How to Winterize your Canna Lilies
Cana lilies are common among gardening and landscaping enthusiasts because of their spectacular tropical appearance and bold accent. They are three to five feet high when fully mature and add an aesthetic feel to the garden. Its flowers are either orange, yellow or red while its flat and broad leaves are purple, green or variegated. Though highly appreciated by landscaping enthusiast, canna lilies were intended to lure pollinators like hummingbirds, bats, and bees that collect pollen and nectar. Canna lilies are self-pollinating. Though a single canna lily spike flower can last over a week, their spent flowers should often be deadheaded to preserve the flower’s energy and retain its attractive nature.
Canna lilies bloom from mid- summer to the first frost. They need adequate moisture to keep blooming and should be planted in a properly drained, organic and nutrient rich soil. However, being tropical plants, they are highly drawn to hot and humid climates. As such, they prefer full and direct sunlight though they can thrive in partially shaded areas. Their main advantage is that they are disease free, but their leaves may attract snails and snugs.
Winterizing canna lilies
In zones 7 to 10, canna lilies are winter hardy, but in other areas, their roots must be stored indoors during winter. They grow from a thick and multi eyed, rhizome root system type. Their leaves turn black after the first winter frost. Meaning that if the roots are left in the ground, they will freeze and rot. That said, it takes more work to winterize canna lilies.
Immediately after the first frost, dig about a foot from the stem to ensure that the rhizome ( the root that grows to shoot) does not rot or freeze. Once the soil is loose around the crown, grab the plant’s stem and lift the clump from the ground gently. Wash the roots with spray water, cut the tops off and add them to your compost pile. Stores the roots in a plastic grocery bag and keep them in a place that is between 45 to 60 degrees. Your attic, crawl or basement are perfect storage areas for winterized canna lilies. Note that, if the area is too cold, the rhizomes will freeze and get damaged and if the area is too warm mold will grow on them. If stored properly, the rhizomes grow and spread very fast.
After tulips have bloomed in early spring, you can plant your winterized Canna lilies outside at a location where they will receive enough sunlight. Divide the roots to practice vegetative reproduction and grow more canna lilies. Ensure that each divided piece contains a node, where new news will shoot from. Canna lilies should be planted in a 4 to 5 inches deep hole and one to four feet apart to allow enough room for growth.
The idea to winterize flower roots for next growing season is new among some organic gardeners. However, it is an idea whose results are guaranteed and allows gardeners to preserve their strong and disease free flower crops in a bid to retain a beautiful garden.