How should canna bulbs be stored?

Canna bulbs require special storage conditions in order to keep them healthy between growing seasons. Proper storage is crucial for ensuring that your cannas come back just as strong and beautiful the following year.

Should canna bulbs be stored indoors or outdoors?

Canna bulbs should be stored indoors in a cool, dark location. A basement, garage, or root cellar are ideal places. Outdoor storage exposes the bulbs to too much moisture and fluctuating temperatures which can lead to rotting.

What is the optimal temperature for storing canna bulbs?

Canna bulbs should be stored at temperatures between 45-50°F. This cool temperature mimics winter dormancy and prevents the bulbs from sprouting prematurely. Warmer temperatures can cause the bulbs to break dormancy too early.

What is the best way to store canna bulb roots?

The roots and rhizomes should not be removed from the bulbs for storage. Keep the roots and rhizomes intact and attached to the bulb. Removing them increases the chances of the bulb drying out.

Should canna bulbs be stored dry or moist?

Canna bulbs should be stored dry, not moist. Any excess moisture should be shaken or brushed off before storage. Remaining moisture can lead to rotting during storage. The bulbs should feel dry to the touch.

Is it okay to wash off canna bulbs before storing?

Yes, you can gently wash off any remaining soil or debris from the bulbs before storage. Make sure the bulbs are completely dry before storing them for the winter.

Should canna bulbs be stored in open air or sealed containers?

Canna bulbs should be stored loosely packed in open crates, boxes, or paper bags. Avoid sealing the bulbs in airtight plastic bags or containers which can trap moisture and lead to rotting.

What materials work best for storing canna bulbs?

Good storage containers for canna bulbs include:

  • Paper bags
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Wooden crates
  • Mesh bags

Avoid storing in:

  • Plastic bags
  • Airtight containers
  • Terra cotta pots (can absorb too much moisture)

Should any bulbs be discarded before storing?

Inspect bulbs carefully before storage and discard any that show signs of rot or disease. Look for bulbs that are mushy, moldy or have discolored patches. Removing damaged bulbs prevents disease spread.

Should canna bulbs be stored together or separately?

Canna bulbs can be safely stored together in a single container or bag. You do not need to separate them by variety. Just avoid overcrowding them too tightly together.

Is it necessary to label canna bulbs in storage?

Yes, it is a good idea to label each variety before putting the bulbs into storage. Use plant tags or mark permanent marker directly on the bulbs. This ensures you don’t forget bulb identities over winter.

Should soil or packaging material be left on canna bulbs?

No, remove any soil, roots or packaging material from bulbs before storage. Only the bare bulbs should go into storage. Residual soil can harbor pests and diseases.

Where should canna bulb containers be placed in storage?

Place containers with canna bulbs in the coolest, darkest part of your storage area. Good spots include bottom shelves of a shelf unit or higher shelves in a basement or garage.

How often should stored canna bulbs be checked on?

Check on canna bulbs about once a month during storage. Look for any signs of rotting, shriveling or pest damage. Remove any compromised bulbs immediately.

When should canna bulbs be brought out of storage?

Bring canna bulbs out of storage when spring temperatures have warmed and all danger of frost has passed. This is typically about 2-4 weeks before the expected last frost date in your area.

What should be done with sprouted canna bulbs found in storage?

If you find bulbs that have prematurely sprouted in storage, go ahead and plant them immediately. They will likely still establish fine when planted at the right spring planting time.

How long can canna bulbs be stored between seasons?

Canna bulbs can be stored for up to 6-8 months between growing seasons. Longer storage times risk the bulbs drying out or losing viability.

Can canna bulbs be stored alongside other summer bulbs?

Yes, canna bulbs can safely be stored in the same containers or space as other dormant summer bulbs, like dahlias, gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

Should any special preparations be made before storing canna bulbs?

Take a few steps to prepare canna bulbs for optimal storage:

  • Allow foliage to die back completely after first frost.
  • Carefully dig bulbs, shake off excess soil.
  • Trim any dead roots or foliage.
  • Discard any diseased or damaged bulbs.
  • Dry bulbs thoroughly for 1-2 weeks.


