Home Gardening Techniques Propagate Dahlias from Stem Cuttings: Save Money and Increase Your Collection

Propagate Dahlias from Stem Cuttings: Save Money and Increase Your Collection

by Gregory
5 minutes read

Propagating Dahlias: A Beginner’s Guide to Taking Stem Cuttings

Dahlias are beautiful flowers that can add a splash of color to any garden. But they can also be expensive, especially if you want to grow a large number of them. Luckily, there’s a way to get more dahlias for your money: taking stem cuttings.

What is Stem Cutting?

Stem cutting is a method of propagating plants by taking a stem from a parent plant and rooting it in soil or water. This allows you to create new plants that are genetically identical to the parent plant.

Why Take Dahlia Stem Cuttings?

There are several reasons why you might want to take dahlia stem cuttings:

  • To save money: Dahlia tubers can be expensive, especially for rare or exotic varieties. Taking stem cuttings is a great way to get more plants for less money.
  • To increase your dahlia collection: If you have a favorite dahlia variety, you can take stem cuttings to create more plants of that variety. This is a great way to expand your dahlia collection without having to buy new tubers.
  • To get a jump start on the growing season: Dahlia tubers need to be started indoors in late winter or early spring. By taking stem cuttings in late winter, you can get a head start on the growing season and have blooming dahlias sooner.

How to Take Dahlia Stem Cuttings

Taking dahlia stem cuttings is a relatively simple process. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Choose healthy tubers: Select firm, healthy dahlia tubers that are free of disease.
  2. Warm the tubers: Place the tubers in a plastic bag and put the bag, with the top open, in a warm room for a couple of weeks. This will help the tubers sprout more quickly.
  3. Prepare the potting mix: Fill a plastic planting tray to within an inch of the top with damp potting mix or a mixture of half peat moss and half sand.
  4. Plant the tubers: Plant the tubers in rows about 4 to 6 inches apart, with each stem 1 to 2 inches above the surface of the soil.
  5. Label the tubers: Write the name of each dahlia on a plastic label and insert it next to the tuber.
  6. Place the tray in a warm, sunny room: Avoid direct sunlight. You can also place the tray under fluorescent lights.
  7. Wait for eyes to appear: Watch for eyes to appear, which generally takes about seven to ten days.
  8. Take the cuttings: When the shoots have three to four sets of leaves, they are ready to take cuttings. Use a sharp, sterile craft knife or razor blade to slice off a shoot with a narrow sliver of tuber about the width of a dime. Cut above the lowest node or joint to leave a bud on the tuber.
  9. Prepare the cuttings: Remove the lower leaves from the cutting, leaving the top two leaves intact. Dip the bottom of the cutting in liquid or powdered rooting hormone.
  10. Plant the cuttings: Place each dahlia cutting in a 3-inch pot filled with a mixture of half potting mix and half sand.
  11. Keep the cuttings moist: Water the cuttings as needed to keep the potting mix moist, but not soggy.
  12. Wait for the cuttings to root: Watch for the cuttings to root in two to three weeks.
  13. Transplant the cuttings: Once the cuttings have rooted, you can transplant them into individual pots or into the garden.

Tips for Success

Here are a few tips for taking successful dahlia stem cuttings:

  • Use sharp, sterile tools to prevent disease.
  • Take cuttings from healthy, disease-free plants.
  • Keep the cuttings moist but not soggy.
  • Provide the cuttings with plenty of light.
  • Be patient! It can take several weeks for the cuttings to root.


If you’re having trouble getting your dahlia stem cuttings to root, here are a few things you can try:

  • Make sure the cuttings are getting enough light.
  • Make sure the cuttings are not too wet or too dry.
  • Check the roots for signs of disease.
  • Try using a different rooting hormone.

With a little patience and care, you can successfully propagate dahlias from stem cuttings. This is a great way to save money, increase your dahlia collection, and get a jump start on the growing season.

You may also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More