Canna lilies are such a pleasure within the backyard. With their lush, tropical foliage and large, brightly coloured flowers, they influence the panorama in a means that few vegetation are able to. Sadly, canna bulbs aren’t particularly cold-tolerant for these of us dwelling in cooler climates.
Happily, they are often saved for the winter when you dig them up and provides them the precise setting to overwinter in. Listed here are some suggestions for storing your canna lilies over the winter. In the event you do it proper, it is best to have stunning cannas as soon as once more subsequent 12 months with out the expense of buying new vegetation.
Monitor the Climate
Canna lilies are comparatively cold-tolerant vegetation, surviving temperatures all the way down to 0°F. Because of this when you dwell in zones 7-11, you don’t have to fret about your cannas at all around the winter. A thick blanket of mulch utilized when the climate shifts to round 50°-60°F will give them a bit of additional insulation.
In the event you dwell north of zone 7, it would be best to dig up your canna bulbs and retailer them for the winter. This manner, you’ll be able to plant them once more to get pleasure from subsequent 12 months. The candy spot for digging up these, and lots of different bulbous and rhizomatic vegetation, is true after the primary frost.
Canna lilies develop from rhizomes, that are barely totally different from true bulbs. Crops like ginger and turmeric develop from rhizomes, so it must be no shock that cannas do as nicely for the reason that vegetation are comparable. For our functions, we’ll seek advice from “bulbs” and “rhizomes” interchangeably.
After the First Frost However Earlier than a Laborious Freeze
Whereas they will tolerate colder climate, we wish to depart these vegetation within the floor lengthy sufficient for the chilly to set off dormancy. Ready till a frost kills off the foliage makes the duty simpler and fewer painful. Nobody likes to cut down these fairly tropical leaves earlier than it’s vital.
As a lot as you don’t wish to dig them up too quickly, it’s vital to not depart them within the floor too lengthy. A tough freeze may be damaging. You wish to harvest them after the foliage dies however earlier than there was a deep frost.
Develop Your Canna Lillies in Containers
Even simpler than digging up your cannas each winter, canna lilies develop very nicely in containers. Cannas in containers don’t need to be faraway from their pots for the winter. Carry your cannas in containers indoors, and hold them in a cool, dry place till spring returns.
In the event you intend to re-pot your cannas, leaving them of their present containers for the winter is greatest. This manner, they don’t have to get better from the transplant whereas in a dormant state, which suggests little progress. Try to maintain your containers in an area that stays round 50°-60°F more often than not, and hold them in darkness as a lot as potential.
Minimize the Foliage
When you’ve skilled your first freeze, your canna’s foliage ought to die again, making the method simpler. Earlier than you dig, trim off the lifeless foliage utilizing a clear, sharp software. Trim the foliage again to about 2” above the bottom.
It’s vital to make use of a clear software when making these cuts. You’ll be able to even dip the software into an answer of 1 half bleach to 10 components water in between vegetation. This avoids contaminating the susceptible bulbs with fungus and micro organism that could possibly be residual on a software that hasn’t been cleaned.
Dig Up the Bulbs
Cannas are sometimes planted at the very least 4 to 6 inches deep, so it’s best to make use of a software to dig them up that may disturb the roots as a lot as potential. A shovel or gardening fork works nicely.
Utilizing your software, dig down across the plant stalks in a large sufficient circle that you just don’t injury any potential new offshoots. These may be divided later and planted to change into new canna vegetation within the spring. Dig down beneath the bulbs, lifting them with the shovel.
As soon as the soil is nicely loosened, it’s time to get your palms soiled. Use your palms to loosen the bulbs from the soil. Utilizing your palms will assist protect them and probably susceptible offshoots. You’ll be able to separate your offshoots now or within the spring, however extra about that later.
Clear Them Up
Earlier than storing, cleansing off the rhizomes and eradicating any soil is vital. These bulbs are sometimes very sturdy and may tolerate storage. Nevertheless, any injury inflicted whereas digging will make them extra vulnerable to sure pathogens. Any small cuts could make them extra susceptible to those damaging forces.
