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Beginner Gardening Questions: Cannas In Zone 6

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mistygardener
Saint James, MO
(Zone 6b)

October 9, 2007
6:30 PM

Post #4065392

Hi all. I live in Zone 6-St. James, Missouri, and everyone tells me that Cannas CANNOT survive the winters here. I am just curious to see how many of you are able to keep your Cannas alive and to come back each year in Zone 6 or colder? I do know people in my town that are able to get theirs to come back, year after year, and they are not "Hardy" Cannas suggested for our area. I had considered digging mine up, but it was on clearance at Lowe's this spring for a buck (and it has grown from almost dead!), so it is worth trying to keep it in the ground. My neighbor has the "Unhardy" ones and he has a method that keeps them returning, year after year, so this is what I am going to try. I do have some that are suppose to be hardy for this area that came from a friend, but I will still protect them from the winter cold, just in case. Just wondering who all has luck with them in similar situations. Thanks to all information!

paulgrow

paulgrow
Allen Park, MI
(Zone 6a)

October 9, 2007
7:03 PM

Post #4065481

I'm in zone 6 also, it depends on how severe the winters are. I know folks that have them planted in beds next to the house and never dig them. The heat ffrom the basement wall keeps the soil warm enough.

Why don;t you dig a few just in case, and leave the others out and see how they do.

I would mulch them heavily with shredded leaves.

Paul
mistygardener
Saint James, MO
(Zone 6b)

October 9, 2007
8:47 PM

Post #4065762

Well, we haven't had a severe winter for several years now, but, whose to say this won't be the worst in history! LOL The ones I got from my friend that are suppose to be hardy are mulched heavily with cypress mulch, and also have 2 layers of landscaping timbers for protection. The one that cost a buck is next to our trash bin, and also mulched, but really not a lot of protection from the elements. My neighbor started with a 5 gallon bucket about half full of rhizomes, and now has an overabundance of them! He is going to thin them out and will be kind enough to share some with me, so I will be set next spring if mine fail. Gotta love those neighbors that share! I am lucky enough to have 3 neighbors that have shared the wealth with me on Cannas, lilies, autumn joy stone crop, iris, and hens and chicks. I feel very lucky! My neighbor with the Cannas also gave me tons of seeds that I have put into the ground to see what, if anything, comes of them in the spring. I did not "nick" them or soak them in water, as some have recommended. He said to just put them about an inch under the dirt and leave them be. So, if they take, I will have somewhere about 40 Cannas come next spring! Anyway, just looking for as much information on Cannas as I can find as I love them to death! For anyone else interested, my neighbor has his mulched, and he cuts them back before first frost and lays all the foliage on top with heavy cardboard and more mulch. This is how he gets his to survive the Missouri winters, and what I plan to do with mine as well. However, he says that you have to remove the foliage in the spring because they do not deteriorate over the winter. Any other information always appreciated, and I hope I have given some as well! Thanks again!
planolinda
Plano, TX

October 10, 2007
1:27 AM

Post #4066763

i have only grown canna from rhizomes --how long do seeds take to grow a plant? will it bloom the same year?
mistygardener
Saint James, MO
(Zone 6b)

October 10, 2007
2:38 AM

Post #4067023

Sorry, I am not sure how long it takes for the seeds to take. I just hope that they last the winter here and come up next spring. Misty
garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

October 11, 2007
1:17 AM

Post #4070209

I W/S'ed my cannas in late Winter... they bloomed this Summer and are currently setting seed. You can also nick the seeds, soak them in hot water for 24 hours and then pot indoors till temperatures are warm to plant outside . They will bloom in the same growing season.
kls_01
Champaign, IL
(Zone 5b)

October 11, 2007
1:35 AM

Post #4070282

I agree that seeds will bloom the same year...also, I've had cannas for about five years here in zone 5b. Got them from my mother in law. The first year I didn't get around to digging them up(baby on the way!) and the next year none came back...except for a few I had planted in a northern corner of my house. I was surprised, but dug them up the next fall not wanting to take any chances. This past year I had so many cannas I decided to try out that corner again and see if they survived the winter...and they did! I have no idea why they have done ok there, but it seems to work. I don't mulch them or anything(although I do cut the foliage to the ground...but may not have that first winter)...I think maybe it could be because it is close to the bathroom, and maybe the water pipes keep the foundation warmer, something like what was mentioned(no basement)? Either way, it is possible for them to make it...if you manage to find that "lucky spot"!

