Ask a Question forum: When do I uproot my Canna to store indoors for winter?

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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
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Nov 17, 2015 1:59 PM CST
We've had an unusually warm fall with nights only in mid 40s upper 50s F, the potted canna lily still has green leaves alive but starting to slowly die, the plant is at least 6 feet tall. When do I dig it up to store, and do I store the tuber in dry peat moss in a brown paper bag in my basement?
[Last edited by keithp2012 - Nov 17, 2015 1:59 PM (+)]
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Name: Debbie
Manitoba, Canada (Zone 3a)
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Nov 17, 2015 2:15 PM CST
Hi Keith,
If your canna is potted you can just store it as is in the pot. I grow all my cannas in containers and haul them in for the winter; I have found they store better that way. I bring mine in after the frost hits the foliage but it's not necessary to do that. You could just bring it in now after cutting off the foliage, if you so choose. They are best stored in a cooler part of the house such as the basement. If you do wish to dig it up you can store them in slightly moist peat moss or the like. I've also stored bigger clumps with soil attached in garbage bags and they've done well. In any case repot with fresh soil in the spring and start them into growth again.
Name: Heath
sevierville TN (Zone 7a)
Beekeeper Houseplants Region: Tennessee
Nov 17, 2015 2:17 PM CST
Even though we're in the same zone I'm in Tennessee and your in New York I can leave mine out all winter. But if I had to dig mine up I would wait till thay are completely brown. they still bloom if we have a couple of weeks of warm weather. Mine were blooming up to this past weekend when a hard freeze killed them. And that sounds like a good way to store them in a brown paper bag and some dried peat moss in your basement. Or if you could just carry the whole pot in your basement leave them in your pot. Let it dry out. You don't want them to rot. Hope that helps.
Name: Julie
Kenmore, NY (Zone 6a)
Region: New York Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Houseplants Daylilies
Nov 17, 2015 4:30 PM CST
We have to dig ours up every year, but we are in a colder zone than you. We let them dry out in the garage a couple days, then leave a little soil attached and layer them in a box between newspaper.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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Nov 18, 2015 5:11 PM CST
I'd keep them in a pot if you have room, Keith. My cannas stay in the ground all year 'round and they don't rot if we have cold, wet weather.

As long as you keep them cool, you can give them a little bit of moisture so they don't completely dessicate and they will be fine.

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Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
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Nov 18, 2015 11:13 PM CST
If you dig up and store in your basement, check them a couple of times over winter. I do this with all my stored bulbs, corms, tubers etc. If they are rotting - toss em. If they look like they are drying out, mist them lightly and let them set out for a day or so, then re-store them. Some people store them in slightly moist media such as peat moss. I don't do this. I have historically had more problem with rot than drying out.

I store mine in either chopped up paper, vermiculite, perlite or peat moss. Some people just store them in paper bags.

Do NOT sore in plastic bags or plastic containers. They need to have circulation.

Mine were still doing well til I cut them down on Sunday when I also cut and dug my Elephant Ears and Hardy Banana. They were gonna get nailed this week-end anyway - low of 21 forecast.
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