The dahlia is an unfailingly chunky plant in every aspect of its physique, which makes it an ideal object for the cold-handed propagator on a late winter’s day. In a frost-free greenhouse, remove the stored tubers from their winter box of insulation. Clean the tubers off, make up trays of free-draining compost and either divide the tubers with secateurs or, if you prefer, set the plants up in the compost in a bright spot, label, water and wait for the shiny green shoots to arise, when they can be removed at the base and used as softwood cuttings.

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