I can hardly believe that the dahlias are in the ground and getting ready to really take off for the summer. Months ago, I took my first dahlia cuttings, in an effort to expand my small collection of plants on the front end of the season, instead of waiting until the fall for the next tuber division.
Quickly, I doubled, and then tripled, my plants from the end of January through April. Many of them rooted well and put up more growth than the tubers I pre-sprouted in March and April after purchasing them from others. The cuttings have a clear head start in the garden, above ground, anyways!
In other dahlia news: one tuber-turned plant that I started at the end of January took a tough tumble in the moving truck on the way to the new farm. Both 2.5-3ft stems snapped off at the tuber. My heart sank a little when I found it on the floor of the truck like that, but I figured those mishaps would happen.
I had recently pinched the top of each stalk to encourage more branching. -Which I think is an important thing to note, given what happened next. I took the snapped stems and cleaned them up to the bottom of the lowest leaf node. I trimmed off the low hanging leaves and stuck the stems in a tall glass, half full of cold water. (There is always a little something in me that tries to save every broken plant.)
To my surprise, the stalks didn't wilt. They started to act like giant cuttings. Between the bottom two leaf nodes, tons of little root nodes started to appear. I change the water periodically and keep the glass out of direct sunlight. I'm not quite sure what to do next or when, but I hope to be able to put them (2 plants now instead of 1) back into the soil this season. We'll see what happens. If you have any ideas for me, please share in the comments!
Here's to Summer and Dahlias!