Now is the time for us in the Northern Hemisphere, December through February, to take Dahlia cuttings to increase our prized, Dahlia plants. More plants equals more flowers and bouquets. Nothing can get us working faster on that than looking at all the Dahlias blooming now in the Southern Hemisphere.
There are two ways to increase the same “variety” of Dahlias. One is to dig up your Dahlia tuber clumps in the Fall after a frost and divide those clumps. Each tuber divided from mother clump with an eye (beginning of a sprout) will produce a viable plant when planted out again in late spring. Each tuber from the mother plant will produce the same “variety.”
Dahlia Flower Petals
The second way to increase a Dahlia “variety” is by cuttings taken from Dahlia tubers during January through February in a greenhouse or in your own home. The keys to success are proper moisture, humidity, light and warmth.
Swan Island Dahlias is kind enough to share a video on their cutting process here. They take and root over one-hundred-thousand cuttings each year! They have a process that is super successful for them. These rooted cuttings are planted in the fields when the soil is warm enough in May and each rooted cutting will produce a few tubers by Fall.
Each tuber has energy stored in it from the previous season to produce viable plants. I usually only take a few cuttings from Dahlia tubers but others take a total of 7-10 cuttings from each rooted tuber over the course of two months.
The third route to increase Dahlias is through seeds but none of those will come true to variety. I don’t want to discourage you trying as that is how some of our favorite Dahlias are hybrids. The only pitfall is many are single flowering Dahlias from seeds and not the lush peony like doubles we have come to love. Often the seeds you sow bloom a totally different color as well, but again that is the charm for those of us who collect seeds.
I’ll stop here and keep this short and sweet but do check out the Swan Island Dahlias video link of Heather Schloe, in their greenhouse, as she explains their procedure for rooting Dahlia cuttings. They have been in the Dahlia growing and selling business for ninety-four years. Four generations of Dahlia lovers. We thank their family for sharing their enthusiasm for Dahlias!
Happy Gardening and may all your Dahlia cuttings root for you.