Many of us grow tropicals like dahlias and cannas but lack a greenhouse to store them over winter. I fall into that group as well as the “Lazies”, those of us who opt out of the hassle of lifting bulbs or tubers, cleaning them, drying them, wrapping them, etc. etc. (you know the drill). But I don’t want to leave them out to die and have to replace them every year. So I grow the tropicals in containers. When frost kills the foliage, I remove the top growth and bring the containers into my unheated basement. Then I ignore them until spring— usually until May when the danger of frost has past— when I fertilize and water before placing them outside again. In over ten years I have never lost a plant.
My favorite dahlia is the exquisite ‘Bishop of Llandaff’‘ with its fire-engine red flowers, beloved by bees and butterflies; in the fall, migrating Monarchs are particularly attracted to the Bishop.
I read that in its birthplace, Wales, the dahlia is pronounced Clandaff. However its called, if you like dahlias you will love this one.
Did I mention that it has purple stems and foliage?