Its been a busy summer with lots of out-of-town company so things kind of got behind in the garden. To my surprise, I went to water my Dahlias and saw that the finished flowers had not only turned brown but had almost a papery feel. I am usually pretty good at deadheading Dahlias as I want them to keep producing flowers. I showed hubby the spent flower as I cut it off the plant to tidy it up. The petals had fallen apart in my hand. There was what looked like a seed inside the petal. I normally propagate my plants vegetatively by dividing tubers. This is the easiest way to increase your plants. The idea of growing Dahlias from seed intrigued me. I needed a challenge.
I asked my friends on twitter if they could be grown from seed. My friend, Joseph Tychonievich, encouraged me to try growing from seed. He is the author of the book, ‘Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener’. I have read his book and it inspired me to think out of the box. If you look at the photo above, this is what the finished flower looked like when I brought it inside. Each petal is now papery thin and inside each one is a dark seed.
I pulled each petal off the main part of the flower and placed them on some paper towel. Using something white to place seeds on just made it easier to see them.
I carefully went through each piece and here you can see how the seed is attached to the base of the petal.
Out of three blooms I have over sixty seeds which means I could have sixty new Dahlias next year. Will they look the same as the mother plant that I took the seeds from? They could be different. The seeds came from a Dahlia by the name of Alpen Cherub, a collarette type which the bees love. It’s a soft white but Dahlias can be cross pollinated by insects so it may be completely different next year. I had a dark purple coloured collarette Dahlia close by so maybe it will have some difference in the colour. I won’t know until next year.
This is all I had left after the seeds were picked off. I am excited to try this new growing method with my Dahlias. I may just get a new plant in the future, who knows?