Canna care in south western CT

javaandjazz(z6 CT)October 4, 2009

Hello everyone,

I grew some cannas in a container this year. Do I let the frost knock them down and just store the planter with the rhizomes and dirt in my basement? I just read some info on a site and it sounded like they said to do that. Thanks, Richie

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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Hi Richie,
I do that with my cannas and my callas and gingers too. I find a cool place and only water slightly to keep the soil from getting really dry. The idea is to keep them alive but to discourage sprouting as long as possible (hopefully until spring!) When I do put them out, I top dress the soil and start feeding again. If I have to repot I do that in warm weather and they grow right into the new pot.

A lot of people take them out of the pots and wash off the roots and tubers, storing them dry. That also works, but seems to be a lot of unnecessary work to me.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 9:13AM
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javaandjazz(z6 CT)

Thanks Bill. Much easier that way. I am trying the basement with several plants this year.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 3:17PM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Richie, after a frost kills the tops, I let them stay out a couple of days (unless it's going to get really cold - you don't want the roots to freeze!) and let the juices flow back to the tubers to plump them. The I trim off the dead leaves and stems and bring them into the coolest part of the basement. They've been around for several years with this treatment. I got brave and divided one of the gingers and planted part of it in the ground this year. I'm going to use mulch and a "Hail Mary" to see if it makes it!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 3:30AM
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javaandjazz(z6 CT)

Thanks again for your help Bill!!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 4:09AM
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Do you think it would also work with elephant ears??

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 2:25PM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

I don't see why it wouldn't work for Elephant Ears as well. Further south where they can be left in the ground all year they go dormant after a freeze just like cannas. All you're really doing is bringing a little piece of the "ground" (in the pot) indoors.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 9:21AM
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