One question that many first-time dahlia growers have is whether or not the dahlia cuttings they take will produce tubers.
The answer to this question is yes, dahlia cuttings can produce tubers. In fact, propagating dahlia plants from cuttings is a popular way to increase your stock of these beautiful flowers. By taking cuttings from an existing dahlia plant, you can create new plants that will produce tubers and flowers just like the parent plant.
You might actually be surprised by just how quick Dahlia cuttings are to produce tubers. Here is a photo of one of my cuttings as I remove it from its first pot.
This is a very young plant, it has maybe been in this pot for 6-8 weeks and you can already see a strong tuber developing!
However, it is important to note that not all dahlia cuttings will produce tubers. The success of propagating dahlia plants from cuttings depends on a variety of factors, including the timing of the cuttings, the care provided to the cuttings, and the health of the parent plant.
Understanding Dahlia Tubers and Cuttings
Dahlia tubers and cuttings are both common methods of propagating new dahlia plants. While they have their differences, both methods can produce healthy plants if done correctly.
Dahlia tubers are underground storage structures that contain all the nutrients and energy needed for a new plant to grow. They are the most common way to propagate dahlia plants and are often sold by nurseries and garden centers.
Dahlia tubers come in various shapes and sizes, depending on the variety. Some are long and skinny, while others are short and fat. They can also produce different numbers of tubers per clump.
When planting dahlia tubers, it is important to ensure that each tuber has at least one “eye” – the growing point on the tuber’s crown. This is where the new plant will emerge from. If a tuber does not have an eye, it will not produce a new plant.
You can make more Dahlia plants by splitting existing tubers, as long as each tuber has a neck and an eye it will grow and make a new plant.
Dahlia cuttings propagate dahlia plants by taking stem or tuber cuttings from an existing plant. This is a great way to produce extra plants if you only have a few tubers available or if you want to propagate a specific variety.
To take a dahlia stem cutting, select a healthy stem and cut it just above a leaf node. Remove all but the top few leaves and dip the cut end in rooting hormone. Place the cutting in a pot filled with moist soil or a rooting medium, and keep it in a warm, humid location until it roots.
Tuber cuttings are often done early in the year (jan-march) and are done in a heated greenhouse or indoors. You wake the tubers up early and remove the shoots as they appear.
Each of these shoots can then turn into a plant all of its own.
Transplanting Dahlia Cuttings
Transplanting dahlias is an important step in propagating dahlias from cuttings. Once the dahlias have rooted and the cuttings are ready to be moved, it is important to transplant them into suitable containers or the garden bed.
When transplanting dahlias, it is important to use pots that are large enough to accommodate the growing plant. Plastic pots are a good option as they are lightweight, durable, and easy to clean. The pots should have drainage holes to prevent waterlogging and allow excess water to drain away.
To pot up the dahlias, fill the pots with a good quality potting mix and make a hole in the center of the mix. Gently remove the rooted cutting from its original container and place it in the hole. Backfill the hole with more potting mix and firm it down around the cutting. Water the cutting thoroughly to settle the soil and remove any air pockets.
If transplanting dahlias into the garden bed, choose a sunny location with well-draining soil. Prepare the soil by adding compost or well-rotted manure to improve soil structure and fertility.
Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the roots of the cutting and plant it at the same depth as it was in the original container. Backfill the hole with soil and firm it down around the cutting. Water the cutting thoroughly to help it establish in its new location.
If growing dahlias in a greenhouse, it is important to maintain high humidity levels to prevent the cuttings from drying out. Keep the pots moist but not waterlogged, and provide adequate ventilation to prevent the buildup of moisture and the development of fungal diseases.
I have found that I get better results from potting my cuttings on into larger pots and growing them in the greenhouse for a few extra weeks before plating them outside.
This extra care and attention results in bigger plants that grow much quicker than those planted directly outside.
Growth and Flowering
Dahlia cuttings have the potential to produce tubers, but will they also grow and flower properly? The answer is yes, as long as the cuttings are taken at the right time and given the proper care.
When dahlia cuttings are taken in the spring, they will produce green growth and new shoots. These cuttings will typically start to flower in late summer or early fall. However, if the cuttings are taken in the fall, they will not produce flowers until the following year.
It’s important to note that the growth and flowering of dahlia cuttings can be affected by various factors such as temperature, light, and water. To ensure optimal growth and flowering, it’s important to provide the cuttings with the right conditions.
When the cuttings emerge, it’s important to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. As the plants grow, they will require more water, but be careful not to overwater them. Providing the cuttings with a balanced fertilizer can also help promote healthy growth and flowering.
In terms of light, dahlia cuttings should be placed in a location that receives full sun or partial shade. Too much shade can result in weak growth and fewer flowers.
Overall, if dahlia cuttings are taken at the right time and given the proper care, they have the potential to produce tubers and grow into healthy plants with beautiful blooms.