Can anybody tell me when and what I should do with my cannas now that fall is upon us???
This is my first year with canna lilies as well (thank you julie_mn - I believe I got a plant from you this spring at the plant swap at Rick's). I believe the following is true (someone please correct me if I am wrong):
Enjoy them for another month or so. . . Then after the first light frost, dig up the tubers and store them in a cool dark/dry location for the winter. Re-plant the tubers next spring either directly outside or give them an early start indoors. . .
That is about it in a nutshell. Adam- so glad you enjoyed!
I will wait till a frost that damages the tops- with clear skies predicted for a day of two afterwards. I then dig them up trying not to damage the main tuber. I don't knock off too much of the soil just then as I want it to protect the root ball while the plant heals from where I cut the top off of the tuber about 2" off of the ball of dirt or tuber. I leave them to lay in the sun to dry and heal a day or two- sometimes you may need to protect them from a heavy frost with a blanket- or by hauling them in a shed at night- and then I knock off the dirt- let them dry a bit more- pop them into a paper grocerie bag and bring them to a cold corner of the basement. I will chek them about once a month to be sure there is no rot- or severe drying going on throughout the winter.
I do know of people who have let their cannas grow on in pots indoors through the winter as well.
In the spring- I will break apart the bulbs if desired, making sure there is an 'eye' to each peice and then either pot up or after last frost- plant out.
I lift dahlias in much the same way- but I will rinse off all of the soil and dip them into a sulfer bath and keep then in plastic bags. The dahlia forum has many great ways to keep these over- but I have had minimal success with dahlias till I did the sulfer dip.
If your cannas flowered and made seeds- it is fun to germinate these indoors in the winter as well! You must nick the seed- I find a file works well- or my dremmel if I can get a safe grip on them- and then put them into dirt in a WARM place- they do need the warmth to grow- and give them plenty of light till you can plant out-
I got nice plants, Julie, and I presume they'll bloom for me next year - they are VERY strong! I'm going to treat them and store them with my begonia corms in the bag of sawdust (with a bit of stray sulpher powder in it) I keep in my upstairs clothes closet. It's too warm in our basement :) but that closet is of course unheated, but never freezes because of circulating air under it's door from our bedroom. Lemme tell ya, grabbing a shirt or skirt out of there in winter is BRACING! *laugh*
Thank you so much for the tips! Can you tell me more about the sulfer bath? I do have some dahlias also.