Selling Dahlia Cuttings?

sturgeonguy(5a ON)March 13, 2008

I fell in love with Dahlias last year and have decided to use them to make some new friends. Everyone who saw mine thought they were amazing, and it made me think that they are fairly unknown around here. My idea is to take lots of cuttings this spring and then sell them in 4" pots at our Farmer's Market in May/June.

I was wondering if there are any copyright issues to be concerned about? I will have pictures I took of last year's crop to show people what they will look like, and will label them with the name of the tuber I grew them from (which came from Swan Island Dahlias.)

My plan is to make it clear to buyers that these are grown by me, not Swan Island Dahlias. They will have a money-back guarantee if they don't flower, as long as I get a date-stamped picture of the plant before they pull it (or ideally, return the plant to me.) This way I can learn something from those that don't flower. I don't plan to charge very much, maybe $5, as this is my first year and I really don't know how well they'll do.

Does anyone else do this? Any experience/suggestions to pass along?

Cheers,

Russ

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triple_b(BC 5b)

well I don't know about dahlias but I should imagine so. If you bring up the topic of asexual propogation on any rose forums, why war breaks out!! Everyone agrees however that asexual propogation is in violation of patent rights. Maybe check and see what the patent laws have to say, and how long they are in place for before expiring after which it is open season on that type.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 2:57PM
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rose_nutty(z4b)

I'd suggest contacting Swan's and asking for written permission from them. Then you'd have all the bases covered.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 3:58PM
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dahliagardener

USA dahlias aren't patented. The only patented ones I know of are from Europe & have the prefix "Gallery" or "Karma"-(eg. Karma Chocolate) the Gallety ones all have the names of artists-- Monet, etc.
The rest are in the public domain & anyone can sell them.
You should check the Suppliers list on the Colorado Dahlia Society's website though for pricing because some dahlias are pretty inexpensive & you'd never sell them at $5.00 each while some are quite pricy & you'd want to sell them at a comparable price.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 6:51PM
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sturgeonguy(5a ON)

Thanks Dahliagardener! I didn't find any pricing over at the Colorado Dahlia Society, but I can assure you that none of my Dahlias cost less than $5 once they were here (tuber cost + duty > $5/tuber) Besides, I'm not going to be selling tubers, but growing plants that have been growing for a minimum of 2.5 months. We've bought dahlia tubers sold in bags locally before and had terrible success with them.

Cheers,
Russ

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 8:46PM
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teddahlia

Selling cuttings is a very good thing and go for it. The dahlias sold by Swan Island are not patented and can be propagated and sold. You can even use the pictures from their catalog as long as you do not copy them as they are copyrighted.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 12:44PM
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dahliagardener

Russ- if you go to the Colorado Dahlia Society site & click on the Sources & Suppliers link it will take you to a whole bunch of sellers of dahlias. Click on any one of them & if they have an online catalogue it will come up. Then you can see what they charge for their dahlias. Check out Corralitos- they sell cuttings.
My personal fav. supplier is Wynne's Dahlias. A great source for quality dahlias, friendly people, lots of knowledge - they grow over 6,000 dahlias. They also let people use their pictures from the net-- for free!!
Ellie

Here is a link that might be useful: Dahlia Albums

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 9:43PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

Can I ask you: after you took your cuttings, what did you do with them? How did you root them? In what/ with what? I have lots of leggy spouts from my tubers started indoors, rather than cutting them off and throwing them away, maybe I can do something with them. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 3:53PM
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sturgeonguy(5a ON)

Please note that this is my first year taking cuttings so I canÂt speak to the success of my methods as far as flowing plants are concerned.

I have used two different methods this springÂnext year it will be only one.

YouÂll need a box cutter, pencil, pen, box of good toothpicks, and a roll of painterÂs tape (the wide green stuff.) Potting soil, 4" square pots, and a tray to put them on and lights to put them under.

First, wait until the 3rd set of leaves are open on a sprout. Next, using the box cutter, cut the sprout just above where it meets the tuber, 1/16" they say. I donÂt worry too much about it, just cut it close but donÂt cut the tuber. You need to leave a little bit of the original eye in order to get new sprouts from the same eye (up to 4 new sprouts will form.) Even though the box cutter is a sharp blade, gently saw the sprout off, this avoids any tearing of the cutting. Pull off any leaves near the cut, and up to and including the first set of leaves unless there is more than 1" between the bottom of the cutting and the first leaves. You want one "node", that is the place where a pair of leaves meets the stem, to be stripped.

