Wintering taro and cannas in Vancouver

Discussion in 'Outdoor Tropicals' started by Mark Jacobsen, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. Mark Jacobsen

    Mark Jacobsen Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver
    I have a collection of very healthy taro and canna plants growing in my downtown Vancouver garden. Can I leave the taro and canna plants in the ground over the winter or do I need to uproot them and place them inside? What's the best way to store them over winter if they need to be uprooted?
     
  2. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,522
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Courtenay, Vancouver Island
    Canna should be no trouble. I leave the dead stems on so water won't wick down into the rhizomes. Trim them off in Spring.
    Taro is fine with some mulch but should not be left in soil that is compacted and is heavy. Loose free drainig soil is best.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  3. smivies

    smivies Active Member

    Messages:
    793
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    Your cannas should be fine but don't risk the Taro unless you know what genus & species it is. Many are of tropical origin (zone 9 or 10) but some are sub-tropical (zone 8). Taro is the common name for at least three genera (Alocasia, Colocasia, & Xanthosoma). I think the commonly eaten Taro is Colocasia esculenta which should be hardy to zone 7b or 8.

    See this thread for more info.

    Simon
     
  4. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    672
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island
    I leave mine in the ground as well. The taro I have is Colocasia E. if they end up rotten in the ground, go to the asian grocery store or section and get some more, totally cheap.
     
  5. dogseadepression

    dogseadepression Active Member

    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Pesotum united states
    Carol. Taro and cannas are not hardy to Vancouver. The elphant ears are native to tropical asia and need a warm climate. My best solution is to dig up the elephant ears and canna bulbs in the fall let them dry out and then put them in bags if you have the bags and put them in the cool base ( a cellur if you have one) I know from experience because i have a big collection of greenelephant ears and some black magic elephant ears and canna bulbs. My dsad got his elephant ears from Alabam, and I own the black magic and iI got them from a plant catalog. I hope this info is helpful for you and I hope your bulbs survie for next year. p.s. email me anymore questions about elephant ears at Dogseadepression@yahoo.com.

    Wyatt ReinhartMacomb,IL
     
  6. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    672
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island
    Thanks for the warning, but mine have been in the ground now for three years. never lost one. I never said mine have rotted in the ground, it was a: if they statment.
     
  7. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,522
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Courtenay, Vancouver Island
    Humm? .... always interesting hearing someone from a different region telling you "can't" when you have for so many years. Makes you wonder where the learning curve is.
    I've had no trouble in the last 15 years.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  8. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    672
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island
    Glad I'm not alone on that LPN. Being told I can't rubs me the wrong way. I must hang out with to many kids or something.
     
  9. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,522
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Courtenay, Vancouver Island
    Perhaps it's the perpetuation of Canada being "The Great White North" and anything beyond lichens and moss aren't possible?

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  10. palmera

    palmera Active Member

    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chemainus BC Canada
    I kinda like keeping the false image that we all live in igloos and can't grow tropicals up here...otherwise, EVERYONE would want to live here!
    I have only tried one so far, but it has overwintered quite nicely with only a bit of straw for protection these past 4 winters.
     
  11. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    672
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island
    Okay must try and keep a straight face, hows this years igloo going for you. I'm a bit behind on collecting whale blubber. Not sure if I can survive another freezing winter.
     
  12. palmera

    palmera Active Member

    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chemainus BC Canada
    Igloo good this year...palms really growing well for their third year. Almost ready to skin the seal for new gardening gloves.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    672
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island
    ohh those would be lovely, do you bash the seal on the head, or use a more 'humane' method.

    Hey LPN, did you mention we can grow mosses? Thats two things we can grow. I'll plant some around my plastic Taros and cannas. It will give a nice tropicalismo effect.
     
  14. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    672
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island
    By the way Palmera, lovely oasis you have going there.

    okay,Wyatt ReinhartMacomb, in IL, USA.
    Vancouver is on the Pacific North West, we are influenced by the warmth of the ocean. We rarely get below freezing. I've never seen a Polar bear in the wild. We are concidered a 'rainforest'. And for me on my little island, it stays warmer and less wet than those who are in Vancouver,BC (mainland).
    Somewhat sorry for teasing you. Okay not really. but don't take it personally.
    cheers Carol
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2006
  15. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,522
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Courtenay, Vancouver Island
    You gals are hilarious! lol.
    Cheers, LPN.
     
  16. westcoastgarden

    westcoastgarden Active Member

    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maple Ridge, Canada
    Hi,

    I found your thread while searching for info on overwintering Taro.

    Unfortunately, I am up the valley and am a little colder than vancouver and victoria.

    Last year I attempted to overwinter a black taro much like a dahlia and killed it completely.

    This year I am trying to overwinter a lime green taro (I have no idea of the latin name).

    It is growing in a large pot, surrounded by black mondo grass. Will it survive if I pull the pot up onto the porch and mulch it?

