewed 11th May 2019 by Holly

Made the right decision buying from Sarah Raven.

Not what I hoped

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Reviewed 23rd August 2018 by Beth Banigan

I expected a lot of this dahlia as it's raved about in the catalogue. It was late to flower and the flowers hung down a bit so you couldn't see them properly. I had it in a pot and wonder if the pot was too small or if this dahlia would be happier in a flower bed.


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Reviewed 9th July 2018 by Valerie Daulby

I bought a number of Dahlias this year for a wedding in August. The varieties were Cafe au Lait and Henrietta. Three of the tubers have flowered beautifully, unfortunately not in the the colours I expected as shown in your catalogue. Henrietta turned out bright yellow and two of the Cafe au Lait appeared mauve and red. Obviously I was sent wrongly labelled tubers. There are four more to flower but I’m not holding m breath. Very disappointed as they were for a large wedding and I’m obviously going to have to go to the flower wholesalers to buy themwhich will be very expensive - that’s if I can actually get them. I am very disappointed indeed.

Reply from the Sarah Raven Team:

"Thank you for your feedback. We are very sorry to hear that some of your dahlias have flowered incorrectly. Please contact our Customer Services team who will be happy to arrange a refund for you.

With kind regards, the Sarah Raven Team"

Posted 1st August 2018

Lovely big flower with nice colour

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Reviewed 6th April 2018 by Lindsey Richards

I had several blooms from this plant. Lovely big flowers and a nice colour. They gave me a lot of pleasure to look at. I found the heads a bit heavy for flower arranging, but I am a novice.

Not every one's a star

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Reviewed 28th January 2018 by Joanne Ferguson

I so wish I could join in the chorus of approval for this dahlia, but it was such a disappointment for me. I got two, both plants flourished but my first flower appeared in late August and they barely changed from white. Having grown dahlias for years, I struggle to understand why this Instagram star didn't perform for me.

Reply from the Sarah Raven Team:

"Hello Joanne, we are sorry to hear that your dahlias did not perform as expected.
Please do contact our Customer Service Team on 0345 092 0283 or info@sarahraven.com and they will be happy to discuss this with you and offer any advice.
Kind regards, The Sarah Raven Team"

Posted 29th January 2018


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Reviewed 25th January 2018 by Angie Mitchell

I grew these for the first time last summer and they blew my mind - absolutely enormous flowers the size of dinner plates which start off as one colour and then fade slightly to another and each flower is different. They were also very tall, about 1.8m and quite bushy so you do need to give them plenty of space. A showstopper!


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Reviewed 12th July 2017 by Helen Alway

One of the best flowers I have grown, beautiful, strong and the most amazing bloom.