Dividing Dahlia Tubers - Swans Trail Farms Visits Flower Farmer Girls

Last week for Fun Farm Fact Friday I visited my sister Beth at her farm, Flower Farmer Girls, to learn about dividing dahlia tubers. If you're not familiar, a dahlia tuber is a swollen root that grows underground and serves as the plant's storage unit for nutrients. Dividing the tubers is an important task for the health and multiplication of the plant. But how do you do it and what's the best time to do it? Keep reading to find out!

the benefits of dividing dahlia tubers

Dividing the tubers helps to rejuvenate the plant, promote healthier growth, and prevent overcrowding. Dahlia plants will eventually become crowded if the tubers are not divided, leading to reduced plant quality and less blooming. Additionally, dividing the tubers is a great way to propagate the plant and create new plants. Each tuber division can become a whole new plant, which is great for horticulturists and home gardeners alike.


dividing dahlia tubers in the pacific northwest

The best time to divide dahlia tubers in the Pacific Northwest is in the fall after the first frost. This is when the leaves of the plant have died back, and the tubers have reached their full size and are ready to separate.
• Start by digging up the entire clump of tubers using a garden fork, being careful not to damage them.
• Then, gently remove the soil from the tubers and separate them into individual pieces using a knife or garden shears.
• Make sure each section has at least one "eye" and a portion of the stem attached to it. Any soft or rotting parts should be removed.
• Dust the freshly cut surfaces with sulfur powder to prevent fungal growth and disease. 

Pro Tip: If you have more than one variety, make sure to label your tubers!

Final Thoughts

Visiting Flower Farmer Girls and learning about dividing dahlia tubers was an amazing experience. It is always fascinating to see the inner workings of flower farming and how much care goes into maintaining healthy and beautiful plants. Dividing tubers is a crucial aspect of the care of dahlia plants, and it's a great activity to try with your family. If you would like to learn more about dahlia tubers, The American Dahlia Society provides extensive information.  Happy gardening!