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overwintering canna tubers - best method?

Posted by Laurelin z5 NY (My Page) on
Wed, Nov 2, 05 at 13:38

How should I store my canna tubers for the winter? I got some this spring from my sister in St. Louis, and the plants were magnificent this year, and multiplied like crazy. I really want to save them. Should I dig them up and layer them in a box with loose mulch or peat moss? How damp/dry should they be stored? Would a cool basement be suffucient for them? Thank you for your help!

Laurelin


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RE: overwintering canna tubers - best method?

  • Posted by Kareen z5 NY Renss.Co. (My Page) on
    Wed, Nov 2, 05 at 19:21

Hi Laurelin ,
The method you mention is one that I have seen recommended. However I have overwintered them by digging them up dirt and all , putting them in a pot in the cellar and forgetting about them . Once January comes I begin to water them and they start growing and are a decent size when its time to plant outside... you just have to gradually get them used to the change in light and temp from the cellar. Hope this helps .

Here is a link that might be useful: Our pond and gardens


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RE: overwintering canna tubers - best method?

Hi Laurelin,
I did about the same thing that Kareem did.....I had purchased (at a great price) some cannas in pots toward the end of the season so I dug them right into the garden in their pots. When the frost came I took the pots out of the ground...cut off the tops and put them into the unheated basement. (It gets to be about 50 ) About February they started to sprout so I brought them upstairs...started a little water.....and when it became warm enough I put them right back into the garden in the same pots. They were magnificent! But to my surprise when I just pulled them out of the garden the tubers had blown right out of the pot! What a shock! So now the bare tubers are in the basement....and not potted up as they were last year.
I put them in different boxes and labeled the boxes.....tall dark........short green.....tropicana.....short dark. That way I will know what height and color they are when I go to plant them in the spring.

But let me tell you most of the great ideas on garden how to come from Kareen.....I am always asking her some garden question!

Jean


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RE: overwintering canna tubers - best method?

I just dig mine up and put them in a box layered with newspaper or you can just place them in a brown paper bag, place them in a cool dark place then pot em up in the spring, I never had luck putting them in peat moss.


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RE: overwintering canna tubers - best method?

This is a very time question as I was about to ask the same thing. My problem is that I don't have a basement and my garage is detached. I have some in containers which I can just cut the tops off and bring in and another bed where they are planted out and still blooming like crazy I might add. Should I just dig them up now and cut them off even though they are still blooming? I guess I could keep them in my mud room and maybe if I pack enough newspaper in the box they may be ok.

Penny


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RE: overwintering canna tubers - best method?

ok....different type of problem.....I'm moving to the Finger Lakes region in April.....I'm in Florida now....my cannas are still going strong and will do well most of the winter....should I just let them keep growing and then cut them back right before I move and bring the tubers up bare to replant in the spring? I know they probably won't do much the first year but I'm thinking next fall I can then do the same schedule you all do. Any advice? Glenn


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RE: overwintering canna tubers - best method?

Penny, as long as they don't freeze I think they will be fine. Glenn give it a whirl not sure how the growing cycle is with canna's in the south but you might be able to dig them up and plant em here in May and June without a problem. Check the Canna forum they are the experts, Im not sure if they need a rest period or not.


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RE: overwintering canna tubers - best method?

Glen,
My Father in law is in Broward Cty. and his Cannas are still going strong too (so are mine here for that matter). A friend in Kansas sent me some tubers last year. I believe he dug them up early and just let them dry out but not real sure. You may also want to collect seed from your plants now as it will be a lot easier to move with seed than with lots of tubers then you can sow the seeds when you get up here and yes they will bloom the first year from seed...all mine do.

Penny
and yes they will bloom the first year grown from seed.


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RE: overwintering canna tubers - best method?

thanks for the advice. That's amazing that they'll bloom from seed the first year - I've only ever done the tubers and just started them in the past year from ones I've bought on eBay. Can't wait to get up there and start my gardens! I'm chomping at the bit! Glenn


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RE: overwintering canna tubers - best method?

We will be here when you get here Glen. The past two years since the Upstate NY forum was started several areas including the Buffalo/Rochester area have had an offline plant/seed swap where we get together at someones house after our plants are up and it is warm and exchange plants, seeds, eat and have a good time. You don't even have to have plants to swap because I know the Buffalo exchange always has more plants than we need and we end up begging people to take some extras home.

