The Q&A Archives: canna Lilly

Question: I just got my first canna lilly this year and planted it, but I was told that for my zone (Northern & Midwest that I should dig it up in the fall and store it over the winter. Is this true? And how should I store it?

Answer: Cannas are not hardy north of about zone 7 so you must dig them up. (You're in zone 5) After frost has blackened the tops, simply dig them up being careful to start plenty wide -- they grow an amazing amount during the summer. Shake off the dirt (some folks rinse them with the hose) and let them air dry for a few days. Then store them in a cool but frost free spot (about 45 degrees is good) in a cardboard box or paper bag full of peat moss or sawdust or the like. Check them periodically during the winter for rot or shrivelling. Next spring you can start them early in pots or plant them out when all danger of frost has passed.

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