Digging Up Canna Bulbs

In the Midwest we find ourselves digging up canna bulbs to store for winter.

If we chose not to; we will lose our plant and have to purchase new bulbs the following spring. Some gardeners prefer to purchase yearly.

Others, including myself, will lift our bulbs and reuse them.

Digging Up Canna Bulbs Wait Until The First Frost

Digging Up Canna Bulbs & Dividing

Wait until the first frost before digging up canna bulbs or dividing plants.

When the foliage has started to die back and the nights are getting cooler, that happens to be the perfect time to start thinking about digging up your inground or potted canna plants.

How to Divide & Winter Canna Plants

Potted Plants

Lift the plant from the container.

In Garden Plants

Carefully dig around your plant to lift them from your soil.

Cut Foliage

Once you have lifted your plant, cut off the foliage to about 2″ above the bulbs.

Separate The Root Ball

Storing Canna Plant Bulbs For Winter

Flip your plant over and start to separate the root balls of the bulbs.  

Use scissors and/or a knife to cut and separate your bulbs. Try and leave a good portion of the roots intact.

Continue separating all of your bulbs. After you have finished, your bulbs will look like mine below


Trim Roots & Cure The Bulbs

Storing Canna Bulbs for winter

f you wish, now is the time to trim some of your roots.

  1. Do not wash bulbs. Lay them on newspaper in a dark closet to cure for a week. Curing hardens the outer skin of the bulb to prevent rotting during storage.
  2. After curing for a week, gently brush off the extra dirt and wrap the bulbs in a newspaper.
  3. All the bulbs get stored together, in a paper bag label by color.  Store them during the winter in a cool basement.
  4. Each month check the bulbs for rotting. Discard any rotten bulbs.

Replanting In-Ground

After the danger of frost passes in the spring, you can plant them in the ground.

Replanting In Pots

If repotting, you can re-pot them just before Easter and leave by a sunny window; indoors.

When placing the potted plant outside, be sure to slowly get the plant used to the temps.

A few hours at a time daily does the trick.

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