If you really love gardening and coming from Fl. were able to do it year round, you should check out the wintersowing forum. Quite a few of us on this forum do wintersowing and that way we get to play in the dirt all through the winter. Here is a link to the FAQ PAGE that explain all about wintersowing and it really does work without grow lights, heat mats or any other special equipment. All you need is soil, seeds containers of any kind and a little patience until spring. I do winter sow my canna seeds and it works like a charm.

Here is a picture of my first canna from seed last year. I took it just as the first bloom was starting to open. It was a trial so I grew it in a container. THe ones I did this year and put in the ground were much bigger.


Penny


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RE: overwintering canna tubers - best method?

thanks, Penny - I've already checked out the winter sowing forum and was very glad to hear about that - I didn't realize it could be done! My one passion (at least in Florida) is orchids.....I have a feeling it's going to be a whole new ball game up north.....no more just hanging them out in the trees year round - LOL.....am hoping to get a greenhouse so I can bring them with me. My mom has 10 acres - two sides bordered by a creek and two sides bordered by country roads (one dirt, one paved)....there's a pond on it and 5 outbuildings plus her home which is an old brick farm house built in 1830 - she's indicated that she has been wanting to put a doublewide or a modular home on it for herself if I was willing to take over the land.....willing???? ha!!! I've already got in my head what I want to do....when I say I can not wait....I mean it!!! LOL. Thanks for the welcome! Glenn


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RE: overwintering canna tubers - best method?

Well we will look forward to your arrival Glen. Sounds like you have everything all lined up and just waiting for your arrival. GOOD LUCK!!

Penny


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RE: overwintering canna tubers - best method?

Thank you all for the answers to my canna question - I'll be digging them up today or tomorrow. I think I'll leave as much dirt as possible on them and store them in large nursery pots in the basement. I have seeds saved from them too, so if something tragic happens and none of them make it, I can start over. (Or just bug my sister in St. Louis for more tubers!)

Laurelin


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RE: overwintering canna tubers - best method?

I keep waiting for my cannas to stop sending up new blooms so I can dig mine up. The squirrels have been having a field day with the seed pods I haven't collected.

Penny


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RE: overwintering canna tubers - best method?

I've got a couple in pots in the living-room. They'll grow all winter with very limited light and just an occasional watering. I cut them back in spring and put them out and they start all over again.


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RE: overwintering canna tubers - best method?

Hmm, I think mine are dust now after the last 2 nights of reezing temps. They were ok the first night but bit the big one Thursday night.

Penny


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RE: overwintering canna tubers - best method?

The tops are supposed to die off. The tubers can't freeze, or they turn into dead mush, but it takes a bit to freeze the ground where they are. If you want them, dig them up and see what's still there. Cannas can multiply incredibly, and you really only need to store some of them.


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RE: overwintering canna tubers - best method?

We got some free cannas last spring and they multiplied like crazy. We have over 200 mostly huge tubers which we have dug out of the ground and shaken most of the dirt off of. We want to save them because we have a place where they will look spectacular next year. Obviously they are going to take up a lot of storage space - 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.

Which is the better choice? And right now we have them just piled into milk crates and large plant pots. Will they rot so close together? Would all milk crates be OK? Should we lay them out somewhere to dry before we store them?

I'm asking this here instead of the canna forum because you folks know Upstate! Thanks for any help you can give us first time canna planters.


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RE: overwintering canna tubers - best method?

Mad,
THanks for the extra info. I will dig them up this week end and see how the tubers faired and then store them in a cool closet.

demaris
I will try to be helpful although as you can tell from my previous comments this is my first year. From what I have learned you need to keep them at or above 40 degrees so the cooler and dryer the better. I had one person suggest one of those 18 gal. plastic tubs that will also keep the rodents away. If you store them in your garage I would wrap them in old newpaper and then fill the box or container with crumpled newspaper. Your basement in a out of the way corner would be fine too. I think I would try and get them as dry as possible.

Penny


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RE: overwintering canna tubers - best method?

Well I got some dug up but not all as they had just grown way to big. I was afraid my shovel was going to break just lifting out the ones I did manage to get out. The ones that didn't get dug out will make good compost for next years crop.

Penny


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