The Q&A Archives: Care of cannas

Question: Hello...

When should I bring my cannas in to store?
Also, Ive heard that it is possible to use them as a houseplant over the winter. Is this true ? Will they bloom in the house or will I just have foliage?
Thanks, Dorian

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. 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.

Although you can coax them to grow indoors they will not bloom and will eventually weaken and die. They need to rest over the winter months, so after the foliage dies back, store them until next spring.

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