As many of us start to think about waking up Dahlia tubers from their slumbers, now is a good time to divide them and make more. You can just start them into growth and take cuttings, which I will be doing later. However, a bit of attention now, with the tubers should at least double your flower power this Summer.
This is what I did:
- Cut off the beardy roots at the bottom.
- Try to prise apart any very congested clumps by hand. Always obeying the golden rule that each tuber must have eyes at the top to be viable. In practice it can be very hard to identify eyes in a wrinkled tuber. If in doubt, just guess.
- Have a glass of wine.
- When you have done all you can by hand, get a very sharp knife. This is as close as I will ever come to being a brain surgeon. Cut big, fat, healthy tubers away from the clump, but ensure there is an eye or several eyes at the top. Guess if you cannot see any, but try to err on the side of being generous to the top bit.
- Cut out any shrivelled, rotted or tubers which have grown from other tubers. This last bit was new to me. If they have grown directly out of another tuber, they won’t have eyes and will never grow them. Out they must come.
- Look at all those potential new plants. You’re going to need more pots and more compost for them now. Tuck them up, put them somewhere reasonably warm and light. Keep moist, but not wet. Look for signs of growth and when it comes you can take cuttings from that, if you want more.