Following proper storage methods is crucial for ensuring canna bulbs remain healthy and viable year after year. The ideal storage conditions include cool temperatures between 45-50°F, dry storage in breathable containers, and limited light exposure. Avoid excess moisture and be diligent about inspecting the bulbs throughout winter storage. With a little extra care taken storing your canna bulbs, you’ll be rewarded with vigorous, beautiful plants when spring returns.

Here are some key canna bulb storage tips:

Storage Tips Details
Location Store bulbs indoors in a cool, dark place like a basement or garage.
Temperature Ideal storage temperature is 45-50°F.
Containers Use breathable containers like paper bags, cardboard boxes, wooden crates.
Moisture Store bulbs dry, not moist.
Inspections Inspect bulbs monthly, remove any that are diseased or damaged.

Storing canna bulbs properly is simple and straightforward. Just provide cool, dry conditions away from light. Avoid excess moisture and be diligent about monthly inspections during dormancy. Follow these guidelines and your cannas will return in full force next growing season.

Canna bulbs are not difficult to store for the winter but their storage does require some specific conditions in order to keep the bulbs healthy. The bulbs need cool but not freezing temperatures, ideally around 45-50°F. They also require relatively dry storage conditions, with excess moisture removed from the bulbs before they are put into storage containers. Proper ventilation in the containers is important to prevent rotting or mold growth. Many gardeners store canna bulbs in breathable paper bags or cardboard boxes for this reason.

When storing canna bulbs, it is best to keep them in a dark location, as exposure to light can break dormancy too early, especially if paired with warmer temperatures. A basement, garage or root cellar are good options for storage locations. Avoid warm spaces like heated garages or near furnaces or water heaters where temperatures may rise too high at times.

Inspecting the bulbs periodically during storage is advised to remove any that show signs of rot or disease. It is also important to bring the bulbs out of storage at the right time in early spring once the threat of frost has passed. Canna bulbs can keep for 6-8 months when given proper storage conditions.

Preparing canna bulbs properly in the fall will also help their storage success. Allow the foliage to die back fully after the first frost. Carefully dig up bulbs and remove any excess soil or dead roots. Discard any bulbs that are already diseased or damaged. Let bulbs dry out for 1-2 weeks before placing into storage containers. With a little forethought and care, canna bulbs can be easily stored and saved year after year.

Storing tender summer flowering bulbs like cannas does require some specific conditions in order to maintain the health and viability of the bulbs from one growing season to the next. Cannas cannot withstand freezing temperatures and need a dormant period through the winter months until spring returns. By providing cool but above freezing temperatures, dry storage conditions, and ventilation during dormancy, gardeners can keep their canna bulbs in good condition for successful regrowth when planted again.

A little bit of effort taken to properly store canna bulbs in fall will pay off greatly when you are rewarded with vigorous, thriving canna plants year after year. If given improper storage conditions, canna bulbs are prone to rotting, mold growth and premature sprouting. Proper ventilation and periodic inspection of stored bulbs allows gardeners to remove any damaged bulbs before the damage spreads. Storing in complete darkness ensures the bulbs remain dormant until the desired spring planting time.

While canna bulb storage requires slightly different conditions than hardier bulb varieties, following the recommended guidelines is fairly simple. Locate an indoor space that remains between 45-50°F all winter, like a cold basement or unheated garage. Place loosely packed bulbs into breathable containers like paper bags or slatted crates. Keep the bulbs dry and dark until the soil has warmed in spring. Take a little extra time in fall to properly cure and dry bulbs before storage. Follow this advice and your canna bulbs will thrive year after year.

For gardeners in cooler climates, storing tender summer-blooming bulbs like cannas over the winter is an essential part of enjoying these beautiful plants year after year. Cannas cannot reliably survive freezing winters outdoors, so the bulbs must be dug up and stored in a dormant state until spring planting time returns. This requires creating conditions that mimic the moist tropics where cannas originate.

