Can I plant my Hosta, Echinacea, Dahlia, Caladium and Canna Bulbs Now? - Knowledgebase Question

Detroit, Mi
Question by boldensherr
April 12, 2010
Can I plant my Hosta, Echinacea, Dahlia and Caladiumn and Canna Bulbs Now? Also can you tell me which ones are perennials that will come back next year? What should I do to get my soil ready for the planting of my bulbs so they will bloom pretty. Which ones will do better in sun, partial sun and shade?

Answer from NGA
April 12, 2010


Your average last frost date isn't until about the 12th of May so it's too early to plant now. Wait until after Mother's Day to plant. If a late frost threatens and your plants have already started to grow, you'll need cover them to provide some frost protection overnight. There's no rush to plant - everything you've listed grows best in warm weather. All a perennials but you'll need to dig and store the canna and caladium bulbs over the winter months. They're too tender to remain in the ground. Dahlias should also be dug unless they are planted in really well draining soils - the tubers can take the cold but not soggy wet soil all winter long.

Before planting amend the planting beds with compost or other organic matter to loosen the soil, help it drain well and provide nutrients as the organic matter decomposes. I spread 4-5 inchs of compost over the top of the bed and dig it in the length of the shovel blade (8-10 inches). Then level the bed and dig the planting holes. Hostas and caladiums grow best in the shade; canna, dahlia and echinacea do best in full sunshine.

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