storing cannas

v1rtu0s1ty(5a)August 29, 2008

I did some research about storing cannas during winter. I read that using plastic bag is a big NO NO. Some suggestions I've read mentioned to use shredded newspaper on a shoe box. However, it conflicts with another info that I read that it should not dry out. So if I put my rhizomes in a shoebox full of shredded newspaper, I think it will easily dry out. Do we have to mist it every 10 days? 15 days?

Or how do you store your canna rhizomes in the basement?

Thanks!

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fatbaldguy

Storage methods are like opinions, everyone has one. This is what I do.

After frost has killed above ground foliage, I lift the rhizomes. I then rinse most all the soil from them. I then place them in ventilated plastic crates and cover them with wool blankets in a semi-heated garage. I wish my crawl space were more easily accessible, I would use it instead.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 7:43PM
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v1rtu0s1ty(5a)

hi fatbaldguy,

Since what you kept was dry, your rhizomes will die right? How do you keep it alive?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 8:25PM
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v1rtu0s1ty(5a)

Do I also remove all the roots?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 12:26AM
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fatbaldguy

I haven't lost any rhizomes by storing them this way to date. I just allow the roots to remain on the rhizome. I think what I'm basically doing is forcing the rhizome into dormancy.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 4:50AM
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v1rtu0s1ty(5a)

Do you moist it once or twice during winter period or you don't even look at it?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 1:22AM
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fatbaldguy

As Ron Popiel (sp?) would say, I "set it and forget it." If the mood strikes, I might check for rot or shriveling. Rotters to the compost pile, shrivlers get a soak, but I'm not religious about it.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 4:52PM
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molanic(Zone 5 IL)

After frost kills the top I dig them and spray them off well with the hose and pull apart into more manageable chunks. Then I let them dry out in the garage for a week or so. Then they get wrapped in some crumpled newspaper and put in a paper bag or cardboard box. I keep them on the floor in the basement against the coldest wall. After doing this a few years I have found that the ones I leave pretty big and wait to divide more until spring do the best. The small individual ones (like the size you would buy) dry out. I have to divide it somewhat in fall though or I wouldn't have a bag or box big enough. I had a clump the size of two basketballs. Some years I have lightly misted inside the bags mid-winter, but I don't think it does much.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 12:35AM
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v1rtu0s1ty(5a)

Thanks for the info molanic! I also read that dividing should be done in spring. Your post confirmed it! ;)

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 8:32AM
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daisy_lee(5)

I store mine in a box in the basement and put a large plastic bag loosely over the top so air can get in. I mist them whenever I think of it, which is usually once or twice a month and they have all survived!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2008 at 9:18AM
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mareas(OR Zone 8)

Before I discovered that cannas survive the Winters in the ground here, I washed my rhizomes clean, pruned the roots & stored them in slightly moist peat moss
in cardboard boxes with a big plastic bag covering the bottom & sides so the boxes stayed sturdy, in a room which was about 50 degrees.
I checked on 'em every 2 or 3 weeks to make sure the peat moss wasn't bone dry & sucking the moisture out of the rhizomes. Every one came through beautifully.
marea

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 1:18AM
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v1rtu0s1ty(5a)

how much peat moss did you put? Does the rhizome get 100% covered by peat moss? Or is it just acting like a bed sheet?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 1:01AM
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neilia

Next week we are moving from the coast and the new zone will be 8b. My cannas are planted in full sun and are doing well but it doesn't get very warm here. Also, I got them in late and only one has bloomed to date. Should I wait until they have bloomed before digging them to move (I can come back and get them) and should I plant them immediately at the new location or store them over the winter?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 8:17PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Neil, I store over a couple thousand canna rhizomes each year and sell about half to a local nursery. As long as you put some peat moss in with the rhizomes, plastic bags work great. (In the past I washed the rhizomes, but gave up because it took too much time.) There's a fine line between having them too moist, so that they rot, and having them dry out, which will kill them. I usually put them in black garbage bags with peat moss and store the bags inside wax covered produce boxes you can get at the grocery stores if they are willing to give them away. Usually they are OK to give them away. Don't store the rhizomes under 50 to 55 degrees F. or they will also rot.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 3:42PM
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v1rtu0s1ty(5a)

Hi Kevin,

What part of the house do you store them? I'm asking my friends if they have ever monitored the temp in our basement her. Do you lock the black garbage bag?

Thanks!

Neil

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 4:05PM
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kimberli

Ive always heard they needed to be pulled up but I must admit to having too many irons in the fire.... The last two winters they made it through just fine being in the ground with heavy mulch (in nw Oklahoma). Was it luck or is that normal for the Tulsa area? After reading these I'm afraid to leave them in this year....

    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 11:44PM
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