transplanting full grown canna

mchad21November 11, 2008

Hi all,

My neighbor has a ton of cannas, not sure the variety but they are sort of purple leaves/stalks with bright orange flowers. Anyway, some have volunteered over the years onto my side of the fence. I'd like to move them to a better location in my garden. The plants are currently about 6-7 feet high. Not sure if I should cut the stalks before digging the bulbs or not. I'd sure love to move them..they are beautiful and they were free!

Thanks all,


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We have to dig up and move / store our cannas in our Zone (Toronto Canada). You would not believe what these plants can put up with! Indeed, I am sure you can just dig them up the way they are, and move them.

I am not sure how long they have been in their current postion, the root ball may be enormous. You have a few options. Try to dig it up with the root ball intact and then move it. Or, you could dig it up, and divide it a little, usually dividing plants actually benifits them and causes them to flower more, even if in the short term it causes some trauma and shock.

Keep in mind they may droop a little at first. Just keep them watered and they should recover. (Providing some shade may help too, such as a screen, but is not nessisary.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 11:06AM
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nightrider767(San Antonio)

Canna are so easy to move. Homemommy is exactly right. Move big clumps or divide. You're in Zone 9 so it looks like no freeze is in your future.

In your case, when I moved those plants, I'd probably cut any to the ground that already flowed. You'll induce new plant growth that way.

Good luck

    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 8:43PM
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Well, I dug up the root ball and it was huge. It looked like a giant starfish, with bulbs going in all directions, probably 2 feet in diameter. It was producing about 10 stalks (at least on my side of the fence, on the neighbors it was probably the same), so I divided and cut the stalks all the way down. I didn't see the point in not doing this, as planting a 8-10 foot stalk with any type of assurance that it wouldn't fall over was going to be tough.

Anyway, they are moved, and ready for the winter. Nightrider, yes, we never get a freeze, so cannas grow all over the place the point where they are invasive sometimes. I love them though, and will probably buy some bulbs in the sprint to plant elsewherei in the garden.

Thanks all for the advice.


    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 11:02AM
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Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)

Hey Matt,

I'm glad you were able to move them. I transplanted some of the same ones into my yard from a compost bin. They were being cut back (root/rhizome-wise) to control their spread, and i asked for the roots that were being thrown away. Here they are a month after transplanting.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 8:39PM
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A 2 foot wide root ball I would figure could be divided into so many babies you would have them coming out of your ears!! If you want to buy to have more variety in type, then that makes sense, but if just to get more Cannas, I would strongly recommend just taking some further divisions...

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 12:31AM
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I read somewhere not to use knife or something similar if you want to divide it. It's better if you break them. Is it true?

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 10:07PM
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