The Q&A Archives: Canna Plant

Question: We have a Canna newly planted close to the house. It is approx 3 feet tall now and is about 2 feet from the house. Have we planted it too close to the house? What is the care for it during the winter?

Answer: Cannas are tuberous rooted perennials that are native to the tropics. There are dwarf varieties that grow about two feet tall, and tall varieties that grow 3-6 feet tall. Yours sound like the taller growing kind and two-feet from the foundation of the house should give them enough room to grow. Cannas are quite tender and you should dig and store the roots after the foliage withers and dies back. 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 and they'll bloom by early summer in your region. Cannas need a location in full sun with very rich soil and plenty of moisture to grow and bloom their best. Plant them in late spring when the soil has had time to warm, or start them in pots to get an early jump on the season. The new growth does not tolerate frost, so be careful to protect them if a frost threatens.

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