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Is this a good plan to winterize my Canna??

Posted by PlantsAndYarn 5 (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 15, 12 at 9:51

I have never grown anything that needs to be dug up in the fall. My rule has always been -- once in the ground, it stays there.

However, this spring my husband's co-worker gave him some Canna. I planted them in a huge pot. They are growing great! Very tall & straight. Even had a hummingbird (1st one every)visiting them this summer.

My plan was to just bring the whole pot in for the winter, store it in the basement, then drag it out next spring. Does this sound like a good plan?

Also, about 5 weeks ago, my neighbor gave me more Canna tubers (not sure of correct term)that was brought into the flower shop he works at. I gave my mother some, she planted them & they sprouted. What about saving the rest to plant next summer? Think they will be okay? I already gave some to my SIL & will give more to my daughter. Just wondering if I need to warn them that I was wrong & they may not sprout next year.

Thanks for the help.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Is this a good plan to winterize my Canna??

Thats what I do with my pots of canna once the frost has turned the leaves black; cut off the leaves and haul the pots down to the basement. If you have a spot that can be kept dark and cool that is best; they may still sprout in late Jan or Feb but you can just cut off that weak growth when it is time to start them back for the spring. In my zone I do that late March or early April to get flowers mid summer. You can either dig them out of the pot then, divide and repot with new soil or if your pot is big enough you could probably just add some new soil to refresh. I have done it both ways. As far as the tubers, you can certainly store them to start next year; store in some slightly moist peat moss. They will rot if too wet so be careful not to make peat moss too moist. I find it is best to store them in a clump and then divide in the spring; a larger clump will keep better. Good luck!


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RE: Is this a good plan to winterize my Canna??

Thanks for the reply. I also gave some tubers to my daughter. So I will pass on the peat moss info to her & my SIL. I am rethinking my rule about not digging up anything once it is in the ground. I would like to have some out front next year. I would put a pot out there, but don't want some toadball stealing the whole pot, lol. It has happened before around here.


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RE: Is this a good plan to winterize my Canna??

Yes, however what I do with mine is I like to individual divide the tubers and take them out of the soil to see whats going on under the surface. Thats just a prefrence so then in the spring once theyre all repotted up individually or in groups of 2 or 3 you can put them wherever you like not just one clump. But your method is perfect just make sure its cool enough not to rot :)


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RE: Is this a good plan to winterize my Canna??

I've stored them as you describe, pot in basement, and as naked tubers in open bag in the (very damp) basement. For the potted plant, just make sure not to water it too much, if at all unless/until it gets really dusty dry. Cold + wet = rot. Cool + dry = dormant. Against the outside wall in the basement is probably the coolest spot, and/or under a window where the cold can fall right on it.

The Cannas my Mom and I have here in AL were brought from OH, where they were brought inside for winter for years before everyone moved down south. If you have the right micro-climate, they can be perennial in your zone. Against a south-facing wall, for example. The roof overhang should keep most of the moisture off of the crowns, and the heat of the sun and basement wall can make the difference. That's how I got to be the owner of Cannas in OH. My friend's plants kept coming back and multiplying, needed to be divided.


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RE: Is this a good plan to winterize my Canna??

Approximately how long can the tubers be stored?


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RE: Is this a good plan to winterize my Canna??

Around 4 months is what was necessary in central OH. In colder zones, they're probably stored longer. Just check periodically to remove anything that has rotted, mist lightly if they seem completely dessicated. A damp basement was actually handy for this kind of thing.


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RE: Is this a good plan to winterize my Canna??

What if you don't have a basement or attached garage? I just got some tubers and planted them, but I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them in the fall....


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RE: Is this a good plan to winterize my Canna??

Unfortunately I think your question on this thread got lost in the mix. Next time you might consider starting a new thread where the readers can easily see if a reply was made.

What if you don't have a basement or attached garage? I just got some tubers and planted them, but I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them in the fall....

I assume you may be located in western NY where you have a more protracted winter. With limited ideal storage facilities, you will need to find the very coolest area in your heated home. You need to lift the rhizomes in the fall, cut all stalks, remove the soil and divide the clumps; do not divide any more that absolutely necessary. Allow the divisions to air dry a day to seal open wounds. You now need a leak proof container to store the rhizomes. Its size will depend and the storage space available and does not require a sealed top. We want a minimum of air circulation but definitely not air tight. Line the bottom of the container with two to three inches of SLIGHTLY MOIST peat or similar material. Begin placing the divisions in the container along with more moist peat filling the voids. Leave room on top to have three to four inches of moist peat to cap off the container. We will need to place a cover loosely over the top of the container allowing for some air to escape or enter. You may have to only dig a portion of your cannas depending on storage area or container size.

This is not a fool proof method and you will likely see some sprouts emerging at some time. Don’t panic, just cut them off. Check you cannas occasionaly to be sure the peat is not overly dry or wet.

Good luck,

Kent


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