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Overwintering canna lily rhizomes

Posted by alyssasnanny Ontario (My Page) on
Sun, Oct 24, 10 at 18:59

Hi all;

I`m new to gardenweb. I`m a little confused about the proper way to overwinter canna lilys. One, I`m confused about the wet/dry thing and the other is what the heck do you do if you can`t do the optimum temperature? Sorry this is going to be long winded. My garage is too cold water will freeze in mid winter. My basement is too warm I think approx. mid to high 60s. I understand they should be stored at 50? Also I was told by my garden centre to wrap in newspaper and burlap and just leave it in the garage (the cold would not hurt it) till next spring, do not water because they will rot. Looking at other sites this is what I did: Removed from ground last week after some frost and light snow. removed soil, cut off stems then washed with water, put on newspaer to dry for 2 days. (They felt a little bit spongey!?) Put in a cardboard box lined with newspaper covered with peatmoss lightly spritzed peatmoss with water covered with newspaper and put under my basement stairs where it is dark. Assuming I haven`t already killed them how often should I check them and spritz them with water. Is the freezing garage a better idea?
Thanks to all

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Overwintering canna lily rhizomes

No, freezing = instant death. They are tropical.

Frankly, I grow all of my cannas in pots. I found over the years that digging and storing the roots yielded poor survival rates no matter what method I tried -- generally, rot would set in, or they would dry up and die.

When I switched to growing them right in large, decorative containers, and then just storing the containers in the basement dark and dry, temps around 65, I have since had 100% success rate every year for about 6 years now. The only down side -- I have a small house. It gets interesting at times. I now have about 65 total pots of various tender bulbs I do this way -- no more digging and planting cycle, just the up the stairs in the spring, down the stairs in the fall thing.

RE: Overwintering canna lily rhizomes

I never had trouble storing cannas. Dahlias, yes, but not cannas. I dig them, let them air dry, knock off whatever dirt comes off with a little rubbing and put them in a box with nothing else. No peat, nothing. They are stored in my basement around 65 degrees.


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