1. In the fall, once the cannas start to wither or the foliage is damaged by the first frost, dig up the underground rhizomes. Use a spade or garden fork, and pry the rhizomes up gently to avoid breaking them.
2. Cut the top growth from the rhizomes, leaving 1 to 2 inches of stem.
3. Brush off excess soil, but don't worry about getting every speck.
4. Purchase bulb-saving solution and prepare by following directions on the package label. This will sterilize the rhizomes to prevent fungal disease while bulbs are overwintered. This step is particularly important if the plants suffered from fungal disease during the summer.
5. Dip or soak rhizomes in the solution according to package directions.
6. Place the rhizomes in an open tray in a well-ventilated area, and allow them to dry for several days.
7. Fill paper bags halfway with peat moss, vermiculite, or another dry, sterile medium. Place a few rhizomes in the bag, seal it, and shake the bag to distribute the peat moss. Using multiple small bags will help prevent the spread of fungal disease through the entire batch.
8. If you know the cultivar or the color of the canna, label the bag. You might want to add a planting date that is a few weeks after the last expected frost in your area. This will remind you to replant the rhizomes in late spring, after the soil has warmed. Mark the date on your calendar indoors as well. Store the bags in a cold but not freezing location, such as a garage, basement, or even under the crawl space of the house.
Continued on page 4: No-Dig Storage