Oh, I also read on here that you can't over fertilize them during the growing season, so I fertilized them a lot and they responded even better than normal...and I think I read they like a lot of water too. I'm still sort of a newby at this, but hope that helps!
mistygardener
Saint James, MO
(Zone 6b)

October 11, 2007
3:15 AM

Post #4070625

Sorry garden6, I am unsure what you mean by "W/S'ed"? I am very new to gardening and know very few terms. I love learning all I can, though! I will have cannas next year, one way or the other! I just want to see if I can make them survive a winter here. Just an experiment since I have very little money in mine at the moment. That and have my neighbor that is so kind to share his wealth! Thanks to all! Misty
chris_lcf530
Peachtree City, GA
(Zone 7b)

October 11, 2007
12:10 PM

Post #4071250

I believe the term mentioned is "winter seeded"

chris
garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

October 11, 2007
1:26 PM

Post #4071448

Misty~ W/S is wintersowing.. a neat, easy process that grow flowers, plants, etc. from seeds that need cold stratification to germinate. There is a Wintersowing forum here on DG, and the gardeners there are gracious and helpful in encouraging others to try this process. Matter of fact, last year was my first year at W/Sing and I've experienced tremendous success in growing flowers that were a dismal failure for me (here on the prairie). Check out that forum for encouragement to W/Sing. Any questions you have about the process, no matter what question... will be answered. Also check out Trudi's site http://wintersown.org for more info and free seeds to get you started. I will wintersow again this year. Here's my first success at poppies from seed... ;0)

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mistygardener
Saint James, MO
(Zone 6b)

October 11, 2007
4:14 PM

Post #4071969

garden6-thanks so much! you have been very helpful! There are so many things in this forum I am having a hard time finding my way around, so I have to go back to what those of you have sent me to find where I need to be! I do happen to have a mini greenhouse, but it is just a cheap-y that I bought at Family Dollar. It is made of metal with a heavy plastic covering that zips closed. I have my impatiens in it and am gonna see if they might happen to survive the winter here. Thanks for all your help! Misty
garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

October 11, 2007
4:35 PM

Post #4072019

Misty~ You're welcome! Wintersowing uses recycled transparent milk jugs, juice /soda bottles etc as the mini greenhouses, some even use sandwich baggies.. It's a form of germinating seeds with nature's assistance like a fun gardening science experiment. Have fun and let us know if those impatiens survive. ;0)
mistygardener
Saint James, MO
(Zone 6b)

October 11, 2007
5:18 PM

Post #4072122

This is just a wealth of information! I bookmarked the page so I can find my way back to it. Now if I can just figure out what seeds will work well in my area, I think I might give it a try. I hate that the cold weather is here and my gardening has to be over! Thanks again, Misty
planolinda
Plano, TX

October 11, 2007
7:43 PM

Post #4072537

i am a bit confused--garden6--you said WS is a process for growing seed that need cold stratification to germinate--but later you mention making a little green house enviornment--which i would think takes away the cold--i am very interested in growing new canna and want to try the seed method (i will go to the website your mentioned so don't worry if you are done answering about WS)
garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

October 11, 2007
10:00 PM

Post #4072900

Plano~ sorry for the confusion...the milk jugs are placed outside in the elements, but serve as a micro environment for the seeds in the cold to be stratified as well as when the temps increase. The process allows the seeds to germinate at the right time and flourish with Spring rains. You remove the cut upper 1/3 rd of the precut milk jug when the temps are stable in Spring and eliminates the hardening off process for seedlings grown in a greenhouse or indoors. Please check out the wintersowing forum here on DG and it'll probably be much more clearer as well as enlightening for various techniques tried and true. I enjoyed W/Sing so much that I wouldn't want to confuse you, but I do want others to enjoy W/Sing even more. Sooooo.. I am willing to answer any questions or direct you to the right forum ( trust me the gardeners on that forum was more than willing to answer all my questions and encouraged me along the way)
planolinda
Plano, TX

October 13, 2007
11:37 AM

Post #4077933

thanks for clearing things up-- i am new to gardening and now that i am totally obsessed i was starting to wonder what i will do in the winter!! well now i know--my garden obsession can live on even in the cold dark months with winter seeding!! so nice to have help from this website--i would miss out on so much otherwise--thanks again
garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

October 13, 2007
4:28 PM

Post #4078693

You're welcome!! ;0)
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

October 27, 2007
3:16 PM

Post #4128820

I grow my Canna's out doors here In Scotland UK and instead of waiting for the frost to come OR not, I just throw a good mulch over all all the rhizomes to offer protection from all the elements, it acts as shelter and a little hot bed for them, they dont come through the ground till say about May/June but they are still flowering now, end off October, so they give their monies worth for sure. Good Luck, WeeNel.
growgirl59
Saint Louis, MO

October 27, 2007
5:34 PM

Post #4129198

I have had the same Cannas come up in my zone 5b garden now for 21 years. I thin them every 3 years. The secret for me was to plant them near my foundation with a southern exposure. The rhizomes I thinned were planted elsewhere and none survived anywhere else. My Tropicana and Pretoria cannas are my favorites and I leave some in the ground and bring some in - just to be sure. I was very interested in the information others gave as to growing them from seed. Years ago I tried, but they never bloomed the same year. I'll have to try again. I was told awhile back not to let the seed ripen as that weakens the plant. Once I hear something it becomes cemented in my brain. I am working on being more open to new ideas and this forum has helped me immensly. Next I want to learn to post pictures here to have some of my own things discussed.
Pughbear7
Tulsa, OK
(Zone 6b)

