Caring for Cuttings

I use Root Riot rooting cubes with all of my cuttings. They hold moisture when shipping and are wrapped in a damp paper towel to protect the roots from drying out in transit. Sometimes the leaves that are touching the edges of the clamshell container can get black spots on them from excess condensation during shipping. Simply snip those leaves off the cutting and the plant will push more growth to the remaining leaves. 

When you receive your new cuttings they will be ready to plant into 3-4 inch pots. The Root Riot cubes they are rooted in do not need to be removed. Simply plant the entire Root Riot cube into potting soil. Cover the Root Riot cube completely with soil. If you cover a bit of the stem of the cutting that is completely fine. Make sure to water in thoroughly after potting up.

Make sure you have adequate air flow for your new cuttings. If the air is stagnant or the cuttings are in a place that has consistent high humidity, the leaves of your cuttings could start showing signs of powdery mildew. This is very common if not treated preventatively. Copper fungicide spray works well at treating this and I treat my cuttings biweekly before they are shipped to you. You can find the brand I use here along with my favorite supplies for growing dahlias. 

When you receive your cuttings, they have not been hardened off and are not acclimated to the outside elements. If you plant them directly outside they will die. My cuttings are used to being inside under grow lights for 12 hours per day. I do not use heating mats. Sometimes being in the dark for 2 days during transit will make the cuttings a bit more sensitive to grow lights right away. To avoid damage and undue stress for your new cuttings, only expose them to 6 hours of grow lights the first day. This will help acclimate the cutting to its new environment.

DO NOT put it in direct sunlight. The cutting will quickly droop and likely die if exposed to direct sunlight.  After the first day of 6 hours under grow lights, your cuttings will thrive under 12 hours of grow lights per day until you are ready to harden them off and plant outside according to your last frost date.

I fertilize all of my cuttings with Agrothrive Organic liquid fertilizer every month once potted up. This works well for me, but there are many options when it comes to dahlia fertilizers. Pick an all purpose fertilizer of your choosing & happy growing!