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Dahlia Cuttings from a Tuber

Propagating Dahlias

Cuttings and Dividing Tubers: Dahlia Propagation

Starting to propagate my dahlias this week, and using a couple of techniques.  In this article i will outline how I am taking tuber cuttings to multiply my stock.  First off, at the beginning of my season, i put my tubers into containers indoors, and cover them about half-way with potting soil so i can catch all the action.  Depending on the type, and the warmth, it usually takes a few weeks before the eyes start sprouting, and another one or two before i can start propagating the dahlias.  Below is an overview of the technique:
  1.  Once the tuber has a number of sprouts, I select ones that are 3 or 4 inches in height for my cuttings.
    Dahlia Propagation from shoots

    Tuber with multiple shoots for taking cuttings for propagation

    2.  Once I have selected a Dahlia shoot with two sets of leaves, I then use a sharp instrument (Exacto Knife), to take a cutting.  Note: You want to get a bit of the dahlia tuber at the base to insure the best chances for rooting.
    Dahlia Cuttings from a Tuber

    Take a bit of the Dahlia Tuber with the cutting

    3.  I take off the bottom set of leaves once I have the cutting.
    Dahlia Flower Multiply

    Dahlia cutting with a bit of tuber and lower leaves removed

    4.  This step is optional, but if you have rooting hormone, it can aid in getting the dahlia cutting to root more quickly.
    Dahlia rooting hormone

    Dip the Dahlia cutting in rooting hormone for improved success rates

    5.  Finally, take your cutting and place it in a mix of soil and vermiculite.  The loose soil will give roots free reign, and encourage growth.  Note: I also apply bottom heat and cover the cuttings with plastic to create a complete propagation environment.
    Growing dahlia cuttings

    The propagated cutting ready to grow.

    In about two weeks or so, the baby Dahlias will root.  You can check by gently tugging on the cutting.  

All About Dahlias

Dinner plate dahlia

Dinner Plate Dahlia

  Dahlia is a perennial plant native to Mexico; bushy, tuberous, herbaceous  and revered for their amazing beauty. A member of the Asteraceae (or Compositae), dicotyledonous plants, related species include the Sunflower, Daisy, Chrysanthemum, and Zinnia. There are 42 species of dahlia, with hybrids commonly grown as garden plants. Flower forms are variable, with one head per stem; these can be as small as 2″/5cm in diameter or up to 12″/ 30cm (The dinner plate variety). Dahlias grow naturally in climates which are frost free (USDA Zone 8), and they are not adapted to withstand below freezing temperatures. But their tuberous nature enables them to survive long periods of dormancy. This characteristic means that gardeners in temperate climates with frosts can grow dahlias successfully, as long as the tubers are extracted from the ground and then stored over the winter in a frost-free environment. Planting the tubers quite deep can also provide frost protection. When in growth season, modern dahlia hybrids require free-draining soil, and thrive in maximum sunlight. Taller cultivars typically require some form of staking as they grow, and all garden dahlias need deadheading regularly, once flowering commences, to continue blooming throughout the entire season.
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