Ideal canna bulb storage conditions involve cool but above freezing temperatures between 45-50°F. Proper ventilation is critical to prevent rotting or mold growth on bulbs during dormancy. Storage containers like paper bags or wooden crates allow airflow while retaining needed humidity around bulbs. Keeping bulbs dry with excess moisture removed prevents rotting. Storing bulbs in complete darkness fools them into staying dormant until soil temperatures warm in spring.

With proper storage, canna bulbs can remain healthy and viable for 6-8 months of dormancy. Take care to inspect bulbs periodically and remove any that show signs of rot or disease. With a little extra attention given to canna bulb storage in fall, gardeners are rewarded with vigorous, beautiful canna flowers year after year as soon as warmer weather returns.

For many gardeners, canna lilies are a treasured part of the summer garden. Their large, lush leaves provide tropical color and their bright, exotic flowers bloom throughout the warm season. However, in areas with cold winters, canna bulbs require special care to enable their return year after year.

Canna lily bulbs are not cold hardy and need to be dug up and stored over winter in a dormant state. This provides the bulbs with the proper conditions to keep them healthy until they can be replanted outdoors the following spring. Proper storage conditions are cool temperatures between 45-50°F, limited humidity with adequate air circulation around bulbs, and complete darkness.

To prepare canna bulbs for storage, allow the foliage to completely die back after the first frost in fall. Carefully dig up bulbs and remove excess soil and roots. Discard any bulbs that are damaged or show signs of rot or disease. Allow bulbs to dry for 1-2 weeks in a warm location.

Place dried bulbs in open containers like paper bags or wooden crates. Avoid sealing in plastic bags or airtight containers. Store bulbs in a cool, dark location like a basement or unheated garage. Check periodically over winter and remove any bulbs that show decay or growth.

In spring, bring stored bulbs out approximately 2-4 weeks before the expected last frost. Place bulbs with sprouts already emerging in a sunny spot to strengthen before planting back in the garden after danger of frost has passed.

With proper storage, canna lily bulbs can remain healthy and dormant for winter storage periods of 6-8 months. Taking a little extra care in fall to store bulbs properly will reward gardeners with vigorous, tropical canna lilies returning reliably each summer.

Overwintering Canna Lily Bulbs

Canna lily plants, with their large tropical-looking leaves and bright summer blooms, need some specialized care in cooler climates to survive through winter. Here are some tips for successfully overwintering canna bulbs:

When to Dig

Wait until after the first frost blackens the foliage before digging bulbs. Avoid early frost damage by leaving bulbs in ground until the leaves have died back.

Curing & Drying

After digging, allow bulbs to cure for 1-2 weeks in a warm, dry spot. This hardens off the bulbs and seals any cuts from digging.

Storage Conditions

Store bulbs over winter at 45-50°F, dry and in ventilated containers like paper bags. Avoid airtight plastic bags or wet conditions.

Check for Damage

Inspect bulbs monthly, removing any that show signs of rotting or are diseased. This prevents spread of problems.

Spring Planting

Replant cannas about 2-4 weeks before expected last frost date. Shelter sprouted bulbs until frost danger has passed.

Follow these tips and your canna lily bulbs will thrive season after season even through cold winter storage.


Storing canna bulbs properly over the winter months is crucial for preserving these tender bulbs for many years of garden enjoyment. By providing conditions that mimic the native tropical environments where cannas originate, gardeners can fool the bulbs into staying dormant until spring planting time returns. A little advance planning and preparation in fall goes a long way towards ensuring success.

The ideal overwintering conditions for canna bulbs include cool temperatures between 45-50°F along with low humidity and adequate air circulation. Storage in paper bags or slatted wooden crates prevents moisture buildup while retaining needed humidity around bulbs. Keeping the bulbs completely dark maintains dormancy. Avoid freezing temperatures, airtight containers or excess moisture.

Periodically check stored bulbs over winter for any signs of rotting or premature sprouting. Remove damaged bulbs immediately to prevent spread of disease. In spring, pot up any bulbs that have sprouted and shelter until all danger of frost has passed. Follow proper storage guidelines and enjoy thriving canna plants summer after summer.

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