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Thread: Help-Mold/Fungus on roots preplanting

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Help-Mold/Fungus on roots preplanting

    I received some canna from a friend that were wrapped in moistened newspaper for 5 days. Upon unwrapping, I immediately saw white fuzz on some of the white 'baby' roots Now, I'd like to believe that those are themselves even finer roots, but they can be pressed down and I'm leaning towards mold/fungus. Now, I could either just pop these into the ground and 'fahgetabowdit' or should I sprinkle some fungicide on it and if so what do I get and where do I get it(Home Depot, Lowes,Wal-Mart), or am I completely wrong thinking it's mold/fungus.
    P-Day (Planting Day is tomorrow) so I'd reeeally hope to get a reply ASAP. Right now I've got them laying on dry newspaper in the garage to get some air at them.
    Thank you
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  2. #2
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    Cathy,

    I would wash them well and try to remove some of the fungus. Use room temperature water and it probably wouldn't hurt the rhizomes to add a drop or two of bleach to the solution. It won't hurt to hold them under the solution and rub them gently with your fingertips or use a very soft brush or cloth if they have a lot of dirt on them.

    Canna do not mind being submerged in water, so if you have to let them soak for a bit to get off some of the caked dirt, it shouldn't hurt.

    Also, if you break some of the really fine roots, they will be okay. Large rhizomes can be broken in half or cut with a shovel, and as long as there is still at least one 'eye', they will still grow. If you do this, it is best to let the wound dry out for at least a day, especially if you are not using a fungicide.

    Let them dry really well on the newspaper. If you can find a good bulb dust at your local retail garden centers, I would recommend it. You can look in the fungicide section, but read the label and make sure it is for bulbs/rhizomes.

    If it were me, I would have stored them in dry newspaper rather than damp newspaper, losely wrapped.

    Good Luck!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  3. #3
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    Thank you ! Yes, If I were the one doing the wrapping I would have nixed the damp newspaper. There were 2 days that were my responsibility though. Oh well, that's in the past. I will immediately wash the canna as you indicated. I'm not sure what a drop is but will review the bleach solution dip recipe used for iris/daylilies and go with that. I would never have thought of bulb dust--I will look for that tomorrow(Wal-Mart might surprise me, but I'm thinking that it'll be one of the nursuries that has it).
    Thanks so much for the fast reply !
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  4. #4
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    dont forget baking SODA is a cheap and easy fungicide also.

  5. #5
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    Woh Shepp..tell me more. I've gone through the dip regiment and they are drying on a grate. How do I go about applying the baking soda ?
    Thanks, Cathy
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  6. #6
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    Canna in Oct. in Kansas

    Cathy-are you planting this canna outside right now?

    Here in zone 7 we've been lucky to have our cannas survive thru last winter, but we don't depend on that. I'm guessing that the canna is going in the ground so it can die down over the next few weeks to the point where you can lift and store the root?

    My neighbour is a real gung ho dahlia grower/exhibitor, who gave me an excellent system for lifting and storing dahlia tubers, and I think this could apply to cannas.

    He would lift and wash off the root, dip it in very dilute bleach, then dry it off. Then before storing it in a tray of vermiculite, he shakes it in powdered sulfur to avoid any mold growth over the winter. This system worked excellent for both of us last year, perfect roots to plant next spring.

    I wouldn't worry much about mold on the root ball as it goes into the garden soil, but when storing it this winter, the dusting of sulfur seems like an excellent idea, esp. as it adheres to any cut surfaces that you may have in splitting big root clumps into manageable sizes for storage (the canna roots get massive once they are growing happily for a season).

    Glen in BC

  7. #7
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    Glen- Your post launched me on a search for the Canadian zone map. The topic of leave them in the ground or store them has caused me much angst. This is my first time ever growing canna and I really am not sure I am doing the right thing either way. I know there are people here in Wichita who do leave their cannas in the ground. My canna bed will be facing south almost against the house which is the toastiest location bar none. I am planning on mulching as well. As far as storing goes, I really do not have an area that is somewhere above freezing but below a temperatuire that I would find comfortable. I think they recommend 45-50 degrees F. Where do you store your dahlia tubers ?
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  8. #8
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    Storing tubers

    Cathy-our cannas almost never overwinter here, when temps go below -7 or -8C. They seem a bit less hardy than dahlias, which often will make it.

    I do think the wetness has a lot to do with this...most winter kill here is actually winter rot, caused by most of our 40-60 in. of annual rain happening from now till about April.

    Up against a south wall of the house is sure the best spot, drier and warmer, I think they would regularly make it here if I had them in such a spot.

    In other words, don't let me tell you what will or won't make it thru your winter...there's more to it than just the hardiness zone. If I don't move my lewisias and bletillas up under the house overhangs around this time of year, I will lose them to rot, not cold.

    My dahlia tubers are kept on the floor of the coolest room in the house, so it's around 10C thru the winter. Darkness is essential, tho, as they try to sprout a bit by early spring, before I really want to set them outside. Any light seems to encourage this tendency.

    Good luck with the cannas, ours grew at least 8 feet this summer (our hottest in my memory). And the hummingbirds...definitely a fave with them!

    Glen

  9. #9
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    Thanks. 40-60 inches of rain-wow !
    Just got back from the nursery with the sulphur dust...off to work !
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  10. #10
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    Thanks, Glen!!!!

    Tomorrow is Teacher Work Day. Hunter has the day off from school. I am taking him with me to see where I work, and what it is that I do.

    The quarter has ended, and I am scratching my head as to how I will get the info required to grade students the 5 weeks before I started. I still have a few test papers to grade, but not many.

    I am knee deep in lesson plans for awhile, and my graduate course studies are starting to fall a few days and will be late due to an unpleasant thing that happened at school. I'll recover, but it will take me awhile.

    To top it all off, I was stranded at a busy intersection when my car stalled and failed to start. Jeepers! Am I ready to start getting regular pay checks or what! I didn't have this many problems with this car until I became dependent on it or maybe I just didn't notice. Sound familiar? I stopped counting, but I THINK that this is the 6th failure since my starting teaching.

    Anyway, once again, I had to hitchhike a way with a stranger and leave my car to be tended to later. It has to be towed to the autoshop in the morning, but at least it is in the driveway now, and not on the side of the road.

    Isn't life FUN! I am enjoying my new career, but my goodness! What a challenge!

    Back to the Cannas...

    Most, if not all of the Cannas overwinter in the ground, here, in zone 8b/9a with no problems. The tall ones are the hardiest, but I gave all of those away. They multiply so much that I couldn't keep them divided. So, I have concentrated on the dwarfs with the dark and variegated leaves.

    In my experience, the taller ones are more hardy, and spread quicker. The hybrids seem to be more finicky.

    Because of the diversity of Canna varieties, it is hard to determine how hardy they are unless you have a specific variety name.

    Good Luck! Have FUN! And once again, Thanks Glenn for pitching in...
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


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