Tropicals forum: Tender Bulbs in Zone 6A

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Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
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bloominholes2fill
Sep 14, 2017 8:09 PM CST
Hi Gang!
I'm wondering when is the best time to lift tender bulbs, in my zone, how to store them, and when is the best time to start them for the growing season? I'm growing Calladium and Canna, and I would really like to save money by storing them for next year.

The Canna seemed to have taken forever to sprout, perhaps because they were planted directly in the soil (?). I did that in a new, unexpected, expansion into the center of a tree ring garden, because the very old tree had to come down in April, and it's huge trunk was completely hollow! The Canna bulbs were the last of the plantings, probably around June. You know how it is.....flying by the seat of your pants, adding things as they come across the ol' noggin! Whistling Whistling Angel
Thumb of 2017-09-15/bloominholes2fill/da9a1f

The Calladium was planted directly in a large pot, right after I bought it. Which was probably in June, as well. I really don't remember for sure... D'Oh!
Thumb of 2017-09-15/bloominholes2fill/703b2a

It seems to me that pre-sprouting them is perhaps the best option, for the growing seasons, of years to come, but determining the timing really isn't my forte'! Blinking

I tried to scroll through the posts, here, and if I've missed any that answer these questions....perhaps the authors might direct me to the links... Smiling

Your expert advice will be greatly appreciated! Smiling

"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized." - Yours Truly
Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then you should ALWAYS be Batman! - Unknown
Dana
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https://www.youtube.com/channe...
[Last edited by bloominholes2fill - Sep 14, 2017 9:38 PM (+)]
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Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Sep 15, 2017 9:06 PM CST
Hi Dana, you can wait until the cold weather knocks back the foliage on both the Cannas and the Caladiums before you dig them up.

Yes, starting them in pots in maybe late March will give you a big head start on blooming for the Cannas. They love heat, sun, lots (tons!) of water and fertilizer. Once the nights are warm-ish - say above 50 dependably - you could then plant them out.

The Caladiums should maybe wait a month or so longer than the Cannas to get started, as they like it warmer. I have them permanently in the ground here, and our cold weather usually ends in March but the Caladiums don't pop out of the ground until early May sometimes. I do grow them in the shade, mind you so if they were in a spot that was warmed up by the sun they'd start sooner, probably. They last much longer and have better color for me in shade.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
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ardesia
Sep 16, 2017 2:53 PM CST
Good advice Elaine. I would add however that Canna stems turn to mush with the first frost. They are goopy, fibrous and hard to cut off so timing is important. I might cut them back to a few inches as the stems start to brown off but before the worst of the cold weather. Much easier to dig them without the slimy stuff.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Sep 16, 2017 3:17 PM CST
So true, Alice. I've forgotten what frost does, it's been such a long time since we had any here - at least 6 years.

The foliage starts looking pretty rough once the nights start to drop into the 40's however. Any time around then would be a good time to dig them up.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Aquaponics Hibiscus Orchids Fruit Growers Tropicals
Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad Birds
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ardesia
Sep 16, 2017 4:02 PM CST
Yep, you only have to deal with that slime once then you know. Hilarious!
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Project Junkie & One Hit Wonder =P
Daylilies Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses
Region: Ohio Winter Sowing Composter Birds Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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bloominholes2fill
Sep 17, 2017 4:01 AM CST
@Alice and @Elaine Thank You! Thank you so much!
How do I store the bulbs, once they're lifted?
"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized." - Yours Truly
Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then you should ALWAYS be Batman! - Unknown
Dana
https://garden.org/blogs/view/...
https://www.youtube.com/channe...
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Aquaponics Hibiscus Orchids Fruit Growers Tropicals
Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad Birds
Image
ardesia
Sep 17, 2017 5:38 AM CST
Hmmmm, I don't have to lift them here in my zone so I have little experience. I have read about storing them in dry peat moss but why don't you ask about storing bulbs for the winter on the Bulb forum, I bet someone there has the right answer for you.
https://garden.org/forums/view...
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Sep 17, 2017 8:03 AM CST
I store Cannas at my daughter's in Utah. We just put them all in a pot and pour fresh sterile potting soil over them. Then, because it's extremely dry she waters them a little bit during the winter so they don't dry out completely.

You just need to store them somewhere fairly cold but they must not freeze. Those big fat rhizomes are full of water and will turn to mush if they freeze then thaw. My daughter keeps hers on a high shelf in her garage, where there's a little bit of heat from the house to keep them from freezing.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: aud/odd
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Sep 17, 2017 11:04 AM CST
I do what Elaine explained. I grow all my tropicals in pots because I do not like to dig anything up. Too lazy for that job.

The Cannas I put in my laundry room that is between 55 -65 all winter.

Cannas are easy. I have had a hard time with Caladiums. They do not like to be any cooler than 60 so I keep them in the Sunroom 60-65 all winter. They need cool not warm conditions. When the leaves die down bring them in cut the dead leaves and just sprinkle some water on top about once a month or two. You do not want the soil wet. If you can get them to survive the winter they are prettier the next yr.
Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Project Junkie & One Hit Wonder =P
Daylilies Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses
Region: Ohio Winter Sowing Composter Birds Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
bloominholes2fill
Sep 18, 2017 1:35 PM CST
Thanks everyone! Thank You!
"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized." - Yours Truly
Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then you should ALWAYS be Batman! - Unknown
Dana
https://garden.org/blogs/view/...
https://www.youtube.com/channe...

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