How to Dig Cannas


Cannas are exotic flowers with large colorful blooms. They that have underground root systems called rhizomes that can grow and bloom each year if properly cared for. Every fall, cannas should be dug up so they can be stored during the cold winter months. They are then replanted in the spring, after the last frost, and can be enjoyed again.

Step 1

Cut back the canna leaves after they turn yellow or brown in the fall, generally after the first frost. Cannas continue to covert sunlight into sugar (plant food) through the process of photosynthesis as long as the foliage is green. They use this sugar for propagation and the next season's plants. Leave about 4 inches of leaves so you can easily locate and handle the rhizomes.

Step 2

Dig carefully around the plant. The top of the rhizome is just beneath the soil and the bottom can be as deep as 6 inches. Use a trowel, spade or garden fork to dig a 7-inch circle around each plant, several inches from the stem.

Step 3

Pull down on the handle to lift the rhizome out of the soil. Remove as much dirt as possible with your hands. Dry it on newspaper, out of the sun, for a few hours before storing.

Step 4

Place the rhizome in an open container, paper bag or mesh bag first.Store it during the winter months in a cool (40 to 50 degrees F), dry location, such as a garage or attic.

Things You'll Need

  • Clippers
  • Trowel, spade or garden fork
  • Container or bag


  • Overwintering Tender Perennials
Keywords: dig cannas, dig canna rhizomes, store canna

About this Author

Melissa Lewis graduated from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has written over 20 episodes for the radio drama entitled "A Work in Progress." She also writes for several online outlets, including Gardenguides, Travels and Examiner, and is currently finalizing a movie script to be filmed in 2010.