Plant cannas and dahlias; give houseplants a vacation

Has summer-like weather finally arrived?

Anything can still happen, but it appears as if night time temperatures have moderated. With those staying at 50 degrees or better, it's finally possible to do some warm weather work.

Whether your cannas and dahlias spent the winter in a cool, dark basement room or you plan to purchase them from a nursery, they are ready to plant.

The technique is the same whether you plant in pots or in the ground.

Plant the rhizomes and tubers with about five inches of soil on top of them. If they've already sprouted, it's fine to cover them; they will soon emerge.

It will be several weeks before they're growing robustly.  

Potted cannas will look best with summer companions around them.

For my bronze-leaf cannas with red flowers, the companions include purple verbena and angel flower (Angelonia), golden sweet potato vine and the form of Cuphea called 'Vermillionaire.' Its myriad tiny orange tubular flowers are a magnet for hummingbirds.

As we continue to plant heat-loving flowers and vegetables, don't forget your houseplants. Mine spend the summer outside. They thrive with a summer vacation.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that most of your houseplants need unlimited sunshine. They do not. Putting them out in full sun is a recipe for disaster.

The reason most houseplants thrive in the subdued lighting of our homes is because they evolved under trees.

Favorite houseplants such as philodendron, umbrella tree, spider plants, pothos, and mother-in-law's tongue will prosper all summer in a partilally-shaded location.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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