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How to Store Canna Bulbs for the Winter

By Callie Barber ; Updated September 21, 2017

Canna bulbs can be stored over winter and used in the spring for planting. If you live in more temperate climates, or zones 7 to 10, you can leave your canna bulb in the ground. For cooler zones, 6 and beyond, you’ll need to dig up these summertime bloomers and store them in a cool and dark area. Vibrant and colorful, the canna lily will create a lovely touch to any garden space.

Dig up the canna bulbs using a garden spade at the end of fall or after the first frost.

Insert the garden spade at a 45-degree angle and gently push the spade into the soil and under the bulb. Slowly lift the spade and pry the bulb up and out of the soil.

Remove the soil from the bulbs by gently shaking them. If dirt is caked on, you can rinse the bulbs with warm water. Allow the bulbs to dry two to three hours if you use this method.

Divide the bulb clumps into three to five bulbs and place them in a clean plastic bag. Using a fork, poke holes in the plastic bag for proper ventilation. Make sure you don't poke the bulbs.

Add a handful of peat moss to the plastic bag to help maintain moisture balance. Rice hulls can also be used to retain moisture and prevent bulbs from drying out.

Store the bulbs in a dark, cool space that is between 45 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Basements or dark cool closets are ideal. Periodically check the bulbs to make sure they are not dry, which can cause them to perish. Add fresh peat moss if the bulbs appear dry.


Things You Will Need

  • Canna bulbs
  • Garden spade
  • Water
  • Plastic bag
  • Fork
  • Peat moss
  • Rice hulls


  • Do not expose canna bulbs to sun or freezing temperatures.

About the Author


Callie Barber has been writing professionally since 2002. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate indoor and outdoor living environments. Her articles have appeared on Travels.com and GardenGuides.com. Barber holds a Bachelors of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina.