The Q&A Archives: cannas, dahlias, and tut plant

Question: HI! Gorgeous weather.
I need some help on these, please.

When do I bring my cannas in?
When do I bring my dahlia tubers in?

Also, a friend gave me a large, 4 foot Tut plant and I had it outside all summer. Can I keep it alive in the house this winter?
What fertilizer does it like? Any other special hints?
Also, I have a few seeds from this plant. When and how deep do I plant them? I've never seen this fun, hairy plant before and I really like it. Are more seeds readily available in the nurseries or in catalogs? What can you tell me about this exotic looking plant?
Thanks so much for all your help. Dorian

Answer: Your King Tut plant is Cyperus papyrus, which is also called Egyptian Papyrus. Cyperus Papyrus is not hardy enough to survive winters with freezing temperatures and it is not a candidate to overwinter inside. It is a very fast grower and will quickly grow to impressive size when replanted in the spring.

The plant can be planted in pots, along the waters edge of a pond, or even in a pond. The crown of the plant should never be covered in water and in fact both of these varieties can thrive in water as shallow as a few inches. The purpose is to keep the bulk of the soil or root mass wet.

King Tut is an evergreen or neutral grass. Where temperatures get colder than 35 degrees F, the plants should be treated as annuals. Once the grass turns brown it can either be removed immediately or removed in the spring. It should not be expected to live through the winter and begin growing again in the spring.

You can collect seeds by allowing the seedheads to dry on the plants, then collecting the seeds and storing them in a cool, dark location. Start the seeds in the spring by barely covering them with moistened potting soil. If you keep the seedbed moist, the seeds should germinate in 10-20 days.

Canna lilies should be dug and stored for the winter. Allow frost to kill the tops, but do not allow the rhizomes to freeze. Carefully lift the plants and cut off the dead tops . Hose off excess sopil and allow to dry. Rhizomes can be wrapped in newspaper and stored in paper bags or cardboard boxes, at 45 to 50 degrees F. Very easy to overwinter. Cannas can be divided by hand. Break apart, insuring there are at least 3 eyes per division. Repot in early spring or plant directly in the garden once the temperatures remain above 70 degreees F. Keep well watered.

Follow the same steps for your dahlias.

Best wishes with your garden!

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