This is our little dahlia nursey and what you’ll see is I haven’t planted these where the tuber is completely submerged in compost. They’re actually poking out a little bit above and that’s for a good reason because it means that when we are propagating from them to make more, we can actually see the tubers. That’s ideal to enable us to take a successful dahlia cutting as it’s a good idea if you can take a little slither of the tuber at the same time - it won’t affect the parent plant. It means that the actual cutting is more likely to root.
If you take a look at the ‘Sam Hopkins’ tuber we have here, we only want three or five shoots to come from one tuber, otherwise they get too jam packed and too congested when you want better air circulation.
I can easily take one or two shoots off without affecting the beauty of the mother plant. With a sharp knife cut away a tiny part of the tuber with the shoot. Using my finger to make the hole for the little cutting, pop them into a pot with some grit mixed in with the compost, to keep the structure of the compost open.
The amazing thing is that the cuttings will get to the same size of the mother plant in one year. They’ll then form tubers to allow storing for the winter.
You’ll notice that I’m putting the cuttings on the outside of the pot and that’s because it will speed up the process slightly with the roots hitting the side of the pot and breaking, causing lateral budding.