Canna lilies

We planted a number of these lilies last spring, and enjoyed their blooms very much. We heard that the bulbs can be lifted in the fall, and be re-planted in the spring. We live in zone 5 (Ontario). Right now, they are still blooming, and showing more buds. When is the right time to dig up the bulbs, and how do we best keep them during the winter months ? Much obliged !
Ben
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Usually after first frost blackens the foliage you lift them let them dry a bit and shake the soil from them and store them in a cool but not freeze prone basement. Boxes with wood shavings or crumpled newspaper work pretty good, you dont want them damp and touching and you don't want them dessicated either.
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BeTu wrote:

I'm in the same Canna boat here in GBay, WI....
I plan to dig the cannas after the 1st frost.... rinse the 'bulbs', dry, & store in a cool, dark root cellar. I trim the stalks in mid Feb and also then replant bulbs into plastic tubs using loose spagham potting soil.... I then store tubs in both a cool sun room OR warmer basement with sun light until May 20th outdoor trans planting.
I've done 20 Cannas & 2 Dinner Plate Dahlia plants....
Next year will be 6 Gardens, not 2....
Will then plant 40 Canna bulbs and 80 Dahlia bulbs... for more July on Color.
I bought the addition Canna & Dahlia Bulbs from: DirectGardening Bloomington, IL Web Site.
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Dennis Mayer wrote:

I made a 'timing' mistake here on my bulb rinsing... I do rinse/ clean the bulbs only in mid February when I put the bulbs into pots... I rinse bulbs to split a bulb or two in an attempt to get a few more plantings...
Rinsing bulbs in Fall just may cause more bulb rot......

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No.
You want to rinse them to remove ALL soil, which contains microorganisms which are likely to cause more rot, all else being equal. Then, let them dry for a day or so, and package in something (like vermiculite) that will insulate them somewhat from extreme changes in humidity.
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blooms
are
up the

obliged
By February in Green Bay, Wisconsin the ground will be frozen solid and the canna rhizomes will be dead. You don't have to kill yourself getting them out of the ground, but after the first hard frost, you may as well do it as outside work will be less and less pleasant.
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Canna are Rhizome plants and Dahlias are Tubers. Onions, Liliys, are BULB plants.
Member of Canna-net and Dahlia-net e-mail list.
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The Lone Sidewalk Astronomer of Rosamond
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In addition to what other have already said, one way of preventing rot is to dust the bulbs with sulfur powder, available at garden centers. Do this the same way you'd dust chicken with flour - put in a bag, shake, then tap off the excess.
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Thanks for your input people ! I'm sure that we'll be able to treat and store the bulbs properly, and re-plant next spring. Ben & Mary

blooms
are
to
the
off
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By the way, I think Ortho calls their sulfur "Flo Tox", a name which you might ignore because it sounds like a pesticide. And, the teenage retail help may not know this, even though they stock the shelves with their very own hands.

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the
obliged
I have boxes and boxes of cannas and have tried different methods to store them. You can lift them anytime before the ground freezes. I generally wait until they have been frost damaged, but it all depends on my schedule. Sometimes I lift them around this time, and sometimes they don't get lifted until Thanksgiving. I'm in zone 6. My theory is that the longer they are out of the ground, the more likely that they will have problems. Some people don't lift them here, but that doesn't work for me. I guess it depends on how deep you plant them and if they are in a protected area.
In any event, cut the foliage down to about 6 inches to make things easier. Then I use a fork to lift the clumps. I knock off as much soil as possible, but I don't rinse them. The remaining foliage is cut down to about 1 inch. I line cardboard boxes from office paper with plastic garbage bags and pack them with rhizomes. I don't close the bag, but leave the top of the box free of plastic. I put the cardboard lid on the box and stack them three or four high in the basement. My basement tends to stay about 65F in the winter. I don't have any problems with rotting. If you worry about rotting, then you can sprinkle the rhizomes with sulfur or Gold Bond powder. I have had problems with them drying out too much without the plastic. Come spring, they are in perfect condition and are sprouting. This get them off to a fast start as compared to when they dry out too much which also causes some to die.
I use the same method with dalais and calla lilies.
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Ok, first of all they are I.Canna and are NOT a liliy at all, they also do NOT grow bulbs, they grow Rhizomes, and what you can do is wait until you have your first frost, that'll kill off the top. Dig them up and store in a cool dry dark place, paper bags do fine, or cardboard boxs. Let them dry off before storing and check once in awhile for any mold. Then when the soil is reaching at lest 45F in the spring time, you can plant the rhizome making sure you last frost has passed. When planting a good amount of steer manure on top of the ground helps jump start them too.
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snipped-for-privacy@inreach.com says... :) Ok, first of all they are I.Canna and are NOT a liliy at all, they also do :) NOT grow bulbs, they grow Rhizomes, and what you can do is wait until you :) have your first frost, that'll kill off the top. Dig them up and store in a :) cool dry dark place, paper bags do fine, or cardboard boxs. Let them dry off :) before storing and check once in awhile for any mold. Then when the soil is :) reaching at lest 45F in the spring time, you can plant the rhizome making :) sure you last frost has passed. When planting a good amount of steer manure :) on top of the ground helps jump start them too. :) Add a twist to the question...have a few in small pond. One plant is in pea gravel the other two/three or bare roots in the water of the vegi filter. In the Dallas area so there will be a few days of freeze though I will keep the water flowing either by solar covering or water heater. Leave as is and see what happens? or ya think they will die out after the greenery (more than likely) freezes back.
--
Lar

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The first freeze will kill off the tops, turning them black, if the water doesn't freeze the ones in the water might make it, but the water can't get into the 30's or you'll end up killing off the roots in there. I've seen photos of canna growing on the edge of ponds with roots in the water, but they are down in zone 10 / 11 where they never see even frost.
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I've done a bit of research and found that not a single species in the genus Canna can be considered even remotely cold hardy unless heavily mulched over the winter. Pisser.
Chinese species of Musa and Musella are another story. At least two species are definitely cold hardy.
There are many Gingers that are cold hardy too!!!
says...

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