Multiplying dahlias

Brian Whyer
Mon, 15 Oct 2012 02:26:10 PDT
A local Dahlia nursery grows almost all its stock each year from cuttings. If you start them early with a little heat you can take several crops of cuttings from each of last years plants. The cutting need not be longer than 3" or so. You could be unlucky and have a variety that is mean with new shoots but most are fine, and 5 cuttings should be no problem and even 10 or more if you are careful. This is apart from diving up the "tubers" after if you need to.
Note that a plant with several growing points will produce lots of smaller flowers, whereas a single "cutting" plant, even if pinched out (stopped) after planting to ensure branching, will produce stronger growths with larger flowers, especially if you disbud the side shoots. It depends what effect you are after and the variety.
Brian Whyer, Buckinghamshire, England, zone ~8'ish. First air frost this week

Although I am progressing well as an amateur horticulturist I still am a neophyte in many respects. Last spring year I bought a very nice dahlia from a Canadian supplier. The flowers are huge and truly beautiful. So I hope to split it in two or three, and plant a new one of a different colour among them. I've been searching Internet on separating dahlias, but I'm not sure I fully understand what I read. 

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