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Hi Caroline if you type Dahlia Tubers into the search box here it will give you loads of hints and tips and posts on the subject.
The only thing that I was advised was not to use any stem that was hollow.
You will only get side shoots from a stem if the stem has formed a leaf node, as that's where the side shoots develop. I thought that you only got one shoot per eye but I might be wrong.
In response to Caroline21's post, in my experience even one tuber shoot can become a very substantial and bushy plant as it branches out and the stem thickens.
I have a related but slightly different question if anyone can help. This year, because of the cold weather, I departed from my usual practice of either planting my tubers straight in the ground, or in a large pot to move around the garden. I decided instead to start my tubers off in shallow trays of compost to get them going. I divided them before storing and have successfully got (mostly) one shoot per tuber. Sarah Raven's video is great on taking cuttings to plant up from this situation and I have done that where I have more than one shoot. But nowhere can I find any advice on what you do now with a tuber and main shoot that you do not want to take as a cutting but simply want to grow on. I have shoots of differing heights and am desperate now to pot on (and have done with a few to experiment) but my worry is that the tuber needs to be two or three inches below the surface, and my shoot will rot if it is covered with soil at this stage. Can anyone advise/ reassure?