Dahlia seeds

thelwig55(Zone 5)December 10, 2007

I have grown dahlia's this year, the first year with them and fell in love with them. I would love to do a large area with dahlia seedlings, I like the surprise factor of seed grown plants. If anyone is willing to share there seeds I would be so happy. I have started all the seeds I have under grow lights in order to take cutting from them through the winter, and would love to start more. If you can help me out with dahlia seeds, please LMK and I will happily send SASE with return postage. Will trade for perennial seeds, but I am very limited in what I have. Thank You, Tammy

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Cuttings from seedlings???? This is a no, no !!!! You don't know what the flower will look like until it blooms. And then if it is worth saving, (as in a good double dahlia, great single, a purple orchid, etc.,) then you would take cuttings the second year. BUT - taking cuttings too early in the life a new dahlia can weaken the gene pool thus it will no longer give great blooms in say, five or six years. Please find out all you can about growing dahlia seedlings. Start by visiting the American Dahlia Society web page.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 5:13PM
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Hello, Tammy,
I am glad you really like dahlias (me too). I am curious to know if the seeds germinated. I have had trouble getting them to germinate if I plant them too soon after the growing season. Seems dahlia seeds need time for an "after-ripening" period, which involves a series of physiological changes in the seeds before they will germinate (no special temperatures, though, just time). If yours do not grow and have not rotted, you might try taking them out of the soil, letting them dry, and trying again after March first. Some of my seeds had 0-5% germination in October but 80-95% a few months later (same batch of seeds from the same plant). I have not tried them at regular intervals to see how long the after-ripening takes, and I was working with wild species and not the cultivars.

I also would caution against taking cuttings too soon. The little plants might not have built up enough resources to recover from being cut back (but no loss of genetic diversity; each cell has the full compliment of genes).

I have some seeds of single-flowered dahlias from my research plot at the university that were open-pollinated (pollinated by insects, so specific pollen parent is unknown). The seeds are mostly from plants of Dahlia coccinea and D. sorensenii, which are two wild species from Mexico. There were some of the cultivated forms (D. variabilis) near-by, so pollen could be from them, too. What type of perennial seed do you have?

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 10:20PM
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