Christmas in the Spring – Dahlias From Seed
Last year was the first year we grew dahlias from seed and I am hooked! This method of dahlia propagation is simple, and creates a great surprise in spring. Why? Dahlia seeds are not true to the mother plant, so every seed is a new and unique variation. You never know what kind you will get! The only way to get a true replica of your mother plant is to divide the tuber, or take cuttings (Dahlia Propagation Through Cuttings article). You get such a broad and wide range of dahlia flowers from planting seed, it is truly amazing, and you can keep the variations you like, dig up that dahlia tuber, and propagate for more.
The Steps – Growing Dahlias with Seed
The dahlia from seed method is simple, and the dahlia seeds grow fast. Here is how to propagate dahlias from seed:
- Find a pot or seed tray and fill it with a seedling mix or a mix of soil and vermiculite.
- Wet the medium and pock holes with a seed planter/dibber that are about 1/2″ deep, and about an inch or so apart.
- Place your seeds in the holes and cover with soil mix.
- The seeds will germinate in about 2 weeks, but if you apply bottom heat with a seed mat, it will speed up the process (This season mine popped in 7 days).
- Water daily, and provide plenty of light, either with a grow light or place in a south facing window.
- Soon you will have a whole set of seedlings.
- Once they are about 2-3 inches or their leaves are touching, you can move them to small pots (3 inches) and continue to grow.
- Before you move the little propagated dahlias to the garden, “harden them off” by exposing them to the outdoors, gradually over a week more and more.
- Pro Tip – When the dahlias you grow from seed are 12-18″ tall, snip the center growth bud. This will encourage branching and give you a bush with more flowers!
- Wait for the fun!
These dahlias from seed will grow an amazing tuber you can lift if you like the variety you have produced. This tuber will produce the exact flower, and you can then use tuber division to multiply you bounty.