How to Grow and Care for Canna Flowers

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About Growing Canna Plants in Your Home Flower Garden

Homeowners who grow Canna flowers, do so for two big reasons. First, these plants have bright and attractive foliage. Second, Canna lilies have colorful gladiolus-like flowers. Isn’t it about time you started growing Canna plants, too!?

Cannas are native to Asia and Latin America. Also, they are called “Indian Shot”, getting their name from their hard, pea-like seeds. There are many varieties suitable for your garden, or for use as container plants. There are even varieties of this plant that is grown in water. 

 Note: These flowers attract hummingbirds…!

Flowers Bloom: Summer

Flower Colors: Colors include apricot, coral, light orange, pink, red, and yellow.

Plant height: 1.5 to 10 feet, depending upon variety.

Plant Hardiness Zones: 8 – 11

Canna Flower Plant Propagation

Most home gardeners grow Canna lilies from rhizomes. After the plants have died back in the fall, dig up the roots. Clean and store them in a cool, dark area until planting the following spring. Canna plants can also be propagated from seed.

The soil at planting time should be 65° F or higher.

In southern areas, they can remain in the ground over winter. Add a heavy layer of mulch to protect the rhizomes from freezing.

Rhizome Planting Depth: Plant rhizomes 3 to 4 inches deep.

Final Plant Spacing: 4 to 8 inches apart.

How to Grow Cannas Flowers

Plant rhizomes in the spring. Canna plants prefer rich, organic soil. Plant in full sun. Canna lilies need plenty of water, but the soil should be well-draining (except for varieties grown in water).

Divide roots, leaving one or two growing tips on each section. Plant roots 3 to 4 inches deep, separated one to three feet apart. Mix in plenty of compost and organic matter during planting.

Apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer once a month for optimum growth. Keep soil moist all season long.

Mulch around plants heavily every year to help retain water, and replenish organic matter.

Avoid overcrowding plants. Separate and replant established plants every three to four years.

In the fall, dig up the roots for storage.  The roots will survive over-wintering outdoors only in the warmest areas of the country.  

Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 – 8.0

Insects and Plant Disease

Insect and disease problems are infrequent. Use insecticides, organic repellents, and fungicides as needed.

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