Dahlias are wonderful flowers that come into bloom in summer and keep on going into late fall. Tubers generally cost anywhere between $4-$15 depending on where you shop. I buy all my dahlias from Ferncliff Gardens as they specialize in them. So when I saw that I could grow dahlias from seed I thought why not give it a try? Perhaps I could save myself some money.
A couple of years ago I grew Dahlia ‘Alpen Cherub’ and was able to collect seeds from the plant. The seeds are located within each petal but the flower has to go completely brown and papery before you will see the seeds. To see how I collected dahlia seeds read here. It certainly wasn’t a plant I thought would produce seed as they are normally grown from tubers. The seedaholic in me just had to experiment. The seedlings grew easily in the greenhouse and I planted them outside in May. The plants developed tubers so they could be stored over the winter.
A reader asked me last month to show different photos of ‘Alpen Cherub’ to compare them with the original plant. What I noticed about generation 2 above is that some of the collarette petals are missing and it looks like there is dirt on it. It’s not as white as the mother plant at the top of this page.
Now its year three and I have planted the tubers outside once again and will watch to see how they do. Yesterday I noticed a plant growing in the front garden. I must have missed a tuber when digging them up last fall. Check out the complete lack of collarette on this third generation ‘Alpen Cherub’. I love the bright ring of yellow on this one and its simplicity. I will grow this one again next year but may not keep the dahlia with a collarette that doesn’t look that great.
I must admit the bees don’t care what the flower looks like. They are all over these dahlias so they must be loaded with pollen. I grow all my dahlias near the kitchen garden to ensure I have pollinators nearby.
I found some very interesting information over at the Portland Dahlia Society which explains in detail what to expect when you grow dahlias from seed.