Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Canna Again

I’ve been going on and on about Cannas for a long time in this blog. The oldest post is August 6, 2006. I’ve been planting in spring and digging out in fall for more years than that.
Every time I dig them out I think I should seek psychological help. Maybe I can get an appointment with Carol’s Dr. Hortfreud at May Dreams Garden.

Anyway, even though we haven’t had frost, I had to dig out the tropical canna rhizomes to store them for the winter. We have had beautiful gardening weather and I had time this weekend. Make hay while the sun shines as they say.

I loosened and dug them out with a garden fork. They were huge once again – reminding me of large yams and making me hungry for roast turkey.
I set them on the patio to dry. Then cleaned off most of the soil. I Put them in a plastic tub and covered them with peat moss. I’ll store them in the garage where they will stay cool but not freeze. In spring, I’ll cut apart the tubers with a sharp knife. I’ll replant pieces with at least 2 eyes.

They seem to multiply exponentially. I made a pact with myself not to keep more rhizomes than fit in one container. I filled my container and one box to give away. I did the same last fall.
This pile remains.

I will most likely throw the rest away if I can’t find anyone interested in planting them. If I find several people willing to plant and unplant, maybe we can get a group rate with Dr. Hortfreud.

More information about Canna from Washington State University here.


Joyce said...

Thanks for posting about your Cannas. I have some Yellow cannas that I never dig up but should. Thanks for the idea of peatmoss in a storage container. And yes those things can be killers to dig up. I recycled a bunch to others and it's alot of work :)

Marie said...


I check the rhizomes periodically during the winter but I have never had any trouble with rotting or drying out.

In the summer when I see the lush tropical growth or watch the hummingbirds sipping from the flowers, I know why I go through this ritual.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Wow! That is one huge pile of cannas on the patio! Hope you don't have rocky soil like we do here. Mmmmmmm, roast turkey. Won't be long now 'till Turkey Day.

Marie said...

Yes, it is a huge pile. Every year I can't believe the rhizomes can grow that much. Fortunately the soil is pretty good. I can't imagine planting in rocky soil - tough work!

donna said...

Very funny AND informative post. need psychological help. lol

Maybe if I read this post in the AM when I'm rested, Cannas wouldn't sound like so much hard work.


Marie said...

Thanks Donna,

Cannas are a bit of a chore (to put it mildly). I planted 3 'Sky Pencil' holly last year to fill in and reduce the need for so many cannas (and for winter interest). They are about 3' tall now. Maybe some day they will be enough and I'll give up the crazy canna planting every year. But I (and the hummingbirds) will miss them. It doesn't seem so bad now that the job is done. See how that happens.