Separating pot-grown tubers

mike_jw(London. UK)December 7, 2012

I've never tried over-wintering Dahlia tubers, but am trying this for the first time with some pot-grown ones. Owing to the confined space, when they were tipped out of the pot, the tubers were more of a ball-shaped mass instead of being slightly separate.

What is the best way of treating these when the spring comes.
At a guess, I could loosely plant the whole mass in a pot, wait for any shoots, and try to cut them off with as much of the attached tuber as possible.

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MaryNZ

What a lot of people do with pot tubers is plant them with the eyes above the level of the potting mix and take cuttings when shoots appear. Do not take any of the tuber with your cuttings, as this will destroy the eyes. Cut just above the base of each shoot. That way the eye remains, and more shoots will emerge. You can usually take three sets of cuttings or more.

Here is a link that might be useful: A good photo of how to take Dahlia cuttings.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 5:56AM
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mike_jw(London. UK)

Interesting, thanks for the information.
I would have thought that as Dahlia's produce such soft and 'watery' stems, the biggest problem would be from rotting.

Unfortunately I don't have a greenhouse, but I'll nevertheless
give this one a try come the spring.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 11:01AM
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MaryNZ

Rot can be an issue, but they grow from cuttings OK. Here is a bit more on cuttings - this video uses a greenhouse too, but some people raise cuttings on windowsills or heat pads inside during winter, or unheated in spring.

Here is a link that might be useful: Video on Dahlia cuttings.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 4:35AM
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ceresone(missouri ozarks)

I'm so glad to read this--does the cuttings then make a new tuber? I'm guessing they do--but since I had never heard of this, I'm going to try it. Do they grow true to what the cutting was from?

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 9:47AM
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MaryNZ

The cuttings do not always form a new tuber in their first season, so some people put the cutting in a small pot and plant the pot with the cutting still in it into the garden when they plant out their tubers. In autumn they dig up and store the pot, not disturbing the roots unless it is obvious that tubers have formed. In spring they plant out the root without the pot, and it will grow tubers in that second year.

Here we can overwinter in soil, so it doesn't matter.

Cuttings are true to the parent plant.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 5:59PM
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