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Gardening for You: Overwintering Cannas


Gardening for You: Overwintering Cannas


Even though temperatures are still quite warm, and it may seem early to begin preparing the garden for winter, it soon will be time to bring in tender perennials.

Cannas (Canna indica) are on the list of tender perennials to bring in for the winter. The genus Canna comes from the Greek for “reed”, while the species indica means “Indian”, from Southeast Asia. All Cannas are flowering tropical plants with large, paddle-shaped, fleshy, tender leaves.

Flowers of ‘Black Knight’ Canna make a bold statement against the dark bronze, paddle-shaped foliage. The bright, fire-engine red blossoms begin to fade as the end of the growing season approaches signaling it is time to deadhead.

Cannas look ragged as the end of their growing season nears and if not already done, flowers should be deadheaded. Cut off faded flowers by severing the flower stalk down to the point of leaf attachment. Plants can remain like this until a light frost but since Cannas are tropical plants, the tender foliage will be killed by a frost.

Cannas can be left in the ground in areas that have mild winters, but because Lubbock has in recent years experienced severe winter temperatures that have damaged even winter-hardy plants, gardeners wishing to save rhizomes for the next growing season can lift them and store until the next spring.

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