Winter Storage For Cannas

SunnySmiles51November 7, 2005

I have several Cannas in pots that need divideing and storing becaue they are breaking out of thier pots anyway.

I have read many different ways of storing them but just keep getting more and more confused.

I live in Zone 8 Washington State and the nights are not to much below 40 yet but I have no room to store them in pots so want them out of the pots before it gets cold.

Is it ok to cut off the tops now and divide and store or should I wait?

The ones I have in the ground I am going to mulch heavy and pray they make it. We have had some fairly mile winters so they should. I will save a start from each one just in case.


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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

I'm not positive, but I thought most canna were hardy above zone 7. You may want to plant them in the ground, and leave them. I'm in zone five, so take my advice with a grain of salt!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2005 at 7:10PM
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You want to let the folige die back before removing tubers. Cut off the spent foliage, let the tubers dry out a little then store in plastic bags with peat or fine mulch and store in a cool place. Do you have a place to plant the tubers in the ground? Much of Washington has mild winters.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 8:42AM
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I live in Pickering Ontario, Zone 6a. I have dug up my Cannas and I am wondering how best to store them. I do not have a cool dry place. Can I store them in a refridgerator, or is that too damp? Could I plant them in a pot without water perhaps?

    Bookmark   November 14, 2005 at 10:40AM
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You can keep them going all winter as they really don't require a dormancy period unless you live where you need to dig and store them. I keep mine going indoors all winter, though if the light is a bit weak they can get leggy, but will come through just fine and get stronger shoots in the spring and be off to a quicker start for moving them outdoors when weather warms. They'll store fairly good just cut back and put in dry peat moss or something similar, but at warm temperatures they may tend to dry excessively in storage or may even decide to sprout early.
I don't have the coolest spot in my house to store them dormant and they tend to get too dry for me , so hence I just keep a few going all winter in case!!! They can look mighty pretty as house plants , should you have bright enough light.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2005 at 5:26PM
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chefdarka(z5 Chicago/USA)

I live in Zone 5 and had to dig my cannas out of the ground. I now have them drying in my garage but I am also stumped as to how to store them throughout the winter months. I have heard that the best way is to dry off all of the soil, wrap each in newspaper and store them in a cool place. The container should be opened so that air circulates? Is this the correct route to take? I'm hoping for a quick response since I don't want to mess up the one's I have waiting for me in the garage. Thanks up front for any good advise!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2005 at 9:03AM
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girasol1(Z7 NY)

ok I'm in NY in long island I planted on the ground I want to know if I need to dig out, I'd read about in my zone they are hardy but I really don't know what is best is my first year some people say I don't need it just put some somebody in zone 7 have any experience with cannas?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2005 at 9:22AM
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demaris(z6 NY)

I'm an Upstate New Yorker with 200 canna bulbs I don't want to give up. Obviously, overwintering in dirt in pots is out of the question.

We don't have a cool dry place, however. Our choices are: attached garage that seldom freezes but gets into the 30's many times in the winter; basement that is heated and has very few cool corners, but we might be able to tuck them away against an outside wall. How cold can they really stand? And how warm will be bad for them?

Which is the better choice? And right now they are spread out, drying on the garage floor. We intend to pile them into milk crates and large plant pots, with newspaper between them. Will they rot so close together? Would all milk crates be better?

I'd appreciate any help I can get!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2005 at 8:26PM
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jroot(5A Ont. Canada (near Guelph))

Storing them in the garage that goes to 30 degrees F is TOO COLD for cannas. They do not respond well to that. One year I put them into my cold cellar, and it got to about 35 degrees, and they "gave up the ghost" and did not recover.....a mushy mess. Obviously then the fridge is TOO COLD as well. THey like to be about 55 degrees F. Most basement floors are about that temperature (unless the flooring is heated)

In demaris's case, the coldest outside corner in the basement would be best. Try to insulate them from the warmth of the room, by throwing an old blanket over them. The newspapers in between is not a problem. I would dust them however with a bulb and tuber dust ( a fungicide) to prevent any mildew.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2005 at 5:37PM
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I live in zone 7 Tennessee. All I do for my cannas is throw a little mulch on them. I have never lost a one. I have many differant types growing in my yard. You should not have any problem growing them in the ground in zone 8. I would plant them out in the spring so the rhizomes establish well before winter.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 9:33PM
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jroot(5A Ont. Canada (near Guelph))

I usually separate, dust with fungicide, and wrap in paper, and then place in a cardboard box which is stored in my wine cellar. This year I had toooooo many, so I placed a large clump ( which I was going to separate later )in a recycled plastic grocery store bag, complete with earth on the roots (after cutting the top off), and left it on the floor of the wine cellar. In early April, I looked at it and there were shoots about a foot tall coming right through the bag. It was perfectly healthy. I have already potted some up from my usual storage method, so I gave these extra bags of canna clumps away to neighbours. They are happy, and I am happy that I did not destroy something very much alive.

Moral of the story: keep them cool, dark, and dry, and they will do fine.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2006 at 11:32AM
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efam(z7b GA)

I do the same as mcrooke37...I just leave mine in the ground. When they die back, I just cut off the dead leaves and cover with mulch. They are coming back with a fury this spring!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 8:41AM
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I don't get it. I'm in zone 7 Virginia, and I decided not to go through all that this past fall, and left them in the ground but mulched them heavily. Now here it is canna time, and they're nowhere to be seen. I presume they didn't make it over the winter. I thought cannas were hardy in zone 7. Also, we had a really mild winter.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 8:38PM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

I suspect that different varieties of canna are more or less hardy than others. Around here, it seems that the red flowered ones tend to come back every year.

Not only was it a very mild winter re temps, but we also had a very dry spring instead of our usual soggy one, which would help keep the tubers from rotting outdoors. This was the first year ever that I've had any cannas overwinter outside - it was the red ones (Red King Humbert) and Tropicana (aka Phaison). I had a cute dwarf orange that hasn't sprouted yet, which is a major bummer since my indoor tubers don't look too good either.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 10:24PM
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