Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Prepare Canna Plants for Winter


Make sure any spot on the canna bulb that you had to trim or cut before planting has had time to dry out. This will prevent harmful organisms from penetrating the bulb.

Canna lily bulbs bloom in the summertime in bright colors such as pink, red and orange. Some are variegated with a combination of yellow and orange. The tropical look of the colorful canna lily will provide a lush and exotic addition to your garden. Like many summer bulbs, the canna lily bulb must be harvested and properly stored over the winter for the lily to bloom the following season.

Dig up the canna bulbs after the tops have died back and have been killed by a frost. Cut back the tops 2 to 3 inches using garden shears.

Insert a garden spade into the soil and gently push under the bulb, slowly lifting up. Pry the bulb out of the soil.

Remove the soil from the canna bulbs by gently wiping or shaking away the soil. Alternatively, if the dirt is caked on the bulb, use water and rinse off the dirt. Allow the bulbs to dry out two to three days.

Divide the bulb clumps into 2 to 4 clumps. Make sure a piece of the stem is integrated with each root division.

Place the bulbs in mesh bags so air is able to circulate among the bulb clumps. Alternatively, place them in paper bags and poke holes around the sides for proper ventilation.

Store the bulbs in a dark and cool area like a basement that is between 45 and 60 degrees F. Make sure the roots do not freeze, as this will damage the bulb. Periodically check the bulbs to make sure they have not dried out, which can cause them to perish. To help the canna bulbs retain moisture, add a handful of peat moss to the bag.

Garden Guides