How to….Take Dahlia Cuttings
Dahlias are perennial plants, but are not completely frost hardy. Some people further south successfully leave their Dahlias in the ground through winter, but some will lift the tubers and store them inside. What’s more advantageous, you could also give your favourite Dahlia away as a present to friends and family.
Chris Howell, part of the gardening team at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, is here to show you an easy way to take cuttings of Dahlias this National Gardening Week. He will be using a very rare cultivar called Dahlia ‘Hazel Bishop’, which you won’t find in the shops!
Dahlia Cutting Tips
- First thing to do is gently remove the Dahlia from it’s pot and start exposing the shoots from where they come out of the tuber (this is where the new roots will emerge). It may take a little bit of time to find them
- Once you can see one, very carefully cut the stem, with a tiny bit of tuber attached. Remember to follow all health and safety guidelines if you are using sharp implements
- Next, remove the lower leaves. Too many leaves will require a lot of the plant’s energy – if you remove them the energy will go back into the bulb
- Now, pop the shoot into some general-purpose compost that has been watered. You could even add some perlite to help with drainage
- Take a few more cuttings and put them in separate pots, or one if you have quite big pots. Make sure you also firm the soil around them to keep them stable
- Now, to save the shoots from losing too much moisture, place a clear plastic bag over the top of them, with canes to stop the bag from falling on the plants and hindering their growth. An elastic band is useful around the pot to hold the bag in place
- Lastly, place your cuttings in a warm place out of direct sunlight so the leaves won’t be scorched. Under the racking in a greenhouse is ideal. Check regularly to make sure the compost is moist and water when necessary
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