I live in zone 5 now, and am wondering what is the most cold hardy canna. Are there any that can be overwintered outdoors with protection. I'm hoping to find a companion for a Musa basjoo planting.
I remember reading a post within the last year regarding a Canna that survived in Wisconsin in a south facing micro clime with lots of mulch but this certainly isn't the norm .You may want to search back and see if you can find the original post - I know the hardiness question has been asked before. good luck
I did a search and that anwsered some questions.
I'm in Zone 5 and I've never heard of a canna that can overwinter here. I do overwinter my bananas though, by building a chicken wire cage full of mulch, so it's probably possible. I might try this coming winter!
What bananas are you growing? Basjoo and, sikkimensis?
I grow basjoo. I started sikkimensis from seed this year, but so far none have germinated. Basjoo can be overwintered in zone 5, but it's challenging! The toughest part is keeping them dry, even more so than keeping them warm.
I heard you literally have to sow hundreds of Musa sikk seeds to get good germination rates. I sowed lasiocarpa and ensete and nothing very dissapointed - I didn't use the baggy method and everything got destroyed by those friggan fungas gnats - Up here in Canada getting a corm of anything besides Basjoo and a few others is pretty slim especially if you want to be a collector..
I have had success in a Zone 7a overwintering Giant Peach Cannas in a south facing sunny spot. I can't seem to get rid of them as they come back stronger every year!
I've successfully overwintered Peach Gigantum, Skyhawk, the musas, purpurea types, Stuttgart, and Wyoming.
The trick is to not let the bulbs freeze or wet.
A southern exposure along a heated building with a heavy dressing of leaf mulch works very well.
A length of black landscape cloth to hold in place or even a piece of tar paper over the top to hold in place and increase heat value in the cold months is very helpful, also.
WOW Abutilon good for you! I'm so envious!! I've tried to overwinterize several cannas and nothing has worked!
I have tried them nearly touching the house foundation on a south wall,cover with leaves and mulch, and they still die.
I actually had one accidentally overwinter one winter with -20 temps. We have been renovating an old homestead and I was shocked/delighted when it sprung up the next year beside a ground-level basement window. That feeling was quickly followed by a sinking feeling about the heat that must be escaping from that wall and dread of further renovation projects. That little 6 inch by 30 inch section is the only place on my property that doesn't freeze rock solid!
I'm in zone 6a and even though this winter has been brutaly cold, I was able to overwinter successfully SOME of my cannas. It was experimental though. I dumped mulch over them after I cut them and while a few were damaged, many were still alive when I dug some up a couple of weeks ago. I had mixed Wyomings, President, and some yello/orange flame-like blooms ( not Picasso ). I don't know which survived because they're still dormant... I'll know once they sprout...
nyssaman did you scarify your seeds?
I've gotten cannas to survive over the winter. I used to live in the Chicagoland area and by accident one year I left some cannas in the ground. They were rather close to the foundation of the house with a sheltered southern exposure. As I didnt realize there were rhizomes in the ground still, I didn't mulch them. Then to my suprise they popped up and bloomed the following summer! There has also been oxalis, callas, and gladiolas overwinter in that area(I've also had glads overwinter unprotectded in other areas of the garden as well). There was also a school that was a few blocks away from my place when I lived in the North side of Chicago that had cannas pop every year, unprotected on the south and east sides of the building. Ironically I couldnt get mine to overwinter a few blocks away! The cannas were identical to the ones that I grew in the south suburbs, a medium variety with small scarlet/orange-red flowers, with more flowers on the inflorescense that most cannas. I really dont know the name of the variety,but it is very common in the area. I believe it may be a very hardy variety.
Very intersting blu~It wouldn't be in Riverdale (Chitown south suburbs) that you lived? My first apartment was a brownstone there that had this huge stand of green-leaved red-flowered cannas next to its south facing wall. I didn't know much about plants then, had no idea they weren't "supposed to" come back each year. I bet they're still there, twenty years later.
It was Burnham, actually. Near the Illinois/Indiana border. It is my parents yard( I grew up in that house)that I am speaking of. Now I moved to Miami and apparently have to worry about canna leaf roller now!
I did bring down some of those red cannas that I spoke of and they are doing great! I planted them in a little garden in front of my friends apartment, with kalanchoes(not really doing anything-still tiny after all these months), Madagascar periwinkles(the same), Callas(looked great for a while, but now, not so much), xanthosoma "Lime Zinger"(doing wonderfully), white ginger(the same), impatiens(still hanging on-I found out they croak in Florida summers, but apparently they didn't get the memo), and some oyster plants that were already on the site. Hopefully the leaf rollers never find my cannas, or any that I should get in the future-I'm looking for a dwarfish fushcia variety, Tropicanna or Wyoming(although I heard the leaf roller finds the Wyoming the most delicous of all the cannas).