How to Store Canna Bulbs

Views: 17283 | Last Update: 2009-05-01
How to Store Canna Bulbs - Provided by eHow
In cold climates, canna bulbs should be chopped down and stored outside of a pot to protect them during the winter. Store canna bulbs with tips from a sustainable gardener in this free video on gardening. View Video Transcript

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Yolanda Vanveen

Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen from This segment we're going to learn about how to store our Canna lily bulbs. Canna lilies are one of the most beautiful flowers that you can have in your garden and the most beautiful foliage. They look good summer through fall. They're a plant that doesn't need much care at all; they just like a full, hot, sunny spot with good drainage. They like a lot of sun and a lot of water in the summertime. Now we're lucky in the northwest because I can leave these outside and I don't have to bring them in for the winter and they'll make through next year. I'm very happy about that. But a lot of people live in climates where they wouldn't make it outside, and so you have questions: Well, how do I dig them up? What do I do with them? How do I save them until the next year? It's really quite easy. Cannas are like a lot of different plants; they're just a bulb. So this little rhizome is all that matters. So you want to get that to survive through the next year. So in the fall, whenever it starts getting cold at night and they start getting damaged by the frost, the easiest trick to do is to cut the Cannas down to the ground, just chop them down. You'll find, if you dig them up, that they have a lot of roots and a lot of dirt. So, a lot of times what I'll do, if they're in a pot, I actually just chop the foliage off and leave the pot in garage and just throw them back out in the spring, and I've never lost them that way. But if you live in a colder climate and you want to bring them in and store them outside of the pots, you can just chop them down, a lot of times I'll break all the dirt off of them, but a lot of times I'll leave the dirt with them because that adds extra protection in the winter time. You don't want them to be too dry and you don't want them to be too wet. You want kind of a happy medium. So when I dig them up, a lot times I cut the greenery off or I just leave the greenery as it is too, and let it die naturally, and I'll just store them in paper bags. Paper bags are a great way to store Canna bulbs. You don't have to put dirt, you don't have to put anything with them. I just leave them dry and I check on them periodically to make sure they're not getting too dry and if they're getting too dry, then all I do is add some wet soil to them. You can add some moisture too, but I found soil is a good way to do it, because that way they don't really seem ever to get moldy because they're not, they have something to grab onto. So a lot of times I just put a little wet soil with them. I've even stored them in paper bags or in paper boxes or even in plastic bags and then opposite I've checked them to make sure they don't get too wet or punched a bunch of holes into the bag so that it can get some air. You can store them in peat moss or sawdust or you can put them right on a shelf, all by themselves just dry. Just check on them, make sure they're not too wet and they're not too moist. It's just like a potato. So they're just a bulb. So even the potatoes in your refrigerator, you don't allow them to get too dry or too wet. You treat them almost the same. You don't need to refrigerate them though. Leave them in the basement or the garage or the pump house, somewhere, where they're not freezing hard but they're not too warm either and they will survive so well for the next year. So then the next year, when May hits, I either put them in the pots inside and get a fresh early start or put them right into the ground as soon as it's seventy and above for a week straight and then that way they will activate and they will grow immediately. So it's better to wait and plant them a little bit later than plant them too early.