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Cannas and Agapanthus in the PNW?

Salem, OR(Zone 8a)

Two of the plants/flowers I miss seeing the most since moving from So. Cal, are agapanthus and cannas. I have ordered some bulbs and hope to be able to have some success with them. Has anyone here in the Willamette Valley had any luck with these two?

This message was edited Mar 10, 2006 7:13 PM

Mount Angel, OR(Zone 8a)

I have cannas and they do fine here. I have one little agapanthus and it struggles. It is nothing like the beauties I have seen in No. Cal.

Willamette Valley, OR(Zone 8a)

Agree, most cannas do great here. We have permanent plantings in city parks (Bengal Tigers I think). There is this one house I pass by on my daily walks in summer that has a huge clump of canna growing taller than the roof (gutter level). I started agapanthus from seed several years ago and passed the seedlings off to my neighbor, then pretty much forgot about them. They bloomed for the first time last year and I asked her where she got them. Well, she refreshed my memory! I say give them both a try.

Portland, OR(Zone 8a)

Canna does really well here and I see them in quite a few gardens. Last spring Lowes and Walmart had a nice selection of them. Tropicanna was by far a favorite. They had plenty of them in stock.

Now for agapanthus. I had no luck with them they put up weak bloom stalks and never amounted to much. I finally removed them after three years of poor performance.

Willamette Valley, OR(Zone 8a)

I have never grown agapanthus, but my cannas do well really well every year. In fact they almost invasive. They started growing through a 2x4 I have in the ground and into my neighbors grass last year. I planted them about 6 years ago and finally divided them last year. I had enough to give away 6 or 7 large clumps of them.

Duvall, WA(Zone 7b)

I have canna envy. It gets too cold in the washington foothills. This summer I am going to try and grow some in pots and overwitner them in the greenhouse.


Willamette Valley, OR(Zone 8a)

I overwintered a bunch of potted cannas in my cold greenhouse (they just didn't make it into the garden last year). We had a number of 17 degree nights here so time will tell if they will be ok. I'll let you know in a few weeks how it worked out.

Salem, OR(Zone 8a)

Aren't Cannas great? I just love them.

I picked up bags of six assorted canna bulbs per bag, at Bi-Mart for $4.44 plus 30% off. I thought that was a pretty good deal, so I got five bags. Unfortunately, each bag had at least one rhizome/bulb that looked rotted out and useless. Drag.

Anyway, I planted about eighteen bulbs between yesterday and today. I hope they all come up. Unfortunately, some of the yard where I planted them, was just all full of rocks.
Anyone know how long they take to start coming up? We had some nice weather today. The sun was out for a good chunk of the day. Love it. :)

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

I was just given a big bunch of canna rhizomes, now I have store them until Spring. I have them in a mostly-closed plastic bag, and I plan to spritz them with a little water every week or so.

Would a plastic tub be better?
Should I keep them dark?

They are "naked", like bare roots. Would a little potting soil or coir help? Jiffy-Mix?

I don't have any basement, and I gather they should stay cool but not freeze. Anyplace I have thought of outside would freeze, and probably cycle above and below freezing on many days.

And indoors is not really cool when I have visitors.

Which of these would be the best place to keep them? Any other suggestions?

- indoors, a manufactured home, which I keep cool (usually 55-60) except when there are guests, a sunny day, or I fire up the pellet stove, and then it goes up to 65 or even 70.
- a shed exposed to some sun that would go through many freeze-thaw cycles and freeze hard
- a shady porch that might have more stable temps, but often freezing (zone 8a with temps down to 10-15 already)
- the shady porch but up against a sliding glass door, maybe in a stryrofoam cooler - would still freeze
- a drawer at work, probably always 65-70
? ? Someone suggested the vegetable drawer in the fridge! I assume in a somewhat-open plastic bag. Is that practical?

The only place at home with a more-stable temperature would be a closed closet in a guest room when it is not used, (but I would have to take them out when the room is made warm for guests).


This message was edited Nov 24, 2010 7:31 PM

(Ang) Bremerton, WA(Zone 8b)

I put mine in paper bags with holes and then layer them in with shredded newspaper. They are in my 3rd bedroom which has a heater but we keep it at 45-50 degrees. I read this suggestion online and it seemed easy so I did it lol.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

>> we keep it at 45-50 degrees

That sounds good.

>> in paper bags with holes and then layer them in with shredded newspaper.

And they don't dry out? Maybe I can worry less. Thanks!


(Ang) Bremerton, WA(Zone 8b)

I'll let you know in Spring. I just received some canna rhizomes from a woman in the birthday thingy.

Seattle, WA

Here in Seattle I grow the purple agapanthus with ease. The ones close to the brick wall with a Western exposure can't really take the heat, but they still hang in there. The variety I bought without any research from the nursery has far smaller flower heads than what you'll see in So. Cal. but I'm satisfied with their performance. I have paired them with the red crocosmia, so that if I'm VERY lucky they bloom together for July Fourth. Can't quite predict that timing, though. Sometimes it's WAY off. Oof! I once tried dividing the agapanthus. It's for hardier souls than I. Maybe you have a big brute available to help you out. Also, never even looked for the white agapanthus. If you haven't yet, try old faithful glads. They will pay off big time if you love cut flowers, and they are easy. Sometimes need staking.

Portland, OR(Zone 8b)

My cannas stay in ther ground year-round. I cut them back and mulch them pretty good in late fall. They are slow to come up in the spring. They usually start popping through the soil in May and by mid July and August are full bloom.

(Linda)Gig Harbor, WA(Zone 8a)

My cannas are left to the forces of nature and I have found that "president" is reliably hardy here. I also have Canna australis up against the house that has always managed to return......but the last 3 winters have been tough.

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