The Q&A Archives: Canna Bulbs

Question: I bought Canna plants in pots last summer. They bloomed beautifully, then died in the winter. The pots seem crowded. Should I separate them, or just let them come up? I can't find out anywhere!

Answer: Cannas are native to the tropics and sub-tropics, but adapt well to warm-summer climates such as yours. Canna is a tuberous-rooted perennial with large, rich green to bronzy red leaves and flowers similar to ginger lilies. Cut the flowering stalks down when the blossoms fade. In the winter, when the foliage withers and dies, lift the roots and store them for planting the following spring. If you've left yours in the ground or in pots, take them out now, shake off excess soil and repot them in fresh potting soil, setting the roots 5" deep and 10" apart. Depending upon the sizes of your containers, you may want to plant several in a single pot. (If Cannas are overcrowded they may not bloom.) It's okay to leave the roots in the ground over the winter months, but they should be dug and divided in the early spring.

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