October 29, 2007
5:17 AM

Post #4134499

Misty: I have had great success on cannas here in tulsa. I try to watch the cold snaps and water well a day or two before it gets below freezing. We have ups and downs here with many days of 50 -70 degrees and then wham it drops like a rock. I have seen it go from 70 to 30 in 8 hours time in the afternoon. There are many cannas growing and just left to fend for there self. I agree it never hurts to be safe. just letting you know another zone 6 results. Dave
mistygardener
Saint James, MO
(Zone 6b)

October 29, 2007
5:20 AM

Post #4134505

Thanks! I am going to protect mine, but no plans of digging it up. I had hopes of find more today at Lowe's but they were all gone. Last I was there they were down to seven something, but just looked so poor I didn't feel they were worth it. Misty
rubyw
Crozet, VA

October 29, 2007
10:44 AM

Post #4134688

Reading that so many of you in colder areas than my own is tempting me to leave mine in the ground this winter also. This was my first year with cannas, and they put on quite a show. I would hate to lose them though. I am in Zone 7. I might do what some of you do and dig and store half and leave the other half in ground. That is the safest way.

Anyways, I have enjoyed reading this thread and learning some things. Thanks to all who participated.

Ruby
mistygardener
Saint James, MO
(Zone 6b)

October 29, 2007
10:49 AM

Post #4134691

Good luck Ruby, and glad we were helpful! I know the ones I have seen here the "safe" zone started in zone 7, but always better to be safe than sorry when it is something you love. I know I see them all over our small city, but I am not sure if they are the hardy variety or not. Although I still plan to my hardy ones protection as well. Misty
jazzzy704
Fenton, MI
(Zone 5b)

October 29, 2007
3:11 PM

Post #4135462

growgirl,
Looks like you have what is called a "Micro climate" place or area in your yard. All of us have one some where. A place where out of zone plants will grow because the conditions make the area
a micro zone change. I can and do grow Clematis Montana "Rubens" in an area under 2 large Junipers over rocks on the east side of my house they are a zone 6. I also grow 3 Eucomis,
(the pineapple plant a zone 6) in an area on the front of my property. So what is exciting is to find these places where warmth is reserved from the sun and slowly released or a protected place where
you can try out of zone plantings!! I am supposed to be in zone 5 but my yard because it is on the north and unprotected from winds and snow responds more like a zone 5b. I lose some plants rated for this zone and have had terrible luck with hybrid roses even with heavy protection.
I'm sure we all have some stories to share about that!!
Does seed ripening take alot from a canna ?? In terms of tuber growth.
Julie
garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

October 29, 2007
4:30 PM

Post #4135710

Jazzy~ my cannas that grew from seed this year, were overexuberant in their tuber growth. I tend to deadhead the flowers to extend blooming, even with that I was able to harvest over 30 seeds in the last 3 weeks from 2 of the cannas.
mistygardener
Saint James, MO
(Zone 6b)

October 29, 2007
4:32 PM

Post #4135717

WOW, I hope I get as lucky with my canna seeds! Misty
kls_01
Champaign, IL
(Zone 5b)

October 29, 2007
11:15 PM

Post #4137047

I forgot to mention that before I planted my seeds, I had rubbed a spot off with sandpaper and soaked them in water...eventually little "sprouts"(they never got too big) emerged from where I had rubbed through the outershell... Then I planted them. Hope this helps!
mistygardener
Saint James, MO
(Zone 6b)

October 29, 2007
11:43 PM

Post #4137169

Well, I did not do that with mine, so I hope they will work just planting them! Thanks, Misty
kls_01
Champaign, IL
(Zone 5b)

October 30, 2007
2:14 PM

Post #4139177

I think it should...I had a few that I think my kids stuck in my houseplants, and I kept getting sprouts...I think soaking them and everything might just make them sprout quicker. Good luck!
mistygardener
Saint James, MO
(Zone 6b)

October 30, 2007
2:16 PM

Post #4139181

Thanks! I did not want mine to take too soon so as to make the winter here, which is why I didn't do what most have said they do. I just love Cannas and want as many as my yard can handle! LOL
michaeljo
West Norriton, PA
(Zone 6b)

October 30, 2007
2:48 PM

Post #4139312

I have cannas growing in a south corner near the foundation of my house. I've never had to dig them up, they multiple every year. This spring I dug up of few tubers and put them in containers on my deck -- they bloomed all summer. Now that we've had our first frost and the cannas are looking ratty, can I cut back the foliage and store the tubers in the same containers (without digging them out and cleaning them off) in a cool dark space under my house (it's a half-basement/crawl space underneath the first floor of the house)?
garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

October 30, 2007
6:01 PM

Post #4139930

Michael~ that's exactly what I do with my cannas that are potted on the patio...cut off the foliage and I overwinter the pot and all inside the garage, but your crawl space sounds fine!
michaeljo
West Norriton, PA
(Zone 6b)

October 30, 2007
6:13 PM

Post #4139956

Thanks garden6! Should I water them before storing? Do I need to water them over the winter?
garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

October 30, 2007
10:17 PM

Post #4140694

Michael~ Last year,...I did not water the pots, I simply placed them as is in the garage and they fared fine.

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