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Canna Lilies

Kay Asked

I have dark Leaf Red Canna Lilies that have come back since I planted 3 years ago and have left them in the ground and mulched each year. Last year, for winter time, I used mulch that was more fine and kind of wet looking. But I put it on heavy and I have just removed it all off of them 3/30/2021 and the stems I cut off look soft, like water logged. I hope I haven’t rotted the roots. When should I see new growth coming up if they are ok?

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The Gardener’s Answer

Kay, I apologize for the delayed response. Hopefully, your canna has put on new growth by now.  These South American natives, love the hot summers in Kentucky but our winters can be too cold, the bulbs can be damaged when temperatures dip below 5 degrees F. This is especially true if they are growing in an unprotected area. Kentucky gardens are on the boarder in terms of canna hardiness. Adding additional mulch for winter protection was a good idea. I was given some canna bulbs from a friend and planted them in between the driveway and the house where I knew they would get a bit of radiant heat and could potential be perennials in this microclimate. They have successfully come back for several years now. Signs of new new growth typically emerge at the beginning of May. Canna bulbs can easily be lifted from the soil and stored for the winter.

Angie Oakley

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