Cocoxochitl Chingonxs: A Dahlia Diva Mix
Try your hand at growing cocoxochitl from seed!
Native to Mexico, Aztecs bred dahlias (which they call cocoxochitl or acocotli) for their edible tubers. At Truelove Seeds, we grow them primarily as cut flowers for our florist friends, though we also conduct regular taste tests to find better tasting specimens. Most people start them from saved and divided tubers and crowns, which nearly guarantees you'll get the same variety again that you started with, as this is a form of cloning.
Dahlias are EXTREMELY variable when grown from seed! Often, it can take a couple years for you to get your first bloom when starting dahlia seedlings. In our hoop house, we are able to get blooms in the first year as we feed them delicious compost, give them a good amount of heat, and plenty of water. Try your hand at growing the seeds! You may find a beautiful new bloom and/or a large delicious tuber. The main photo on this page shows nine of the seedling dahlias from this year. The other photos are another 18 of the countless parent lines providing seeds for these packages. On social media, please tag #cocoxochitlchingonxs to show us your new dahlia divas when they bloom! Enjoy!
A note on the name, which was born from a lively naming contest on Instagram: cocoxochitl (pronounced "coco-so-cheel") is the original Aztec name for the dahlia, and chingonxs ("chin-gōn-ex-es") is a gender neutral plural term for someone that is very good at something, or freakin' bad-ass, if you will. This part of the name was suggested by Edgar Xochitl, a Chicanx farmer in California focused on queer ecology and decolonizing flowers. Edgar suggests the gender neutral chingonxs because "anyone regardless of gender can be a diva". The second part seems self explanatory. It was inspired by a suggestion by Antonio Amorcito, Mestizx Latinx flower-lover of Washington DC. Angela McGiles, farmer in the Hill Country of Texas shaped it to say "A Dahlia Diva Mix". She suggests that as you find new varieties from your packets, you name each one after a diva. That's up to you! We are going to take the suggestion to heart at Truelove Seeds.
Days to mature tubers: 150
Seeds per pack: 40
Planting / harvesting notes
Start the seeds in a moist potting soil mix, lightly cover them, and keep them moderately moist and warm. Germination should take 7-12 days. When the starts are about an inch tall, pot them up into 3" pots. Transplant them in the garden when they have filled in their pots and after the last danger of frost. Space plants in garden by 18-24". Trellis or stake as the plant grows tall. After the first frost in the fall, cut back the plant to 1-3" above the base of the plant. Lift the tubers carefully and gently (they can spread up to 12" in each direction under the soil). Gently shake off the soil and allow to cure in a cool, ventilated place for a week or so. Cut off broken-necked tubers and small root hairs. We simply store ours in a labeled paper bag, within a cardboard box in a cool, dry basement until spring!
Seed keeping notes
Allow the flowers to die back until brown and crispy. Cut the seed pod (spent flower) at the base and allow it to dry in a dry, ventilated place for another couple weeks. Separate the elongated, plump, black seeds from the papery spent flowers petals. Allow the seeds to dry on a paper towel, sheet, or paper bag in a dry, ventilated place for another week or two before storage.