The soil can comprise fungus, micro organism, or different backyard pests you don’t wish to retailer. Use your palms or a rag to scrub the bulbs, or gently rinse off any dust with a stream of water. In the event you select to scrub the bulbs, it is vitally vital to not retailer them moist, as this will trigger them to rot.
Remedy the Bulbs
Upon getting cleaned your bulbs, it’s time to allow them to remedy. This course of drastically reduces the danger of rot. It additionally toughens the pores and skin, defending them from mildew or fungus. Most bulbs must be cured earlier than storage; cannas can take a bit longer.
Remedy them in a cool, dry, darkish place, permitting them to dry out for a few week. You’ll discover the pores and skin begins to wrinkle as they remedy.
As soon as the pores and skin takes on this wrinkled look, they’re able to retailer. Be certain to take away any that seem unhealthy. Illnesses unfold shortly in storage.
Wrap the Bulbs
Wrapping your bulbs earlier than you retailer them is one other layer of safety from any potential moisture left over, which might trigger them to rot. Newsprint paper is nice for this goal, as are paper grocery luggage.
One other approach to defend your bulbs whereas in storage, when you desire to not wrap them, is to bury them in peat moss or vermiculite. Be sure that no matter medium you employ to wrap or pack is breathable.
Wrapping additionally prevents them from touching one another. The much less contact they’ve with potential pathogens, the higher. If you’re storing them in peat moss or vermiculite, guarantee they aren’t touching and that there’s a layer of the medium on all sides.
Retailer Them Appropriately
Selecting a container and a location ought to come all the way down to preserving them dormant and on the proper moisture stage. First, resolve what sort of container you wish to retailer them in.
Paper grocery luggage work, however this won’t depart your bulbs accessible for mid-season inspection. I wish to retailer mine in shallow cardboard containers. This permits me to place a single layer in every field, making them accessible whereas insulating them.
In the event you’ve wrapped your bulbs in paper, you’ll be able to retailer them in breathable nylon or open-weave cotton luggage. The one concern right here is that they should be insulated from touching each other, and there must be ample air circulation round every bulb.
Keep away from storing your bulbs in plastic containers. They are going to rot if moisture is current and the container doesn’t breathe, so keep away from utilizing plastic containers or luggage for storage.
Additionally vital is the storage location. The temperature and humidity of the space for storing are the 2 essential components concerned in preserving the integrity of your bulbs. You desire a house the place the temperature stays between 35°-50°F. You additionally wish to keep away from fluctuations in humidity, and the house ought to keep pretty dry all through the season.
In case your basement is cool and dry, this is a perfect place for storage. A storage is usually a sensible choice in case your local weather doesn’t trigger your storage temperature to fall beneath freezing. Storing bulbs in opposition to the wall the place the storage is joined to the home’s inside may help insulate them barely.
A cool closet or shed is one other chance. In case you have a greenhouse that may keep in that temperature vary, that might even be acceptable, however make certain it doesn’t get too humid.
Examine Up Periodically
Together with your bulbs correctly saved, you ought to be good to undergo the winter. Nevertheless, it’s a good follow to examine in on them at times. As soon as per thirty days is usually ample.
Look to be sure that none are rotting or decaying. If they’re, take away these from the field and get rid of them so they don’t infect the others. Additionally, examine the moisture stage. You need them to remain dry however not dry out utterly.
In the event you see that your bulbs have continued to shrivel and darken, they might be too dry. Use a sprig bottle to mist the peat moss, vermiculite, or the surface of the paper they’re wrapped in. Don’t saturate something. Just a bit little bit of moisture goes a good distance. After checking in your bulbs, cowl them again up and retailer them.
Storing your canna bulbs for the winter doesn’t need to be sophisticated. Simply hold the following tips in thoughts and take a look at to not skip any steps, or you can find yourself with bulbs which are rotten, dried out, or in any other case broken and should not produce progress within the coming season.