Amateur gardeners have to solve the problem of how to divide dahlias annually, even if they are not going to breed them. In order for the plant to form large flowers, the dahlia should have no more than 2 stems, otherwise there will be a lot of flowers, but they will not please the size, the number of petals will decrease, the color will fade, and the plant will turn from a chic decorative to ordinary. In addition, division leads to rejuvenation of the bush. You can find and read material about how division is performed correctly, but if visual information is more easily perceived, a training video will help.
You have to share not only plants grown in your own garden, but also newly bought ones - you cannot plant a whole large rhizome. This leads to a decrease in the nutritional area of the shoots. The division process itself is carried out in the spring before planting or in the fall before laying it for storage. But in order to have something to share in the spring, you need to dig up the plant correctly and lay it for storage.
Digging up planting material before dividing
The division begins with digging, which is produced after the onset of frost. Some gardeners are in no hurry to get a beautiful plant out of the ground, because mild frosts damage the flowers that have just blossomed, and if the weather is warm again, as is often the case, the plant (if there are buds) will resume flowering.
But such a luxury can be afforded by gardeners whose land is adjacent to the house. If severe frosts suddenly strike, and the plant is not dug up in time, the fleshy stalk will begin to die out, and during warming it will begin to decay. This rot can be transmitted to tubers. A summer resident who cannot go out to dig a plant in the middle of the week should not wait for big cold weather, otherwise you can lose the whole plant. Do not leave dahlias to frost, especially if you have already said goodbye to the cottage before spring.
Dahlias, unlike gladioli, are not so demanding on the weather, so you can dig up tubers even in the rain. If there are a lot of plants, and they will be planted in spring only for themselves, and not for sale, you should not overwork and dig everything up. It’s easier to figure out how many plants will be planted, and dig up enough to divide the tubers in the spring, and they were enough for all plantings, and little is left for gifts to neighbors and friends. All rhizomes remaining in the soil will rot and fertilize it until spring.
So that the tubers lay until spring and there was something to divide, they must ripen, for which 2-3 weeks before digging, watering should be stopped.
How to split dahlia tubers
You should choose the best bushes - powerful and plentifully flowering. Trim the stems before digging, leaving about 30 cm of stumps so that during the process of digging the long stems do not break and damage the root neck. After digging out part of the soil from the rhizome, it is carefully shaken off, the rest of the soil is thoroughly washed off with water. During washing, trim small underdeveloped nodules, bent and twisted tubers, keeping the main ones that extend from the root neck and have growth points. It is their spring will need to be divided.
Then shorten the long tubers to 15 cm. If the bush consisted of several trunks, at this stage the rhizome is divided into several bushes according to the number of trunks. The division is done carefully, loosening the rhizome. In this case, the mother tuber may have to be cut.
Then you should rinse the roots again and cut the stems to 1-2 cm. If the rhizome suddenly rots during storage during the winter, the process begins with the stem. After this, the rhizomes can be left on the veranda to lie down for a couple of days, and if there is a threat of night frosts, remove them to where the frost will not reach.
After the dug and washed bushes have been lying down for a couple of days, they can be divided or removed before spring, and then carry out the separation procedure.
To carry out the procedure, prepare a sharp knife or scissors and continue to move in stages:
- Split the remainder of the stem with a sharp knife into 2 parts so that the growth buds remain on both sides. You should try so that the stalk does not break off from the rhizome, but if this happens - it does not matter.
- Stretch the rhizome to the sides so that it splits into 2 parts and inspect the resulting pieces. If 2 or more kidneys are present on them, the procedure can be repeated by splitting each part of the trunk into 2 parts and pulling out the tubers. So from a large root, you can get several parts, which subsequently become full-fledged plants.
- Planting material ideally is a whole tuber or half of it with a kidney. Therefore, if 2 buds are visible on one tuber, it can be put on a cutting board and divided into 2 parts with a sharp knife.
If you have to divide the tubers in the spring, then they are taken out of the storehouse and examined by the kidneys 2-3 weeks before the start of the planting season. If they have already awakened - you can share. If the kidneys are not visible due to the fact that the tubers have dried over the winter, you need to sprinkle them with water and leave to germinate, and when they appear, divide them according to the scheme described above.
Opinions of experts on the time of division do not agree. Someone recommends doing this in the autumn, until the rhizome is roughened, and someone considers spring to be the best time for this, since during the winter the tubers will undergo some natural selection, and the buds that have sprouted up to this time will be well marked. The lesson presented in the video will help gardeners prepare for growing healthy and lush flowers.
How to germinate dahlias
The division of the dahlia rhizome allows not only to propagate the plant, but also prevents the bush from thickening, increases immunity, improves the quality of flowering, so you should not be lazy, but take a knife in your hands and carefully separate the rhizome.