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Question: 298-5201
My Canna lilies are still in pots in the cellar. How soon can I put them out and should I cut them back? Most of the leaves are dead. Vic, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
You can leave them out through the first frost in the fall. In the spring they are best served, if they are put out late. I would cut them back to within three inches of the root stock. You may find that they will start to drive in early May or late April in the pots. If you can hold out until late May, they will do better outdoors in your area. Because they are tropical, you have to either bring in the rootstock in the fall or put them in pots. Some gardeners find it easier to plant the roots in pots in two months prior to placing them outdoors. A hand full of bonemeal scatter on the soil will do wonders.

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Question: 1089-614
When do I plant canna ? Ray, Attleboro, MA

Mort's Answer:
Canna care is similar to dahlia except the canna need more heat. You can start them in large containers in a heated basement, if you want a head start. Rootstocks require a rich stoneless soil. I would wait until the last week in May to put them out in their beds in zone 6. If you put the rootstocks directly into the beds, you can plant them a week or two earlier. This tropical plant may require heavy watering in drought-like summers.

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