How to plant Canna Tubers?

homemommyMarch 19, 2009

I am starting my Canna Tubers, I am going to put them in pots, then in the greenhouse during the day, and haul all 50 or so back into the house at night until temps get a little warmer.

A daunting task, but for the love of Canna, I am willing to do it.

But, I have a couple questions about the tubers I have brought out of storage.

I notice that some of them are nice and fat, and have a couple areas that are eying up? (They look a little like nipples ;-)

So, these tubers will have two shoots right off the start I am guessing. Are canna's like Dahlias and other plants where you don't want them to start with too many shoots and you should cut off the extra ones? Or should I just let it grow?

Some of them though, have many eyes, or new growth buds. They look like toes in a way. The tuber is not that large, but I can count 4-6 different toes, all about the same size (maybe the size of pingpong ball) stuck together. What should I do with these? I worry if I divide them the plants will take a long time to establish themselves... But they are going to form shoots like crazy!

Any advice appreciated!

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green_thumb_guy(Z5 Ont)

Hi Homemommy,

I'm doing the same thing. What you do is going to depend on the size of pots you are using to pot them up. I prefer to use 2 gallon pots for my cannas. This size is big enough for my indica (which produces huge tubers) and plenty big for any other variety. I try to put between 3 to 5 eyes per pots.

If you are using smaller pots (say 5") then you may only want to put 2 eyes per pot. you may have to cut your tubers into smaller pieces to fit in the pots Don't worry about them filling in, they will do fine depending on our spring weather. 50 pots is a lot of haulin'. Watch your back. Check out the thread "How large of pots" - I posted a pic of Wyoming tubers in a 2 gal pot. Might help you out.

I had to fix the roof on my greenhouse after the strong winds we had a week ago. Have a couple more repairs to do before I load mine into the greenhouse.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 11:06PM
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Well, it may not be 50 pots now!

I put about 1/2 my cannas that I did not get potted yesterday into a huge bowl with a bit of dirt in the bottom, and threw the wood shavings I had stored them in on top. I meant to bring them inside yesterday, but I found them out side this morning, and with our -6 degree C weather, chances are all or most of them are not goners!

shucks, I am so mad with myself. So much hovering over them all winter and I think I blew it! At least I still have 20 potted tubers inside! So I will have some cannas this summer!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 8:40AM
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green_thumb_guy(Z5 Ont)

Guess you will have to wait and see.
Don't worry too much over it.

Like you said, at least you will have some cannas this year.

I'm sure you have enough going on that this may turn out to be a blessing - if they are toast.

Happens to us all.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 12:11PM
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They look pretty good this afternoon, have to wait and see if they really froze or where just on the doorstep to freezing... hmmm, I wonder how long it takes for freeze damage to be evident...

I have growing right now, the 20-25 cannas in pots, about 40 geraniums, 300 other various seedlings, and about 20 potted dahlias. The all go in and out of the house, good thing I love my back yard and spending time in it!

My husband wants me to go on vacation for about 5 days in April, we go every year, but I am feeling very nervous aboutt my plant babies!! :-(

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 1:11PM
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They survived!

Somehow they survived being outside for around 12 hours at freezing temps! Well, I lost maybe 2 or 3, but that is nothing to cry about! YAY!!

I am so glad that I threw the woodchips on them, it was an afterthought! And I wonder just how close I came to disaster time wise, as they where very very close to freezing!!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 6:35PM
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Well, I got impatient waiting for them to sprout and decided to check them out! I was so happy to see as I tipped over the pot a nice firm little clump plop out with long roots and shoots eyeing up! All told, I still have over 40 of the little aliens that are happy and healthy, only a few looked like they went downhill since potting up!!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 2:37PM
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green_thumb_guy(Z5 Ont)

I was wondering how you were making out. You must be pretty buff about now; the weather is so up and down.

Remember to watch your back when lifting

Glad to hear they are doing well.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 7:12PM
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Well, I cheated a little and most are in smaller pots, about 5" to 6"'s. It is about the size that I bought some from at a nursery... Although I load them onto a stiff Shoe mat to haul them in about 18 at a time. So, if you had visions of my tossing around 50 2 gallon pots twice a day, forget it! lol.

Next year I am gong to build some insulated cold frames so that I may not have to bring them in everynight, and by around mid April, I can plant them in larger containers and leave them most nights!!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 9:08AM
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green_thumb_guy(Z5 Ont)

I just thought it was admirable to be so dedicated. Unfortunately, I not. I've been watching our forecast and hoping it will take a turn for the better.

I can't believe the snow we received.

I have a glass cold frame but haven't bothered to put them in yet. I have to do some cleaning up inside and fix a couple things first.

Going to check the weather again and hope that Friday will be good.

I use some of the collapsible carrying totes to move my pots. You can get them at Canadian tire. Periodically, I see them on sale. Nice thing is they take a lot of weight and fold away for storing.

Saw your post for the freezing. Not sure how long you will have to wait to see if they make it or not. Maybe mark those pots with something just so you can keep an eye on them.

Guessing, maybe 3 days.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 6:33PM
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