9 things I've learned about canna in zone 5--storage, planting...
I'm not saying I'm an expert but it seems a lot of folks have anxiety about canna how to's including me. I hate to lose something I love! FWIW here's what I've learned from my own mistakes and successes.
Here in Zone 5a might be different/ or not from warmer zones 6-7.
1. Size does matter: Some canna have giant tubers. Red stripe and musafolia for example are huge. The red stripe store for 8 months here and are fine- hardly can kill them no matter if you store on a shelf or a cardboard box, or throw a blanket over them. Wash them or don't wash them... As long as it's coolish and dark....
Other canna have smaller tubers- long skinny things or just tiny. I haven't had the best luck with these in a box- so I'm trying the barely moist peat moss in a plastic bag method. I've been warned these heat up early from karcheskycanna.com ( great co. by the way!) and will have to take them out of there before the ground here is ready and store out of peat for a months or so I guess.
2. I've learned it doesn't grow faster if you stick a canna in the ground in a April under a clouche'. Ground temps are the key to them taking off and it doesn't get you earlier blooms to go to the hassle of putting them out sooner. Or ...putting them in a warm house to start then in cold dirt...it doesn't grow any faster..
3. If you put canna out here in May the foliage will be ugly for a while- because if teh wind and sleet we have until June. So I put out June 1 even tho the frost free date is May 15.
4. If you put a canna in too late (mid June) / or in too much shade it WILL not bloom that year. Our growing season is 4 months before frost.
5. If someone trades you a shovel chopped canna down to one eye or less now - you probably have dead canna by planting time in spring.
6. No matter how close to the foundation ( microclimate) you plant any canna if left outside in zone 5 is a dead canna.
7. You can grow some types of canna true from seed in the house in May ( altho there are a lot of rogues) and plant them out June 1 and have them bloom before your tubers!
8. Water canna can do better in the garden than drier type canna can do in bog like conditions. Our rainfall is 30-40 inches annually.
9. Maybe miracle grow spray on fertilizer does make a difference in height of the plants?? will be double checking that thought next year....
If you have observations you'd like to share from zone 5 or colder zones I'd love to hear from you. :)
My brain can never get enough....
Hey thx, Karen