Dahlia: Seed or Tubers

davemichigan(zone 6a (SE Michigan))January 26, 2008

Hi, I want to try growing dahlia this year. What is the main difference between growing from seed and growing from tubers? Is it that you know exactly what you will get if you are growing from tubers?

I am new so I am not looking for any specialty dahlia. Today I saw some dahlia seed package and each is onlly $1.50. It says they will bloom the first year. That sounds nice to me.

I am also considering growing from the seed and then gather the tubers and send to friends as a gift for next year. Will that work? Is there a point of even doing so? Or is it just the same as giving them 2-3 seed to try themselves.

And if I grow from seed this year, will the tuber formed this year be mature enough to bloom again next year?


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You usally get the small border type dahlias when you buy seeds. The fully double, quality dahlias are from tubers - after many years of trials to get good ones. Dahlias aren't true to type when grown from seed- if you take seeds from a nice double dahlia you won't get the same dahlia from it's seeds the next year.
Yes, if you plant the seeds they will grow & bloom the same year & grow tubers that you can harvest & share the next year.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 1:07AM
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You didn't say what size dahlias you want but if you want the tall plants with larger flowers swallowtail seeds is a good place to go. They offer two different packets of seeds. One of cactus style flowers with plants that grow 4 to 5 feet tall and decorative style flowers that grow 3 to 4 feet tall. I've tried both a loved them. They were all different and you didn't know what they would look like. They all bloomed first year. They will bloom a little later than tubers (about three to four weeks). I guess because they have to develope their tubers. Therefore I started them early inside. It's a lot cheaper with seeds than buying tubers.
If you start them early inside you might what to get tall thin stakes for each one because they may have weak stems and fall over causing crooked stems. Also when first planted outside the wind broke many of the stems off of mine. After the've been in the sun for about three weeks and the stems strengthen you can remove them. Remember that they will need staking again when they start approaching three feet tall.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 6:53AM
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