Thursday, 26 February 2009

Forcing Canna rhizomes

If summer flowering Cannas are forced, the flowers will appear earlier than they would if planted outdoors and left to nature. Forcing is done by exposing the rhizomes to controlled temperatures. So, if you have just bought some rhizomes, this is the way to get the best from them during that tricky first season.

Plant the rhizomes in crates or bowls filled with a mixture of peat dust, sand and garden soil and they will treat you to their glorious colours earlier in the season. Asda (part of WalMart) sell washing-up bowls for about £1, and these are suitable for forcing.

  • Place the Canna rhizomes into the filled crate or bowl.
  • Cover them with a thin layer of moist peat dust.
  • Place the crates or pots in a dimly lit room at a temperature of 15–18°C.
  • Because of this high temperature the soil needs to be slightly moist. However, there is no drainage in the crate, so do not over-water, just keep it moist.
  • Wait until the first leaves appear.
  • Move the crates into a room in full daylight.
  • Place the crates outside during the day if the weather is sunny and not frosty so that the plants can gradually acclimatize
  • Bring the crates back indoors in the evening.
  • When the leaves are 8–10 cm in size, move the plants to larger individual pots, at least 2 litres in size. This encourages their development and makes them stronger.
  • Do not plant the young plants outside until late spring (mid-May) as they are still very sensitive to frost.

No comments:

Post a Comment