canna death row

fishoifc(8)June 8, 2008

new neighbors moved in next door told me today that they will be ripping out existing canna plants I have about two or three days to get them. what should I do grab a shovel and go for it or something else temps this week have been upper 90` to 100`thank you for any help

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nucci60(6 Ma.)

Grab what you can. Keep them moist and in the shade and plant when you can. You have nothing to lose.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 5:48PM
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I'd say give them a chance to live. With that said, when I lived in zone 7 & 8 I never had much luck moving canna of much size at all, once things started heating up. But you have nothing to lose. I wonder if cutting the foliage would be a good way to attempt it? That was not a suggestion, but my talking out loud! I'm remembering many wilted canna sacrificing their lives for my vain attempt at changes in garden design in June. Just remember, you have nothing to lose.

OK. Let's get real and deal with perhaps the real question here (putting aside the fact that neighbors have quite graciously given you not only plants, but canna): How will you really adapt to new neighbors who would rip out canna and do so with no intentional use for the cannas of their own (i.e. desire a better location)? Something whispers "beware" to me (LOL)!
Good luck. I'd really like to know how it all goes and the number and variety you are moving. What a thrill!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 8:21PM
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nightrider767(San Antonio)

I like Tess's idea. If the canna have been in the ground for more than a season, they ought to some beefy rhyzomes. In warmer climates, you can count on cutting canna to the ground and them coming back full in the middle of the season.

I guess it depends on how many canna you want to remove. If it was ten, I'd dig the whole plant out. If it was a hundred, I would dig out ten or so plants and relocate them in my yard. The rest I would cut to the ground, leaving short stems "as indicators" and then dig those rhyzomes out.

I think cannas are the easiest plants I've run into to relocate. The rhyzomes you can replant and they may not bloom this year, but they will be ready for next year.

I like those kinds of neighbors! I've got a great one who got tired of their crinium lilies. I end up with fifty.

Yee Haa!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 10:23PM
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I'm glad to know somebody liked the cutting back idea. Yes, if I were moving the whole plant, I'd make sure I did it 1) with as much of a clump of soil around the rhyzomes as possible, 2) in the coolest part of the day (cloudy if possible), or better yet, at night! Hey, there is nothing like getting new neighbors used to the fact that you garden by flashlight or spotlight right off the bat!
What memories that brings back. Once in N. VA (military family) I laid out gridwork for some plantings and then planted around 11 p.m. I can't even remember why I did that, though I'm sure there was "some" reason other than compulsion! The backyard neighbors always viewed me a little strangely after that! Hah hah!
Yes, I see your point about neighbors not wanting plants being a good thing for you. I now envision fishoifc's yard being a lush paradise while the neighbor's yard being barren! I do suspect that I am right that the neighbor will never "understand." - Hey, fishoifc! I dare you to do the whole thing in the middle of the night just to make the neighbors "wonder"! Now, we must know the outcome of this whole moving escapade - the what, when, and how many lived.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 10:51AM
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Temps are in the 90's here already, too.

I'd get out there very early, as soon as I could see, & dig them all out, cutting them back or not as I felt like at the time (scientific gardener here!)

Put them in buckets of water in the shade.

Pick out the ones you want, & plant them in the ground & keep them well-watered & spritzed;
maybe even us a cardboard shield to keep the afternoon sun off them.

& then list the rest on craigslist or on the Canna Exchange page here.

Best luck, & have fun!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 3:04PM
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you guys are great! so helpful. well I talked to the neighbor and she said I could take my time so I think I will do a night mission I dont know what kind they are they have green leaves and I cant remeber last years blooms the yard was over grown and I may have never noticed them.They are about 20 inches tall now about a three by four foot clump Ill keep ya posted thanks.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 6:23PM
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nightrider767(San Antonio)

20 inches sounds just fine for moving. Nice young plants, not top heavy, should transplant nicely.

But before you dig, make sure you have a plan. You will know exactly how many plants you have, but also count on some un-developed rhyzomes to be lurking underground. You want those to.

So make an estamate of how much you'll have and make sure you have a place to put them, pots to hold them, or whatever. In a pinch, you could lean the whole mess of them against your fence, rhyzome side down, and dump a bag or two of garden soil around them to cover the roots.

I have my own opinion of working with these plants. I'm not too particular on transplanting them. Here's my thoughts, on young plants, I don't worry too much about the skinny roots. The canna rhyzome, the thick root not the smaller ones, is filled with water and starch. Just like a tulip bulb. Keep the rhyzome happy and the plant will do just fine. The skinny roots are quick to re-root themselves.

Lastly, the main damage you will do is by cutting into the rhyzome with the shovel when you dig them out. So experiment a bit and make sure you find the level below it's safe to dig. Don't worry about knicking a couple, it's bound to happen.

In the end, get them all out, clean up the patch, shake your neighbors hand and hope they keep you in mind next time it's time to rid their garden of another great plant species...

Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 9:12PM
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I moved cannas up to 5 ft with vry little loss at all, when I dig them I soak them in total water for about 2 days then plant them and still keep them guite wet for a couple more days they go about as normal . The only ones that I lost was the ones that were cut into would love to try the Canna Stuttgart, there is any extras out there

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 12:56AM
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hey there i transplanted three days ago and so far there has been no problem already have new growth.I took three clumps and a few singles thanks for the help

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 6:31PM
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well a month later all is fine. every plant, clump and loose singles are all big and healthy now about 3 foot no signs of blooms yet If I ever figure out how to post pictures maybe we can identify them thanks fot the help.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 5:19PM
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Hey guys one year later these plants came back strong.They are nox six feet tall and very thick still no blooms.Question? the plants have reached there max height They should bloom soon, Can i cut 2 foot off the tops and still get them to bloom or will all be lost. I need to do this because they surround a banana plant and they have blocked the sun that the banana needs to overgrow the cannas.Thanks for the help.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 1:23PM
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