Canna lilies are such a pleasure within the backyard. With their lush, tropical foliage and massive, brightly coloured flowers, they influence the panorama in a method that few vegetation are able to. Sadly, canna bulbs aren’t particularly cold-tolerant for these of us dwelling in cooler climates.
Thankfully, they are often saved for the winter for those who dig them up and provides them the best surroundings to overwinter in. Listed here are some ideas for storing your canna lilies over the winter. When you do it proper, you need to have lovely 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 right down to 0°F. Because of this for those who stay 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.
When you stay north of zone 7, it would be best to dig up your canna bulbs and retailer them for the winter. This fashion, you may plant them once more to take pleasure in subsequent 12 months. The candy spot for digging up these, and plenty of different bulbous and rhizomatic vegetation, is correct after the primary frost.
Canna lilies develop from rhizomes, that are barely completely different from true bulbs. Crops like ginger and turmeric develop from rhizomes, so it ought to be no shock that cannas do as properly because the vegetation are related. For our functions, we are going to confer with “bulbs” and “rhizomes” interchangeably.
After the First Frost However Earlier than a Exhausting Freeze
Whereas they’ll tolerate colder climate, we need to go away 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 mandatory.
As a lot as you don’t need to dig them up too quickly, it’s vital to not go away them within the floor too lengthy. A tough freeze might be damaging. You need 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 properly in containers. Cannas in containers don’t must be faraway from their pots for the winter. Convey your cannas in containers indoors, and preserve them in a cool, dry place till spring returns.
When you intend to re-pot your cannas, leaving them of their present containers for the winter is finest. This fashion, they don’t have to get better from the transplant whereas in a dormant state, which suggests little progress. Attempt to maintain your containers in an area that stays round 50°-60°F more often than not, and preserve them in darkness as a lot as doable.
Lower 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 may even dip the software into an answer of 1 half bleach to 10 elements water in between vegetation. This avoids contaminating the weak bulbs with fungus and micro organism that might be residual on a software that hasn’t been cleaned.
Dig Up the Bulbs
Cannas are sometimes planted not less than 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 doable. A shovel or gardening fork works properly.
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 might 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 properly loosened, it’s time to get your arms soiled. Use your arms to loosen the bulbs from the soil. Utilizing your arms will assist protect them and doubtlessly weak offshoots. You may 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 weak to those damaging forces.
The soil can comprise fungus, micro organism, or different backyard pests you don’t need to retailer. Use your arms or a rag to scrub the bulbs, or gently rinse off any grime with a stream of water. When you select to clean the bulbs, it is extremely vital to not retailer them moist, as this may trigger them to rot.
Treatment the Bulbs
After you have cleaned your bulbs, it’s time to allow them to remedy. This course of drastically reduces the chance of rot. It additionally toughens the pores and skin, defending them from mildew or fungus. Most bulbs ought to be cured earlier than storage; cannas can take a bit longer.
Treatment 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 sure to take away any that seem unhealthy. Illnesses unfold rapidly 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 may trigger them to rot. Newsprint paper is nice for this goal, as are paper grocery luggage.
One other strategy to defend your bulbs whereas in storage, for those who want 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 right down to conserving them dormant and on the proper moisture degree. First, determine what sort of container you need to retailer them in.
Paper grocery luggage work, however this may not go away your bulbs accessible for mid-season inspection. I prefer to retailer mine in shallow cardboard bins. This permits me to place a single layer in every field, making them accessible whereas insulating them.
When you’ve wrapped your bulbs in paper, you may retailer them in breathable nylon or open-weave cotton luggage. The one concern right here is that they have to be insulated from touching each other, and there ought to be enough air circulation round every bulb.
Keep away from storing your bulbs in plastic containers. They may rot if moisture is current and the container doesn’t breathe, so keep away from utilizing plastic bins or luggage for storage.
Additionally vital is the storage location. The temperature and humidity of the cupboard space are the 2 essential elements concerned in preserving the integrity of your bulbs. You desire a house the place the temperature stays between 35°-50°F. You additionally need 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 generally is a sensible choice in case your local weather doesn’t trigger your storage temperature to fall beneath freezing. Storing bulbs towards the wall the place the storage is joined to the home’s inside will help insulate them barely.
A cool closet or shed is one other chance. When you’ve got a greenhouse that may keep in that temperature vary, that will even be acceptable, however be sure that it doesn’t get too humid.
Examine Up Periodically
Along with your bulbs correctly saved, you have to be good to undergo the winter. Nevertheless, it’s a good follow to test in on them at times. As soon as per thirty days is often enough.
Look to make it possible for 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, test the moisture degree. You need them to remain dry however not dry out fully.
When you see that your bulbs have continued to shrivel and darken, they might be too dry. Use a twig bottle to mist the peat moss, vermiculite, or the skin 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 must be sophisticated. Simply preserve the following tips in thoughts and check out to not skip any steps, or you can find yourself with bulbs which are rotten, dried out, or in any other case broken and will not produce progress within the coming season.