by Linda Kalicak 

Get ready

You have had a summertime of beauty from your cannas. Now it is time to overwinter these tender rhizomes.

Wait for a frost

In the fall, dig rhizomes after the leaves have yellowed, died back or have been killed by frost, but before the ground freezes.

Get the shovel

Leaving your cannas till after a freeze provides the longest possible growing season so the plant can store food for next year's growth.

Cut back

Cut back dead foliage to 2 inches.


Carefully dig your cannas with a shovel or spade.

Continue digging

Cut all around the clump.


Lift rhizome clumps out of the ground and shake off any excess soil.


Rinse the rhizomes to remove dirt.


Rhizomes should be air dried in a well ventilated area at 70 to 80 degrees F. Cannas need one week to dry. Once dried remove any foliage.


Store in a cool, dark and humid place with good ventilation. Fruit cellars and cool basements work well. Do not store the rhizomes in an attic or garage where they may freeze. Check throughout the winter and discard shriveled, diseased, or insect infested rhizomes. More information.