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Storing Cannas

How to save Canna rhizomes for next year's garden

By: Sandy Feather 2014
Penn State Extension


Q. I planted cannas this year for the first time. I understand that they will not survive outside through the winter. When should I dig them up and how do I store them?

A. Cannas are not typically winter hardy in the Pittsburgh area. Let a light frost or two kill back the foliage. Cut the stalks to about 6 inches, then dig up the rhizomes and brush off any soil that clings to them, but do not wash them. Because this is the first time you have grown cannas, be prepared to dig up much larger clumps than you remember planting!
  

Cannas

Cannas multiply rapidly, so you will have more to plant next spring, or to share with family and friends. Do not divide the clumps until you are ready to plant them next spring.

 


Storing Canna Rhizomes

Pack the clumps in slightly moistened (NOT dripping wet!) peat moss or sawdust. Avoid piling the clumps on top of one another. Store the rhizomes in a cool, dry area away from sunlight, such your basement or the inner wall of an attached garage.

Canna


Spring Plant Cannas

Divide the rhizomes next spring. Make sure that each division has at least one growing point. You can pot some of them up six to eight weeks before the last expected frost mid- to late May to get a jump on the season. Save some to plant directly in the ground once we are past danger of a hard frost to extend the season of bloom.

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