Canna Winterization or Canna Bulb Storage for Winter

This article, Canna Winterization or Canna Bulb Storage for Winter, shows you how to harvest Canna roots or rhizomes and properly store them for the winter.

Tropical Plant

Canna is actually a tropical plant and subtropical perennial herb that comes back every year in USDA hardiness zone 8b and higher and will die if left in the ground when the temperature goes below 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Cannas are native to the warm areas of the Americas.

Canna Winterization or Canna Bulb Storage for Winter

Canna Winterization or Canna Bulb Storage for Winter

The Basics

The Canna plant (Canna indica), also sometimes called the Canna Lilly, has broad flat alternate leaves and grows 6 to 10-foot high. Its leaves are large and green, sometimes brown to maroon, and occasionally variegated.

High winds can tear the leaves, so many times they are planted in an area that protects them from strong winds.

The Canna requires 6 to 8 hours of full sun and moderate water in well-drained rich or sandy soil.

Need a Frost

In areas colder than USDA hardiness zone 8, you must dig the plants up to overwinter them.  This is done by waiting until the first frost causes the leaves to blacken, and then cut the stalks about two to three inches above the ground.

Dig Them Up

Then loosen the ground around the rhizomes and remove them from the ground.  Remove any dirt from around the rhizomes, but do not use a brush or anything that will scratch or damage the rhizomes.

Canna Winterization or Canna Bulb Storage for Winter

Canna Winterization or Canna Bulb Storage for Winter

Harden Them Off

Harden the rhizomes off by leaving them exposed to the air in 60-80 degree temperatures for a week or so.  Then put the rhizomes in a medium that will allow them to breathe.  I use a tub with Pete moss.  You could also use shredded newspaper.

Store

Canna Winterization or Canna Bulb Storage for Winter

Canna Winterization or Canna Bulb Storage for Winter

At this point put the rhizomes in a cool place that does not go below freezing.  I will be putting mine in my garage.  From time to time I do go below freezing in my garage, so I will bring them inside for a brief period when we get that cold.  A root cellar or in a crawl space under a house would work fine.  You could also put them in a refrigerator if you have the room.

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