Will unplanted canna bulbs survive another winter?

Asked September 24, 2013, 11:54 AM EDT

RE: Canna Lily: Can't find online answer for unplanted rhizome bulbs. Formerly very well established, large size bulbs, were not planted this year. Are they all ruined? If not, how to save for next year???

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

It's unlikely the rhizomes will viable if you store them over another winter. If they are soft, dry and pithy or hard and brittle, it's time to send them to the compost bin. If the rhizomes are pliable, nothing will be lost by trying to save them except the time and effort you invest in the process.

The usually accepted storage temperature is between 45 F and 55 F with a relative humidity of about 75% to 90%. It is necessary to prevent dehydration (water loss) and to keep the temperature low enough to prevent new growth. The semi-dormant rhizomes need some air exchange. Do not store them in small sealed containers for extended periods. The ideal storage area would be a "root-cellar".