Today was fairly mild and so I decided to dig up my canna bulbs for the season. It had been unseasonable cold and so all the foliage had pretty much died, so it was time. These plants are so very prolific- I always end up with more bulbs to give away in the Spring.
I've posted about planting the cannas in Spring, so I thought I'd cover the end of season work too. They are great plants that produce lots of nice foliage and flowers, but they do require some work. They have to be planted and dug up every spring and fall and they like an inch of water a week and fertilizer a few times a season. I used Miracle Grow and that seems to satisfy them. Oh, and they like full sun.
They are definitely a Chicago plant even though they are semi-tropical. The spectacular display makes them worth the effort for many people I guess. I look at it this way, it gives me something to do in the yard when most of the gardening is over.
Here's the process. Take a pruner or lopping shears and cut the foliage down to about 6 inches. This gives you a "handle" to pick up the rhizome.
Then, of course, you dig them up and carefully break apart the rhizomes. They tend to clump.
Here is some of the dead foliage. It's very lush and green when alive and it looks like wilted collard greens when dying.
And here is a rhizome, fresh out of the ground. I think I dug up about 50 of these and I only planted maybe half that!