Transplanting Canna's for Spring

greeningup123February 16, 2013

Hello All,

Last Summer I planted 'Tropicanna Black' Canna's. In October I placed all 8 tubers/bulbs in a large nursery pot filled with peat moss and have been sitting in the basement ever since (receives no light and is about 60-65 degrees down there). My question is, when do I pot these up to allow roots so I can plant these in mid-May? Or do I just put the bulbs directly from basement to decorative planters in May?


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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

You could pot them up now, or wait until growth starts and pot them up. Do you have anyplace you could move the pots indoors where they would get some light? Al

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 11:36AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Don't get too anxious to do anything until it's warm enough outside for them to grow, no more frost.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 1:01PM
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Thanks for the responses guys!

Purpleinopp- one of them is starting to grow, but I think I'll hold off a few more weeks to pot up...if I don't have to take care of something for any more time during the winter I'm fine with that! I already have a lot of houseplants that I'm growing.

Thanks again...I think I will just keep them in the basement until the end of March.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 4:07PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

If they're ready to grow and you don't mind tending them until they can stay outside, no reason to not pot them up, especially if you're the type to put them outside for the days above freezing, inside at night. If you have a lot of plants inside, the "good light" places are probably already taken. Frost won't kill them, just ruin the already-grown foliage but in CT you're probably having nights way colder than just a little frost. When I lived in OH, the Cannas would stay in the basement until March, and would have foliage sprouting. Either way is fine as long as they're not rotting. I'm anxious for spring, too, there's way too many plants in here!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 9:19AM
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Purpleinopp- This is my first year overwintering Canna's (if you haven't noticed by now). These canna's will go in large decorative urns, so if I only have to plant them once for the summer, that will be great. Last year they grew to 5 ft. tall! What do you mean by rotten? Most of them look dead, but I also heard somewhere that canna's are pretty tough. I haven't watered them once since when I took them inside. Should I have watered? I just didn't want them to come to life inside, because our basement actually stays pretty warm for an unheated area (probably 60 degrees down there). Just to clarify, the tubers are not mushy, but rather hard underneath with the flaky growth from last year. I cut the 5ft. foliage off last Fall, so all that is there now are 4" tall tubers.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 4:27PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Yes, they are tough. The rhizomes have stored energy inside to begin growing new foliage, but at a point they'll need to have roots in soil to get moisture and sunlight on the leaves to keep producing energy. Without roots while in storage, it's not really possible to water, and trying to could cause rot. Being able to see them, you're in the best position to gauge when they look like they must get growing.

If they were rotting, they would be mushy and not making foliage, possibly smelly, maybe with visible mold. Sounds like they're fine, nothing like that. Maybe against an outside wall or corner would be somewhat colder. I always put mine on the floor too, but if they're sprouting out, I don't know if you'd want to go much colder.

Putting in large urns would give you warmer soil sooner, like a raised bed. I would put them in the urns as soon as you've got nights regularly above 40. The ones in the ground here keep growing, then getting a little frost bite occasionally. So even if you do get a little brown on some leaves from jumping the gun and getting another frost, the roots can be busy getting to work, and as soon as the sun hits the leaves, they'll be doing their thing too, replacing that stored energy. Trim the brown off if that happens and you won't even know it's there in a couple weeks.

They don't really mind being moved around at any time as long as they don't get too dry if you move them while actively growing and it's hot outside. So if you were to put them close together in a big pot (if you think they won't wait,) then in their final destination when it's warmer outside, that would be fine.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 12:15PM
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LOC: Conn.

I moved my 'Tropicanna Black' Canna's upstairs from the basement on March 1st. I potted them up in a mixture of potting mix and peat moss. There are about 10 rhizomes (some are in their own pots and the rest are potted together). The room temperature is approximately 62 degrees Fahrenheit and they receive a full Southern exposure. My question is: Should I have started seeing growth yet? Should I leave the 3-5" dried stem from last year or cut back to soil level? There are very small dark bumps on the top of these stems, is this good or bad?


    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 9:12AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

The bumps sound like the eyes, where the foliage will sprout. In a room that cool, it will take some time. Just don't rot them with too much water while they're growing roots and getting ready to sprout foliage. The heat from the south window should help.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 9:16AM
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Purpleinopp -

I guess I will just leave the dried-looking 4" stems since these should produce foliage then. They have definitely been kept on the dry side...I have watered them no more than twice over the past month.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 8:32PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Sending good vibes and good luck! The Cannas in the yard here got frost bite again last week, really late for that. They were already making 2nd and 3rd leaves, but it's OK, already new leaves are peeking up. Is spring in sight where you are yet?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 10:54AM
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