Often grown for their dramatic foliage - large banana like leaves - Cannas are vibrant tender perennials that provide a strong ornamental interest and immediately give a touch of the tropics in the garden or containers. Impossibly exotic, they bloom prolically from mid summer to the rst frost in a amboyant array of colors varying from red, orange, yellow, pink or cream.
Their architectural shapes and eye-catching colors make them perfect for planting as focal plants or massed to create a tropical eect. Easy to grow, they stand proud and bold.
Origin: South America, Central America, West Indies, Mexico, Southeastern United States
Height: 1.5 to 8 feet tall
Light: These plants prefer full sun to grow vibrant leaves and flowers, but they can survive in a little shade. Just make sure to monitor that the soil doesn't get overly moist due to the shade.
Soil: Cannas can tolerate a variety of soils as long as there is good drainage. They prefer rich soils that are high in organic matter. A soil pH of roughly 6.5 is ideal, but cannas can handle a wide range of acidic to alkaline soils.
Water: Plan to water your canna once or twice a week. The soil should be kept uniformly moist but not soggy. Otherwise, this can lead to rot in the plant.
Temperature and Humidity: Cannas are sensitive to cold temperatures and frost, but they thrive in temperatures up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
These plants are native to tropical zones, so they also do well in humid conditions. If you live in a dry climate, you can raise humidity around a container plant by placing it on a dish filled with water and pebbles, making sure the bottom of the pot isn't touching the water.
Fertilizer: Cannas are heavy feeders. So use plenty of compost or organic fertilizer to keep the plant happy. As long as you use organic materials, you cannot overfertilize a canna. Feed monthly throughout the growing season, starting in the early spring, with a balanced fertilizer.
Propagating Cannas: Cannas can be propagated from seeds, but the more common method is to lift and divide the rhizomes. Fall or early spring are the best times to divide cannas.
To do so, dig up the entire mass of rhizomes, and cut off the stems to about 1 inch. Brush off the soil to expose the joints where new rhizomes sprout off the old rhizomes. Use a sharp knife to slice the rhizome segments apart. Each section should have at least one eye (the bump along the top of the rhizome that sprouts a new plant). Replant the pieces about 5 inches deep.