Would you take sprout cuttings from a newly received tuber?

steve22802(7a VA)April 30, 2013

I've received some interesting new dahlia cultivars through the mail already and I'll be getting some more in a few days from Swan Island. I'd love to grow more than just one plant of some of these but I don't know if I have the nerve to take cuttings from these unique new additions to my collection. I've been having excellent success taking sprout cuttings this spring, much better than last year, and I feel much more confident with my propagation technique but still I'm a little hesitant to turn these new selections into mother tubers right off the bat. Perhaps I should just wait and try some tip cuttings once the plants are bigger? Who would have the confidence to take cuttings right away?

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I feel the same way, I got Steve Meggos and would love to take some cuttings but I'm to scared. I am going to wait and try some tip cuttings. Cindy

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 9:49AM
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I am. As soon as my sprouts grow longer, I am going to take cuttings from my new tubers from Swan Island. Although I am not an expert or anything close to that, from my observations with the cuttings I did with last year's tubers this spring, I found that cuttings do not hurt the tubers. In fact, it seems to help the tubers send up more eyes. But I will only take the first shoot. I read somewhere that you should only take up to 7 from the tuber before the tuber is weakened and affects growth/production. I have these tubers in 5" peat pots to start growth as well. After I take the cutting, these guys will go right into the warm soil, pot and all. I will let you all know how they work out. I also found that you get significantly more success if you soak the cuttings in water for 2-4 hours and applying a thin coat of rooting powder prior to planting Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 11:35PM
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steve22802(7a VA)

Thanks for posting Kousa, I'm starting to feel more emboldened now to propagate my new one of a kind acquisitions! Looking closely at the tubers I can see that a number of them have more than one visible eye so that gives me extra confidence as well. It sure would be nice to have two of each new variety to trial instead of just one.

I thought I remembered reading somewhere online that occasionally there will be some tubers that will only produce one sprout and that if that one is cut off then the tuber is ruined but now I'm starting to doubt that notion. This spring I've taken many, many cuttings from around 40 mother tubers and all the mothers quickly re-sprout multiple secondary or tertiary shoots. It seems to me that the only way to completely ruin a tuber would be by cutting off the primary sprout incorrectly by gouging into the neck and removing the entire eye collar. Has anyone on this forum actually experienced a tuber loss when cutting the primary sprout correctly from a fat healthy tuber? Perhaps on a very tiny tuber?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 8:01AM
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I have a hard time making cuttings from the single AA tubers, as I dread delaying it and missing blooms in my short season. But if I force myself to do it, it's amazing how quick two new sprouts pop out, outperforming the cutting.

Out of the original 28 cuttings I made at the start of the growlight season on 3-18, only Northlake Pride cutting has failed to make roots, but its still green and perky, so I'm leaving it in the large closed container to see if it decides to come around. I have enough plants of that variety, so no loss, but its fun!

(Edited to say- that loner cutting finally rooted on 5-11-13! By now, dozens of cuttings have come and gone from the cutting container!)

I use no growth hormone, and keep the individual pots sealed in a bag or larger clear container with lid until rooted before pulling them out under the lights without the extra humidity.

This is an excellent well-written article that might assist those who have not tried cuttings yet...

Here is a link that might be useful: Cuttings from a Pro

This post was edited by CCvacation on Mon, May 13, 13 at 14:47

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 9:03AM
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I have a tuber that had two identical sprouts about 4 inches tall. I cut one off nice and clean to propagate but the remaining sprout on the tuber is now wilted and dying. Has this ever happened to anyone before? The one I cut off is already rooted and doing great but it's partner left on the tuber is barely getting by. I've been experimenting with cuttings of all kinds of plants for a few weeks now. Dahlias seem to root really fast. Every single one I've done has been successful. That's only about 10 cuttings, but with other plants I've had much worse success rates, some no success at all.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 12:21AM
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If you removed the sprout carefully by using a scalpel or really sharp knife and left about 1/16 of an inch of the original sprout on the tuber, it will grow another sprout from that location. If you sliced it off really close to the tuber, you removed all of the sprouting material and it will probably not sprout again from that location. You probably partially dislodged the second sprout and it is not getting any nutrients from the tuber.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 12:11PM
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steve22802(7a VA)

Ok, I went ahead and boldly took a cutting from a new unique variety. The tuber seems quite plump strong and is rooted in a pot. I cut close to the eye but far enough away to be certain not to damage the eye tissue.

While we're on the topic of risky practices, how about taking a sprout cutting off a tuber that has no roots at all? I've got a few like that and you've probably even seen them in packages at Walmart or Lowes like that. Seems like it should work but might be pretty hard on the tuber with no way to replenish it's nutrients. (All my mother tubers which have been providing my cuttings this spring are rooted in pots.)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 1:18PM
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Hi Ted, the second sprout was no where near the first so I never touched it. I also left 1/16th" as I've read to do. I'm hoping that the remaining sprout pulls through.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 7:56PM
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I took cuttings from these two purchased tubers one week apart. They do no appear to suffer much from the cuttings. In fact the cuttings seem to stimulate more eyes to develop.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 1:59PM
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The cutting on this one was made May 1.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 2:01PM
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Noni Morrison

I've been taking cuttings off almost anything that has more then one sprout, simply cutting them off and sticking the cutting into the same pot as the tuber. I've been amazed at the results! These were in a nice humid greenhouse so maybe that is why they have done so well, but it sure gives you respect for nature!

Today a duck ate my Hollyhills Santa Baby plant while I was working on planting. Sure glad I had taken a cutting and it had rooted! I would have been devastated if I had lost this one... it is so cute!

I've even rooted cuttings of my new $25 Swan Island Introduction tubers...now that makes you feel good when those root. I get 2 or more for the price of 1.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 10:15PM
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