Multiplying dahlias

Sun, 14 Oct 2012 19:18:49 PDT
How do you suggest rooting the buds?


Actually, the fat underground parts of a dahlia are not tubers (storage
material with growing eyes on them) but swollen roots. The actual eyes that
will develop the aerial part appear along the base of the stem. To divide
correctly the clump of roots you will have to wait until buds are visible
along the stem, then with something really sharp make the cuts so each
swollen root will have a new bud on a piece of the stem. In other words, a
swollen root, and the piece of stem with a developing bud, all in one piece.
Of course this is very simple if one has lifted the clump some time in
advance and keep it in a box with dry sawdust, peat, etc. 

This process of dividing clumps does not work forever as old plants tend to
become very bushy with less and less flowers. This is easily solved as 3-4
in. long buds that appear in the spring can be easily put to root and this
will produce new plants with super vigor that will be covered with flowers
(until of course, after several years they become bushy again).

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