Last year I was behind in deadheading my flowers. It’s like that when you have a large property. Sometimes that’s when surprises happen.
I went to remove the browned flower of a white Dahlia and when I looked at what was in my hand, it was full of petals with a black seed inside. To check on how I saved the dahlias seed, read here. You know I am a passionate seed saver. Not only do I get to experiment with seeds and see if they come true, it also saves me money each year. When you love to grow from seed, its important to learn how to save seed. I am teaching a class in September on seed saving. You can sign up here. For those of you who don’t live nearby my notes are always posted after the class.
So this spring I planted the collected seeds of Dahlia ‘Alpen Cherub’. I had hoped it would have crossed with another collarette like Dahlia ‘Little Showoff’ or ‘Night Butterfly’ but it didn’t. You see bees love the collarette Dahlias as the pollen is easy to get too. They don’t have to try to snuggle into a tight set of petals to find pollen.
So how did my seedlings turn out? They germinated very quickly which is common for collected seeds. I planted the seedlings outside in May and they are in bloom now. The plants are a bit different from their mother plant in that they are only around 12″-15″ high. The flowers are the same. I hope this year that they are in the garden long enough to develop a tuberous root that can be stored. I would imagine that they will be a larger plant next year. I also sent seeds to a friend to grow. She had one seed grow as an albino plant. It had no chlorophyll at all. I checked out one of the Dahlia ‘Alpen Cherub’ plants this morning and it is sending out larger leaves and stems all of a sudden. It must love the warm weather we are having. I will collect more seeds from my Dahlias in September. This time I will definitely try to cross the Alpen Cherub with another one of the collarette Dahlias. Maybe I will have a new flower next year. Wouldn’t that be something?