Winterize canna lilies by cutting back the leaves and stalks, removing the rhizomes from the ground, brushing away the dirt and storing them in mesh bags with sawdust. Canna lilies are not true lilies, and their rhizomes do not tolerate frost or freezing.Continue Reading
When nighttime temperatures indicate frost is approaching, cut back the leaves and canes to leave 1 inch of stalk above the rhizome. Cannas need as much time as possible to store energy before you cut the foliage.
Carefully dig the rhizomes from the ground. Remove enough soil that you can remove the original rhizome and any new ones that have formed.
Brush away any soil that remains on the rhizomes after they have a chance to dry.
Place the rhizomes in a mesh bag or plastic bag in which you have punched holes to allow for air circulation. If the storage area is humid, dust the rhizomes with a fungicide before storage. Add sawdust or peat moss to the bag to retain moisture in the rhizomes. Place the bag in an area where there is no danger of freezing.
If the growing season is short, start the rhizomes indoors. Plant the tubers or transplants outdoors after the danger of frost passes. Space standard canna lilies 2 feet apart and dwarf plants 1 foot apart.