Take Dahlia Cuttings

How To Take Dahlia Tuber Cuttings

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Dahlia tubers are expensive to buy, so you probably won’t be buying too many in one go.

Not to worry, though, there is an easy way to turn one Dahlia tuber into lots of plants… tuber cuttings!

Step 1 – Get Your Tubers to Sprout

The first step is getting your Dahlia tubers to sprout.

I do this right around now, Feb, March or April, as and when my tubers arrive from the gardening stores.

I like to do it nice and early, so the cuttings have lots of time to establish themselves and grow into lovely big plants in summer.

To start your tubers, you need light, warmth and a little moisture. I do this by starting them on a large seed tray with some compost and under a grow light.

I leave the top of the tubers exposed, as this makes taking the cuttings a lot easier.

How I start my Dahlia tubers
How I start my Dahlia tubers

Step 2 – Cut off the Tuber Sprouts

As your tubers start to sprout, you can think about cutting them off.

I do this by using one of my razor-sharp cutting knives, available in my store!

Cut the sprout away from the tuber with a sharp knife
Cut the sprout away from the tuber with a sharp knife

I cut at the base of the shoot but not into the tuber.

I know some people advocate cutting into the tuber, but it is not something I do, and I don’t have any issues with getting the cuttings to root.

My Cutting
My Cutting

If your cutting has lots of leaves, then remove some of them, you ideally want two leaves and the growth point.

The more leaves, the more water your cutting will need, and without roots, it will struggle to suck up all the water it needs.

Step 3 – Rooting Hormone

Dip the cutting in rooting hormone

Now you want to dip the tip of the cutting into some rooting powder.

This just helps to stimulate the growth of new roots on your cutting.

Step 4 – Potting Up

Plant up your cutting into a small pot
Plant up your cutting into a small pot

Then I plant the cuttings up into some multi-purpose compost in a fairly small pot.

I will grow them on like this for weeks and weeks, look for roots starting to appear out of the bottom of the pot.

As soon as they do then you know it is time to move the cutting on.

This could be into a bigger pot or into the great outdoors, depending on the time of year.

Other cuttings
Other cuttings

That’s all there is to it. As I like to do this early in the year I grow them on inside under lights for a couple of months before moving them to the greenhouse and then eventually outside.

I tend to get around an 80-90% success rate, and you can take many cuttings from each tuber.

Over time lots of new growth will often appear around where you took the cutting
Over time lots of new growth will often appear around where you took the cutting

When you take the cutting you will notice lots of fresh sprouts appearing on the tuber to replace it.

I usually take around 10 cuttings from a plant, I think you could take more but I never want to over do it.

Once I have taken around 10 cuttings from a tuber I will plant the tuber as normal and let it grow into a regular plant.

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3 Comments

  1. I found this very interesting I love dahlias, did not know you could take cuttings, thank you

  2. I just dig up the tubers & split them – always works for me & stops the main plant from getting too big. I never lift them, they stay in the ground all year round.

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