First year to grow canna indica. I loved them up against the South brick wall and apparently they liked it there too. From one rhizome in a pot that someone gave me at RU, I ended up with a 4x4' space crowded with ~15-20 stalks! Unreal! Anyway, it snowed lighly a couple of days ago (gone by late afternoon) and the foliage was mostly brown today. So I cut each stalk down to ~2 inches from the ground. Is that what I was supposed to do here in 7b-8a to overwinter them in ground? I sure hope so but could use some reassurance. Otherwise, I have collected seed all summer so I guess I can always start a new patch if I messed this one up. Advice appreciated for overwintering in my zone. :-) --- Also can I begin transplanting these in Spring as soon as I see some top growth? Thanks! Stacey
Stacey, it's probably a good idea to cover them in a couple of inches of mulch. Something like a shredded bark works as a good insulation and as to the transplant, your idea is the way I do it and it seems to be fine.
There are other people on here that have much more experience with Canna than I, but they seem to be pretty resilient plants in zones where the ground doesn't freeze. My mom is in 8a and that's how she deals with them.
Not me i have to dig them up and store them in my basement. I wish i could leave them outside, as it took me 18 hours to get them dug out, cleaned off, labeled and stored... But i love cannas so its worth it to me...
well I had 4 different cannas last year and about 10 seeds mixed I planted in a seed starter garden.. this Year I have 12 different cannas and 8 different type of seeds (at least 6 of each so 48+ seeds to plant) So this year to dig up will be quite a chore... Plus by then I'll have a one month old lol guess hubby will really have to help this year.. if i had to choose between warmer and cooler climate i would rather warmer for sure.. But i just love tropicals.. However on the up side i only have grasshoppers to worry about getting my cannas..
For me the most important thing for overwintering cannas is the soil has to drain well. That is the only thing I have to think about. The mulch isn`t necessary in my garden especially if will draw or collect too much moisture.
Indica certainly must have a will to live. DesertPirate, you're the person who ID'd mine as this was my first year growing cannas, never realized there are so many different ones. I started with 12 rhizomes gifted by a neighbor and any one of them produced at least 20 bulblets. And seeds, I must have a pint jar full. Based on my neighbor's experience and advice from the forums, I just chopped down the leaves after first frost and covered the plants with about 3" of coarse bark mulch. We're pretty close zone-wise Stacey.
Thanks for all the info everyone. I had a big pile of leaves from fall that I threw on top of that area, so hopefully that blanket will help insulate. Gardening while pregnant? That might be interesting; just be very careful with your back which will already have some strain due to the increased package in front. LOL. Congratulations and best wishes! Stacey (mother of 4, last batch were boy/girl twins!)
My advice is "Don't Panic." I grew canna Wyoming along a south facing wall in NJ, zone 6b. Some years the temperature would get to 10F and stay below freezing for a week at a time. But every year for five or six years the canna came back better than ever. It's not a practice I'd recommend, though, because cannas grown in other parts of the garden usually didn't make it.
As Desert Pirate suggests, mulch probably won't hurt, either.
I'd bet they will be fine. I'd also guess that it might be good to divide them a little before they begin to show top growth (not sure how you would know unless you kept records..). I assume they start pushing out roots before they set new foliage.
oh yes - that is probably the most exciting gardening time for me as well. Those first sprouts after a long winter are the reminder that the cold is ending and soon everything will be coming back to 'life' in the garden! Anticipation heightened! ;-) SMSK