Storing canna rhizomes

Although I know people who have reported to be able to overwinter cannas in the ground in my area (DC/Baltimore area), they always turn to mush for me. I don’t know if it’s my microclimate, my soil type, or what.

Anyway, mine froze back so I yanked them yesterday. What is the proper way to divide and store the rhizomes?

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Stored in dry loose peat moss should work in an unheated basement. Otherwise, do the best you can to keep dry and not too cold or hot.

I did a planting in London Kentucky in 2012. One grouping all died. Replants mostly died.
2 or 3 plants are alive last time I looked. (While, on the Southeast side outside master bedroom, they have thrived, multiplied, and are about to take over beyond the allotted space–an area about 4 x 6 feet!)

So, microclimate conditions do indeed matter. zone 6b here.


I let them dry and get the soil off of them. Last winter I stored them in a box in my basement layered in wood chips. The kind that’s used for animal bedding not mulch. They all made it fine.

So are the eyes obvious? I cut them into pieces about the size of the rhizomes you’d buy…

I see the end of the rhizome looking like it’s going to be the next “shoot”, which I believe is the eye. However a couple pieces have no visible eyes. Are these doomed?

Mine always just kind of break apart naturally. Usually I just pull them apart where they look like they want to separate if that makes sense? They multiply quick. I planted 4 this spring and ended up with a tote full of bulbs this fall… I would try and plant them anyway as long as they don’t rot in the winter it’s not going to hurt.

When you do thin your Canna be sure to cook some up like potatos and let us know how they taste. (Potato like but bland I read)

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Do they sprout even when dry if too warm? The “cool and dry” place is always dicey for me. My house is too warm, garage is too cold.