    Thanks,

    Westcoastgarden
     
  17. Mark Jacobsen

    Mark Jacobsen Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Thanks for the many replies to my questions re: wintering taro and canna plants. One more question: What's the best material to store them in? paper? plastic? other? Last year I stored my canna in a cool basement in plastic bags and they survived,but I've heard that it's not a good way to do it.
     
  18. palmera

    palmera Active Member

    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chemainus BC Canada
    I have been very successful with my potted cannas by just letting the pot dry outdoors on a run of a few nice days (like now hopefully). And when they start to turn brownish I move them into my garage. It gets quite cold there, but never actually freezes. I don't water them again and I leave the dried leaves on until March. I do not remove the soil or do anything to them. Once the weather warms a little (March if we're lucky), then I cut off the stems/leaves, water, and move into my greenhouse to heat them up. After they have 6 inches or so of growth, I start fertilizing. Just remember the combination of dry and cool in the winter to keep them dormant and warm and moist to get them going.

    I do nothing more than add 1 foot of straw mulch to my outdoor, inground cannas and they come thru the winters beautifully. Again, when the weather warms, I remove the mulch and water. They keep getting bigger each year.
     
  19. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    672
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island
    Colocasia E. the green ones that you can buy at asian markets, are hardier than the black ones, I have to bring in the black ones for the winter, as they won't make it if we have a cold snap like last years snowy dump. The green ones that I have are going into third or more plus years in the ground. I haven't lost any yet. (this includes cannas for those who doubt.)
     
  20. Cindi

    Cindi Active Member

    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maple Ridge, B.C. Canada
    I am thrilled to find out that cannas may be left in the ground. I live in a fairly chilly part of east Maple Ridge and do indeed get some very heavy freezing, sometimes several inches deep. My cannas live alongside my banana plants in a pretty grove. I will leave some cannas in the ground for a trial, but they are so expensive to buy anew that I will still dig some up. I may be much colder than so many replies that I see that come from Vancouver and Saltspring Islands. I dig them up, shake them off, put them in a box and store in the cold attic until spring, then plant. I also put sleeves on my banana plants, but the grove is now so big that I am not willing to purchase anymore sleeves, and I will be anxious to see if they can overwinter well without the sleeve protection. I may be babying these two types of plants, but it would be sad to take a chance in this chilly area of the Lower Mainland. I know that dahlias will not overwinter in the ground at my place.
     
  21. westcoastgarden

    westcoastgarden Active Member

    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maple Ridge, Canada
    Cindi - I have not had luck leaving cannas in the ground. I live in Maple Ridge as well (on the west side). Several have disappeared forever, even though they were planted in a well drained area. The ones that did come back took a long time to come up and never performed as well.

    As a previous poster mentioned - my most successful method of storage is in a container pulled into the garage. I leave them in the soil. I have tried just storing the tubers without success either.

    I pull the containers out and put them in a sunny place in the spring until they sprout and then transplant if I want them somewhere else. This spring I put them in my cold greenhouse a little earlier than normal and had good results.

    In Maple Ridge we are up to a full zone colder than the other BC areas mentioned - though I have some microclimate areas in my garden that gain me maybe half a zone. I work on the assumption that I am a zone 7, maybe an 8 in a good year, but I eventually lose most plants that are marked zone 8.

    Westcoastgarden
     
  22. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,522
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Courtenay, Vancouver Island
    I think Westcoastgarden has pinned it down. If you can consider your garden to be a solid zone 8 (8b is best), then over-wintering Canna is a much safer bet.
    Maybe a mulch is all that's needed to pull these thru.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  23. Raine

    Raine Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver Canada
    We moved into a home in Dunbar/Arbutus last fall that had 3 Colocasia E up against the garage. I didn't pull them for the winter, and I'm still seeing no sign of new growth.

    Should these be up yet?

    Fingers crossed!
     
  24. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,455
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Siloam Springs, AR, USA
    Mark, most of the posts on Colocasia esculenta are absolutely correct. I grow many aroids (over 300 species in an artificial rain forest and C. esculenta will easily survive in hard freezes in zones to 6B. Xanthosoma and almost all Alocasia will not survive your zone if there is a slight chance of freeze. We hit 4 and 5 degrees F quite a few nights this winter but all my outdoor plants are under 6 inches of mulch.

    We had up to 10 inches of snow several times this winter and all of my specimens are already breaking ground. The suggestion to buy them in an Asian or Caribbean store is also correct, they are much cheaper but you must be certain you are buying Colocasia, not Xanthosoma or Alocasia. The tubers of all are used for food as are the leaves of Colocasia esculenta. It has been cultivated as a food for more than 10,000 years. If anyone tries to tell you they are poisonous they have not done their research.

    You can find more on the International Aroid Society website noted below.

    Almost all of my neighbors grow Colocasia esculenta as do both of my daughters and we live in NW Arkansas right on the border with Oklahoma and near Missouri. Guarantee we get much colder than you. By the way, there are well over 150 forms of this plant and the leaves don't always look alike due to natural variability.

    http://www.exoticrainforest.com/Colocasia esculenta large pc.html

    We also grow at least 30 types of Canna and all are coming out of the ground right now.

    Steve
     

Share This Page