Overwinter Cannas in the ground

the_virginian(Zone 7 NoVA)September 15, 2005

I know that in my Zone 7, it is possible to overwinter Cannas in the ground with heavy mulch. My question is, how much mulch, the best kind and should I use a layer of landscape fabric? What else should I look out for?

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Nancy zone 6

Actually, I'm zone 6 & don't mulch my cannas, mine seem to make it just fine through the winter. I do have them on the south side of my house.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2005 at 2:20PM
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username_5(banned for no reason)

No landscape fabric.

Use any mulch you wish. The purpose of mulch is to insulate the ground beneath it. Good choices are grass and leaves (run em over with the lawn mower first. These are good choices because you likely have one or both in your yard and therefore they are free.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2005 at 4:58PM
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the_virginian(Zone 7 NoVA)

You don't worry about rot without burlap or landscaping fabic? How about rodents? I see that you are in Wisconsin, two zones colder than mine and this works in your zone? How deep do you need to pile up the mulch? If this works I will save a ton of $ come next spring :').

    Bookmark   September 15, 2005 at 6:25PM
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username_5(banned for no reason)

You don't worry about rot without burlap or landscaping fabic? How about rodents? I see that you are in Wisconsin, two zones colder than mine and this works in your zone? How deep do you need to pile up the mulch?

Rot is from wet ground, I don't see how burlap or landscape fabric would have any effect on that. Does mulching work in my zone for canna? No. I haven't tried it, I can't imagine they would make it though.

How much mulch? It is just an insulator against repeated freeze thaw cycles as well as to moderate the temperature extremes. Use enough for an insulating effect. This varies on the material, but 4-6" should be good for most things.

I don't have any rodent issues so I can't comment on that, but in my area I have never heard of rodents digging up bulbs/tubers in frozen ground ;-) Usually that is reserved for the squirrels and they are lazy so they only seem to bother freshly dug soils.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2005 at 8:32PM
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the_virginian(Zone 7 NoVA)

I guess I will try the heavy mulching, about 8 inches or so. In Washington, DC they have lots of Cannas that seem to come back every year and I think that they should be fine if protected with the mulch. I was concerned about the buried landscape fabric or burlap holding in too much moisture. Rodents like voles and gophers are known to chew on tubers around here, so I'll keep an eye out for any disturbances in the ground.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2005 at 8:22AM
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maddigger(z6 NW Arkansas)

I have mulched my cannas the last two years with hay. The cannas did fine but I'm not using it this year for two reasons. The ground doesn't freeze and then you get the rodents because it's like a winter resort for them. Moles and mice had a field day. I didn't notice any harm to the plants but the moles spread to the rest of my yard in the spring. I used a lot of Juicy fruit before I got rid of them. The other problem with grass or hay is you get a lot of seed with it and my beds were loaded with grass. I'm going to try some chipped wood this year only you have to watch what kind you use. I used to live in Milwaukee and I know they grew them in the medium strips on some of the boulevards but I don't know if they pulled them out each year? They sure were beautiful.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 12:12AM
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Vera_EWASH(z5 EasternWA)

I am a greenhouse student and next year will be my first with growing Canna...I'm a seed snatcher and thought I'd try it out ....
There is a Canna planted on the southside of our 'Greenery' (where we sell our plants to public) and as far as I know they have never been mulched over winter. I'd have to ask again what the plant name is but can tell you they are at least 6' and have bright red blooms.
However with anything you mulch over winter, You shouldn't have to worry about rodents if you don't mulch plants until AFTER you have had a good hard freeze. Your mice/voles should by then have found other choices for nesting/sheltering. Most folks come into trouble because it is laid too soon. As was mentioned, the purpose for laying down a mulch is to keep the ground frozen (not warm) preventing plants from frost-heave during freeze-thaw cycles. In spring it should be raked away from the base of plants to warm the soil and prevent rot issues.

Good luck :)

Vera

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 9:26AM
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mojo1937(Zone 7, TX.)

Hello there,

We live in west Texas, zone 7b and have left our cannas in the ground during the winter for about seven years now. We do not even cover them. Our temps get to about 20 degrees for just a few days in Jan. and Feb.

In our area, we do not have the small animals that the northeastern gardeners have to deal with.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 11:12AM
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debbie_sw_ok(z7 OK)

I don't mulch my cannas. I take the lazy way out & let them mulch themselves. I don't remove the dead foilage until spring.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 3:26PM
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sondra_tn(South East TN (6/7))

I live in Zone 7, East TN. I don't dig mine up. I just put old horse manure over my bed's every year. I don't even scrape it off in the spring. We started with 6 plants , 3 years ago, and have well over 30 (and plenty of seeds) this year. Now, if I can just get a different variety I will be happy. LOL

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 11:55PM
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lookingglassgarden(6/7Va)

Im in the mountains of Virginia and I have lifted my canna tubers in the past but now Im reconsidering. Especially so because they are multiplying like crazy and I just dont have more room to store them. Every year Ive lifted them Ive had more come up even before Ive put the stored tubers back in the ground...so they are surviving or germinating new ones over winter anyway. Dont think Im going to go through the trouble this year.

For you gardeners who havent lifted them for years...my goodness you must have a bounty of tubers by now...LOL...they'ld love you at the trade pages! I get bags full when I lift them!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 10:57AM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

There are people here that leave them in the ground. If near the house they often don't even need mulch. However, doing this they often don't begin growing until very late May. I just started growing them this year and plan to lift them so that I can start them in March and get earlier bloom.

I've taken what started as two cheap, weak-looking rhizomes this past spring and have two gigantic clumps.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 10:12AM
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