Cannas can come out now and here is how to do that to keep them for next year.
DIGGING UP CANNA RHIZOMES IN THE FALL
Do I need to dig up my cannas?
It’s only necessary to dig up cannas if you live in a region that experiences harsh winters. Generally, this means USDA Hardiness Zones 6 or colder, although Zone 7 may also occasionally experience canna-killing winter temperatures. In Zone 8 and warmer, cannas can be left in the ground year-round.
Cannas will need to be dug up in the fall and brought inside for the winter, to be replanted again in the spring. Alternatively, if you have grown them in pots, you can bring the pots into a garage or basement.
When to Dig up Cannas
Do this job after the leaves have yellowed, died back, or have been killed by frost, but before a hard freeze occurs. Most gardeners dig up their bulbs immediately after the foliage has been killed by the first light frost in fall or early winter. (It is not necessary for cannas to be frosted prior to digging, but it is recommended.)
How to Dig up Cannas
Get out the pruning shears. Cut back all of the foliage 2 to 3 inches from the top of each rhizome.
Dig up the roots with a shovel or garden fork about one foot away from the stem so that the rhizome is not damaged. With your hands, gently loosen the soil and lift out the clump. Shake off the dirt and cut off the foliage. Divide clumps into 3 to 5 eye bulbs/rhizomes.
If possible, it’s ideal to cure them bulbs for a few days to toughen them up and resist rot. A garage or closet makes for a good place to cure the bulbs.
Bring rhizomes inside to store. Wrap individual bulbs in newspapers or paper bags with a small amount of dry growing medium, such as peat moss to absorb moisture and prevent rot. Bulbs should not touch each other. Store cannas over the winter in a dry place that doesn’t drop below 40°F / 4°C (often an attic or basement).
Check on your bulbs a couple times over the winter to make sure they don’t dry out. Sprinkle with sand or peat moss as needed. If you find rot, trim away the bad piece or discard. Keep in mind that there will always be some bulbs that don’t make it no matter what you do. Perhaps 80% survive.
Keep plants in pots dry until you move them outside for the summer. Plants can be replanted outside or moved outside when nighttime temperatures are consistently above 50°F / 10°C, typically after the tulips have bloomed in northern areas.
When replanting, make sure that each divided piece has at least one node, which is where new leaves will grow from in following seasons. Then plant 4 to 5 inches deep and 1 to 4 feet apart. They will bloom in 10 to 12 weeks.
For a tall canna, the Canna Tropicanna® is a popular choice. Growing to a height of 48 to 72 inches, ‘Tropicanna’® boasts gorgeous tangerine, iris-like blooms and exotic bronze foliage. Plant in the back of your garden bed or in large containers for a dramatic statement on your porch or patio. Don’t worry about deer; they tend to stay away from easy-to-grow cannas.
A medium-size gem is the rich, deep pink ‘Los Angeles’, which has a large floret and opens out so that you can see the face. The plant grows from 42 to 60 inches tall, blooming from June to August.
Dwarf cannas stay under 3 to 4 feet tall and are easy to fit into our downsized modern gardens. The ‘Picasso’ is a real attention-getter with bright yellow flowers and deep red leopard-like spots; it blooms from July to frost. The ‘Wyoming’ has dark burgundy stems and lush orange flowers that brings life to a quiet bed from mid-summer until frost.
Interested in a giant canna? One of the most popular is the ‘Musifolia’ which grows up to 8 feet. Its leaves are the size of a banana plant and creates dramatic statement and very tropical background!
WIT & WISDOM
Cannas’ bright flowers may attract hummingbirds.
Sometimes called “canna lilies,” these perennials are unrelated to true lilies.
The name canna comes from the Greek word kanna. It means reed or reed-like plant.
Flowers are words which even a babe may understand.
–Arthur Cleveland Coxe, American poet (1818-96)
Taken from https://www.almanac.com/plant/cannas
Till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky’s Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa firstname.lastname@example.org 641-794-3337 cell 641-903-9365