The cannas had a nice long growing season but the hard frost brought that to an abrupt end. Now, a gardener has to make a decision – do you dig and store them, or let them freeze and buy new ones next year?
Since I have such a hard time throwing out plants, I always dig them and find room for them somewhere.
It’s easy enough to save them for planting next spring. First cut the tops off, I like to leave a couple of inches of stem attached to the roots. Then dig the rhizome clumps out with a garden fork. Set them in a garage or some place away from freezing temperatures and let them dry.
Move the clumps — soil and all — to a spot where they won’t freeze. They should keep until spring. Some gardeners like to crate-up and pack cannas in dried peat moss. That allows more efficient use of storage space, especially if you have a lot of rhizomes to deal with.
I usually let potted cannas stay right in their pots over winter. It takes up more space but takes less time than removing them from the pot.
There are reality TV shows about hoarding things and animals; do you think they’ll ever do one about hoarding plants? Maybe the Michigan Film Office will be interested in that idea.