The Q&A Archives: Cannas

Question: Hi,
I just dug up my cannas. They were still green leaves, but have stopped bloomimg. Did I dig them up too soon? Do I let the leaves die away and where do I cut the stem before putting them away for the winter? Also, can I store them in peat moss in the cool basement?
Thank Yoy,

Answer: Usually we leave them in the garden until a frost kills off the foliage. This minimizes the time they have to spend in storage. After frost ( or now that they are dug) you would cut off the stems, dig them up and shake off the dirt, air dry the rhizomes for a few days (protect them from cold), then pack and store. Pack them in peat moss, vermiculite, shavings, or whatever is handy. They should be in a single layer and not touch each other. Use a cardboard box or paper bag rather than plastic bag, this allows for some air circulation. The storage place should be cool and dry. The temperature range should be between about 45 and 50 degrees. Check them periodically for rotting (too cold or too wet) or shriveling (too warm). Discard any that show signs of rot or mold so they do not contaminate the others. Good luck with your cannas!

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