The Q&A Archives: Care And Storage Tropicana Cannas

Question: sent e-mail told me to ask you folks. Need to know storage tips, of tropicana cannas, medium stored in, when to pot up and when to plant in ground. Love this plant!

Answer: Cannas take a long growing season and the foliage does not tolerate frost, so you would plant them in pots in early spring to give them a jump start, then plant them in the ground once all danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed up a bit. Use a pot large enough to accommodate the rhizome comfortably and use a soilless mix, fertilizing regularly with a water soluble fertilizer. Keep them in very bright light and at room temperature. A warmer soil will make them sprout faster. They need very bright light, so some gardeners will wait to pot them until the days are warm enough to set them outside, then bring them indoors at night. In the garden, they need a very rich soil, ample moisture, and full sun all day long. In the fall once frost has blackened the tops, carefully dig them up (they will be larger than when you planted them) wash off the dirt, allow them to dry, then pack lightly in peat moss or sawdust in a cardboard box or paper bag and store cool but above freezing. Check them periodically for shriveling (too dry, sprinkle with water) or rot (probably too wet, set out in the open to dry a bit more).

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