Thursday, June 10, 2010

Can-do cannas

Last summer I bought some Canna Lilies.  This is the best picture I could find of them in 2009, which is terrible.  One pot was the red-verigated 'Tropicanna,' and the other was just a nice orange-flowering one with classic green leaves.  Thanks to my mom, I didn't let these annual plants die over the winter.  I harvested the bulbs, cleaned all the dirt and leaves off, and stored them in my basement in a box. 
Come April (which really should have been late March), I had several canna bulbs to plant in quart containers.  The most important thing is to make sure the right end pf the bulb is pointed up, and that you use good potting soil, not garden soil.  Mom came over to help me get them planted, and then I got to put all my little bulbs in the sunny window until they started to spout. 
Only two of the 6 Tropicannas spouted, but I got 4 out of 6 of the other variety to leaf out.  Memorial Day weekend, we finally planted them in their planters out on the patio.  It was so impressive to me that only two months in the pots created almost perfect root balls!  Check it:
Unfortunately, we didn't have any potting soil at the house so I used garden soil mixed with lots of peat, sand, and hummus to help with drainage.  Straight up garden soil doesn't do well in containers because it's compacts and doesn't allow the water to drain as well as lighter potting material. 
I also picked up some sweet little rolling plant stands to make moving them around the patio easier.  I may spray them black, and possibly take off the price tag.  If I get around to it. 
If my mom hadn't told me to store the bulbs over the winter, I would've had to re-buy these for over $20 this year.  I feel like I just got free plants, and I can't wait to see if they get just as big as when I purchased them last year.  Thanks for your plant wisdom, mom!

12 comments:

Kerry said...

That's awesome... I really don't have the patience that I think is required to be interested in gardening. I like flowers, and it makes me happy to see them growing, but I just don't want to be bothered with all the work, research and care for particular plants... guess that's going to be B's work!

Pine Tree Home said...

You go girl! I tried it one year and my bulbs got all moldy. Plus I am lazy. They are a beautiful plant though.

Kelly@TearingUpHouses said...

So neat! I want to try this. I love growing things. Until the part where I kill them. But I love TRYING!

Kelly

Amanda @ Little House on the Corner said...

Awesome! It's so exciting to grow something from a bulb. Like raising a child or something (well, maybe not quite).

glamourpuss said...

My mom used to have tons and tons of canna lillies. Hopefully you will be able to divide them in a year or two - her bulbs grew so much that in order to plant the same amount year after year, she had to give away a box full of bulbs annually! They do look fab!

April said...

I am meant to dig up my bulbs each year??? I just leave them in their pot, which kind of works well, as my winter plant (johnquils and tulips) die off about the time the lillies come up!

The Brick Cottage said...

Well, if for some reason your cannas don't survive or thrive, feel free to drive down to TN and I have a yard full of them that I would like to never see again. :) I think they are so pretty but a previous homeowner planted some in the front of our house and they have spread like mad (no need to dig them up if you live in the south). I thought I dug all of them up last fall but this year a ton of them have popped up. We keep cutting back the leaves because they are a bit too much for our front yard.

Kim@Chattafabulous said...

Cannas are great. Here in TN we are lucky - don't have to pull them up every year. Fun blog - enjoyed my first visit. Please stop by when you get a chance.
www.chattafabulous.com

Alexson said...

Nice work here! I'm starting to get into gardening, but annuals and bulbs in general still scare me.

Mrs. Chic said...

thats so cool!! I didn't know you can sotre bulbs :)

Maybe paint the rolling plant stand a bright color to match your lovely patio?

Kate R said...

My neighbor gave me a box of bulbs about a month ago & I forgot about them in my garage. Is it too late to try to plant them?

Sara @ Russet Street Reno said...

April - we just dig ours up because they would die in our WI winters, I'm sure where you live they do just fine!

Karrie - lilies of all kinds do spread. Although I don't think Cannas are 'true' lilies, they have the same qualities. I have asiatic lilies coming up all over the place so I feel your pain!

Kate - Go ahead and plant them, depending on your growing season, you could still see them bloom! They are only a couple months behind....