Storage for Canna/Gladiolus bulbs

dpc5555October 16, 2012

Hi all,

I planted some various tropicals in my yard for the this year (cannas, glads, elephant ear, pineapple lily), and now starting my winter prep.

I've done quite a bit of research about the process of overwintering the bulbs, but have one problem - finding a place to store them that is the correct temperature.

I know glads need 35-45F and cannas like around 50F. Unfortunately I have a heated basement and my garage is unattached and unheated. I've also heard that the fridge is bad due to poor air flow and high humidity.

Would my garage be the best option? It gets cold in there, but is not as cold as the outdoor air. Probably slightly below freezing though on the worst days.

Another thought I had - what about burying the bulbs in a large pot/planter and storing that in the garage? In the garage, I would think the soil would stay above freezing. Would that be doable, or a recipe for rotting bulbs?

Thanks for the advice!

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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

An unattached garage might get much colder than you think. It will probably be too cold for most of the tender stuff (elephant ears and cannas). If you want to experiment try a tub with soil or dry peat moss and bury the pineapple lilies and glads in there. Maybe using a cheap styrofoam cooler will help protect them.
If its cold for more than a day or two it doesn't matter how well they are protected.... Insulation wont stop the cold from getting in, it will only slow it down.
you could bring them into the basement for the worst of the winter.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 7:34PM
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Thanks for the advice. I'm thinking the elephant ears will do fine at room temp, so those I'll bring in. Cannas - the coolest place I can think of in the house would be my attic, which probably gets in the upper 50s low 60s during winter.

As for the glads, I guess maybe I'll experiment with keeping some out in the garage and some in the house and see if any survive. If not, I guess I could just buy another pack of bulbs next year. Or, as you say, keep them outside in the milder weather and bring them indoors when we get a cold snap.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 12:13PM
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I have the same problems with cannas. We have an unheated, uninsulated chicken coop and a pool house that is insulated but unheated. I've put them in the poolhouse. Is that ok?Zone 7. (snow in winter)

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 9:46AM
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