The Q&A Archives: Canna Lilies

Question: I would like to know how to take care of my "canna" lillies now that the Fall is here. Do I dig them up and store them for the winter? If so, how? Or, do I just let them stay in the ground. We have very cold winters here in the Northeast.

Answer: Cannas are not hardy north of about zone 7 so you must dig them up. After frost has blackened the tops, simply dig them up being careful to start plenty wide -- they grow an amazing amount during the summer. Shake off the dirt (some folks rinse them with the hose) and let them air dry for a few days. Then store them in a cool but frost free spot (about 45 degrees is good) in a cardboard box or paper bag full of peat moss or sawdust or the like. Check them periodically during the winter for rot or shrivelling. Next spring you can start them early in pots or plant them out when all danger of frost is past.

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