The Q&A Archives: Care Of Canna Rhizomes

Question: What is the proper care for canna rhizomes at the end of the season and what is the best time to plant for the next year?

Answer: Cannas are quite tender
and you should dig and store the roots after the foliage
withers and dies back. (Frost will blacken the tops and then it
will be time.) Shake the excess soil off the roots
and store them in dry sand, peatmoss or sawdust. The roots
will be dormant and won't require water, but should be
protected from complete dessication. Check the stored
roots during the winter and add a little moisture to the
peatmoss if the roots begin to shrink or shrivel up. You can
store them in a garage or cool, dark basement or wherever
the temperature is above freezing, but below average
household temperatures. Plant them in rich, moist soil in the
spring after danger of frost and they'll bloom again next summer. For a jump start, you can pot them up and keep them in a very bright sunny location for transplanting into the garden when the weather has settled and the ground ahs warmed a bit -- but make sure they are not frosted as they will not tolerate it.

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