Fall care for Cannas - Knowledgebase Question

Woodland, ME
Question by laurahunt
October 24, 1998
I purchased some roots labeled Cannas, mid-spring to early summer, tall gladolia type. I believe I need to bring these roots in for winter. In researching I find Canna Lilies (which I believe I have) and I find Cannas Dahlias. What is the difference? Do I need to winter these roots in a cool dark environment? Do they need soil, or do I dry them completely such as a glad bulb ?


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Answer from NGA
October 24, 1998

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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. Yours sound like the taller growing kind. 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. Dahlias also grow from tuberous roots, and the winter care is the same.

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