Fill the 4" pot with soil and compress well (but donÂt make it rock hard.) Soak with waterÂmake sure you donÂt have peat dust on top that will rise above the water when theyÂre watered. Better for the soil to be too wet than too dry. Make a hole in the soil with the pencil; stick it in only as far as youÂll be able to put the cutting in.

Put the cutting in the hole and squeeze the hole on both sides of the cutting, being sure not to crush or break the cutting.

Use the box cutter to cut a piece of tape ~2-3" long and put a toothpick in the middle and fold the tape back on itself (cut end to cut end.) Write the name of the variety, the year of the tuber, and the date you took the cutting. Stick the toothpick in the pot, and put the pot on the tray under the lights. 12" between the bottom of the light and the top of the soil.

Spritz daily, water lightly only when it appears dry (e.g. the soil starts to come away from the sides or cracks form.) As long as theyÂre being spritzed they wonÂt/shouldnÂt die.

IÂm not sure how this will work with leggy cuttings. I donÂt see why it wouldnÂt work; perhaps just cut more off the bottom of the cutting after you have taken it from the tuber.

Cheers,
Russ

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 4:55PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

Thanks! Looks pretty straightforward.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 6:34PM
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dahliagardener

I had rotten luck doing cuttings - they all rotted!- until a friend showed me this way- it's pretty much hydroponics. Take your cutting as Russ described- being sure you take off at least one set of leaves so you have a joint where tubers can form.
Now- use one of those little plastic cup things that you get ketsup in when you get a to-go order in a restaurant. Slice a few holes in the bottom of the cup.
Fill it with playground sand- get it at Home Depot or somewhere like that- it's cheap & sterile.
Put the cup of sand in a container of water- I get -- once again, cheap -2" deep rectangular ones at the dollar store that upwards of a dozen cups will fit in. Make the water come about 1/2 way up the outside of the cup. The sand will suck up water & become very wet. Put a hole in the middle of the sand & plant your cutting in the sand, firming it around the cutting. Keep the water about 1/2 to 1" deep at all times. You are using the water hydroponically - is that how it's spelled??- to grow the cutting & the sand to keep it from falling over. The cuttings will root quite nicely. After your cutting has roots you can pot it up in potting soil & it will grow just like any other little plant. Works like a charm. I haven't lost a cutting in all the years I've used this method.

BTW- I also had a friend who just used baby food jars of water with a lid of foil w/ a hole punched in it to root his cuttings- worked also!
Ellie

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 12:50AM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

In general I don't have much luck with cuttings either: I get rot and mold. I think maybe poor air circulation in the house. The sand idea sounds very good! The little plastic cups are about inch and a half- 2 inches across? At first I thought you meant those tiny paper ones that are only an inch.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 2:23PM
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dahliagardener

Linnea- you can use the tiny ones, too but get plastic- the paper ones fall apart in the water. The ones I use are about 2" across & 2" deep.
Ellie

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 12:26AM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

IÂm still stalling on the cuttings: no sand at the store yesterday! But the potted tubers are taking off and the leggy shoots zooming away. I wonder if I can hold the cuttings in water temporarily. I donÂt think potting soil would work for me as the ones I tried last year (when I topped the sprouts) failed to root.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 12:18PM
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dahliagardener

Linnea- you can put them in water- just get a small jar- like a babyfood or jam jar, cover the top with foil- anchor the foil tightly with an elastic band. Poke a hole the size of the cutting stem in the foil & insert your cutting into the water. Now you're really doing it hydroponically! The reason I use the sand is to keep the cuttings straight up- they do tend to flop around a little with the "just water" method.
Ellie

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 11:06PM
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sturgeonguy(5a ON)

Linnea,

For what its worth, my cuttings are in Miracle Grow Seed Starter or Moisture Control, both potting soils. I switched to Moisture Control only because the local shops ran out of Seed Starter. I also think the Moisture Control helps reduce the amount of watering I do...a little.

I now have 196 cuttings to sell, and 29 cuttings for my own formal Dahlia garden...;-]

Cheers,
Russ

Cheers,
Russ

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 12:53AM
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