Propagate Dahlias from Cuttings, a great way to get more for free. Fill in a large bed with Dahlias and keep to your budget or give away to friends.
I love Dahlias, and in this post I show you how to propagate dahlias from cuttings! It is quick and easy.
But for today we will focus on Dahlias. What makes them so fun is they root so easily. There is nothing like success to make us enjoy a project more!
Dahlias are a new favorite in my garden. I had avoided them in the past because I felt they were too much work. I did not relish the idea of having to dig them up each Fall and pack them away for the winter.
But that has changed completely and now that I am a dahlia convert I want MORE. More colors, varieties, and sizes. They perform so well in the late summer garden and the more you cut for bouquets the more they pump out new blooms.
So how do you get more of what you love?
Propagate Dahlias from cuttings!
A step-by-step video of me taking dahlia cuttings is available at the end of this post. Be sure and watch it!
It is well known that you can divide dahlias in the Fall and store the tubers (bulbs) for next season but you can also propagate your Dahlias in Spring.
Plant Dahlia tubers in containers
Start with plump, healthy tubers. In my example, I used a planting box I built and I shared how I built it in a previous post.
And lower down you will see I also used a plant tray. The soil need not be deep but you will need to have it in a bright and protected area where it is warm.
Where I live March is a good time to get Dahlias started like this so your cutting starts are a good size when it is time to plant your dahlias out in the garden.
Many growers don’t ship until April, so you can do this once you receive your shipment.
Dahlia tubers can be awkward as they remind me of an octopus but you can simply place them on top of the soil and sprinkle more on top. You want the upper part of the tuber to be above the soil line. You will see why later.
Below is the planting tray. You may note that some of the tubers were already sprouting, this is the way they came out of the bag. Good thing I got them planted when I did, they were anxious to get growing.
I gave them a few weeks to grow sprouts and some leaves.
How to Take the Dahlia Cuttings
These two are perfect for cuttings. In fact, anything about 3 inches or so are good.
I take a sharp knife and I cut into the tuber, just below where the sprout is erupting from it. I take a small part of the tuber, just a touch along with the sprout.
Some claim you get better results if you have a tiny bit of the mother tuber along with the cutting but I have yet to test that theory.
Next, I lay the cutting onto my surface and cut away the lower leaves. My knife is pointing to where the leaves were.
I dip the end into my rooting medium, I put some in this little glass. I make sure that the stem is coated up past where the leaves were removed.
Pot Up your Dahlia cuttings
Fill 4-inch pots with potting soil. Water it in or set it in a pan of water and let it absorb into the soil.
Use a pencil or dowel to poke a hole down into the potting soil along the edges of the pot. Create a hole wide enough and deep enough that the rooting hormone won’t get rubbed off while slipping it into the soil.
Planting the cuttings along the sides of the pot supposedly helps the roots to break, or run more horizontally instead of straight down.
Put about 3 to 4 cuttings into a pot and firm them in. They should root in 2 to 3 weeks. Keep them watered but not soggy.
Some put them in an environment to create humidity but I did not bother. See this post for ways I do that..Propagating Geraniums
Pot your Dahlia cuttings up to larger Pots
Once they are growing well, move them to their own pots. Plant them the same depth as they were growing in the little starter pot.
I do use a bit of bottom heat in my greenhouse when it still gets quite cold at night in there but if you do this in a sunny window of your home you should not need bottom heat.
If you scroll back up to the photo of the black planting tray you will note it is sitting on rope lights, that is my cheapo bottom heat. These are not the LED ones, those do not put out heat but the regular ones do put out a gentle heat which works well for me.
The one sprout got chewed on by mice. Who knew they liked the tender growth of Dahlias.
Enjoy your new Dahlias
Even if you take a few cuttings from each tuber it will still grow more and bloom just fine this summer. Just plant it as you normally would once the soil in your garden is warm enough. Dahlias like warm soil, about 60 degrees or so.
Be sure to pinch your new dahlias back to get more flowers from them and create a sturdier plant!
So this summer I plan on plenty of Dahlias blooming all around my garden. I will be sure and share how this all comes out in a future post!
And that, my friends, is how you propagate Dahlias from Cuttings.