Dahlia Procreating Progression

by nicole on February 15, 2015

Back in December I wrote a blog post about starting new dahlia plants from cuttings off the growing tubers. A few weeks ago  I picked up a tray and  it was loaded with roots coming out the bottom.  I now have 75 rooted dahlias in 52 individual cells so they have room to grow.

dahlia rooted cuttings

Hooray! It worked.

I continue to take stem cuttings  from the tubers, put them in rooting hormone and stick in them soil. I spray with water and put a wet paper towel on top, keeping it on and wet for 3 -4 days.  They I take off the paper towel and just spray them a few times a day. Because there are no roots, the plant is drinking through the leaves. That is why the moisture part is so important.

I am starting all these cutting in my germination chamber, which keeps everyone in a greenhouse environment: moist and warm but not too hot. As its in my house, I used LED lights.

germination camber

This project was inspired by a talk given by Bob William at the ASCFG National Meeting in Delaware this fall. In his talk he mentioned taking cuttings from the already rooted cutting but I didn’t take notes about at what leaf node point. I emailed Bob, and talked to another member about the  situation but we both were stumped. So I decided to just wing it. I  made sure to leave at least 4 well-developed healthy leaves on each plant.   It seems to be working. It’s only been a few days…but none of them have shriveled up and died so that’s a positive sign.

dahlia cutting feb 3

So if you do the math: 52 original cuttings + taking one cutting from each of those  plants = 104  and you can just keep cutting from cuttings. The end result should be a huge increase in dahlia production.  Plus I am experimenting with leaf cuttings a well.  I am very excited that I am going to have 200 +  plants of each variety I’m experimenting with: Hamilton Lillian, Cafe au Lait, Kenora Lisa and a couple other varieties from just stem cuttings.

Hamilton Lillian Dahlia Hamilton Lillian Dahlia

 

Cafe au Lait Cafe au Lait

 

kenor lis dah Kenora Lisa

 

I am also working on tuber divisions. There are many: each tuber clump divides into 4-6  which get planted too.  I think you get the point…I am aiming to be the Dahlia Queen of Vermont.  I can sell these coveted varieties to local florists and local wholesalers. I am going to do some experimental shipping to other states via FedEx Overnight.

dahlia girl

The only thing that might interfere with my crowning as Dahlia Queen is running out of plantable land. I am changing my row formations this season to get more plants per square foot.  I’ll extend a few fields to try to get everything in. Hopefully we will have enough space. I always have faith that I can get everyone in the ground. Last year I left 1/2 a field unused so we should be fine!  Stay tuned to my March dahlia stem cutting report… I might just get lost in all these dahlia plants.

 

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