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.
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!
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.