Dahlia variety Peter


     In early spring dahlias tubers produce young shoots that can be used as cuttings to grow new plants. To obtain maximum growth from the new plants, the tubers should be encouraged into early growth - ideally about mid February to April.

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     Cover the bottom of a box (a tomato tray is ideal) with moist John Innes compost No. 1 or general purpose potting compost, then place as many tubers as will comfortably fit on top. Cover the tubers almost completely with the moist compost, leaving only their crowns exposed. Move the boxes to somewhere with a little warmth to start the tubers growing, such as a conservatory or warm greenhouse.

     With the moisture from the potting compost and an average temperature of around 10 degrees C, growth will start within two or three weeks. Eyes will appear on the crown of the tuber, and these eyes will produce the shoots that can be used for cuttings.

     Keep the potting compost moist while the tuber is growing, but be careful not to overdo it. The potting compost should not become soggy. Use a watering can with a very fine rose to give you good control over the amount of water you are supplying.

dahlia,tuber,cutting,propagate 1. Place the tubers in boxes on a layer of moist compost.

2. Cover tubers with more compost.

3. Leave the crowns exposed.

     When the shoots are between 75mm (3in.) and 125mm (4in.) tall, they are ready to use as cuttings. First fill some pots, 75mm (3in.) or 87mm (3½ in.) with a John Innes compost No. 1 or similar potting compost.

     Use a sharp knife to cut away the shoots a little above their base, where they join the crown. Take care not to cut the crown itself, which would prevent further shoots forming.

     Trim the stem of the cutting just below the joint of the lowest pair of leaves, then carefully remove the leaves too. Make sure you do not damage the joint itself when doing this.

     Sometimes these first cuttings have hollow stems, and I have found them difficult to root. Discard them because more shoots will follow, and they are sure to be more suitable for propagation.

     Dampen the end of the prepared cutting, then dip it in hormone rooting powder. Use a dibber or pencil to make a hole about 25mm (1in.) deep in the compost; insert the cutting, and firm it in with your fingers.

     Several cuttings can be put in the same pot, but it is best to stick to only one variety per pot. Ensure each pot is labelled to prevent confusion.

     Put a propagator top over the pots, or put them into a propagating frames. They need a warm postion, out of direct sunlight.

     After two or three weeks, roots will have formed, and when new leaves start to grow, the plants can be moved onto individual pots of John Innes No. 2 or multi purpose compost.

     Grow the plants on in these pots until the end of May, then move them to a sheltered position, such as a sunny patio. This will help to harden off the plants before they are planted out in the garden.

     Once flowers appear on your dahlia plants, feed with a high-potash liquid fertiliser, such as a Tomato Fertiliser, every two weeks until early September. Feeding dahlias will encourage good quality and long lasting flowers. Feeding will also build up strong tubers if they are to be kept over the winter.

dahlia,tuber,cutting,propagate,flower 4. Remove the shoots
   taking care not to
   damage the tubers.

dahlia,tuber,cutting,propagate,flower 6. Make a hole with a
    dibber and insert
    cuttings carefully in
    the compost.

dahlia,tuber,cutting,propagate,flower 8. Cover with a
    propagating dome to
    maintain a moist

dahlia,tuber,cutting,propagate,flower 5. Trim off below a node
    and remove lower

7. Firm in the compost
    around the cutting.

Dahlia variety
Collarette Dandy.

A wide selection of Dahlia can be ordered from here UK and from here USA

dahlia colour guide book for sale
Buy Dahlia Colour Guide in
UK   or   USA

dahlia primer book to buy
Buy Dahlia Primer book in
UK   or   USA

Encyclopedia of Dahlias by Bill McClaren, who has been growing, hybridizing and showing dahlias for more than 50 years. During this time he run a commercial dahlia nursery, for 20 years. The book give simple and detailed advice on how to cultivate dahlias, control pest and disease, store tubers during the winter, propagate, hybridise and raise new varieties. The book also gives advice on exhibiting at dahlias and lists more than 700 cultivars. Buy the book on Amazon, click   here for UK   or  here for USA.



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All rights reserved. (c) Written and photographed by B V & T M Wood.
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