How to Plant Cannas Tubers


Cannas are large, banana-leafed tropical plants with vivid torch-shaped blossoms in colors such as orange, red, yellow, pink and white. Pick from dwarf varieties that reach mature sizes of 2 or 3 feet or standard size cannas that can grow up to 6 feet tall. Cannas make ideal focal points in gardens and landscapes. These tall plants also work well as barriers or backgrounds in yards.

Step 1

Select a location for planting canna tubers that offers full sunlight and moist soil. Plan enough room to space the cannas 1 foot apart for dwarf varieties and 2 feet for standard.

Step 2

Prepare the planting area when the soil is warm and the last chance of frost has passed. Cultivate the soil to a depth of at least 1 foot. Blend 2 to 4 inches of compost into the area.

Step 3

Dig 4 to 6 inch holes. Place the canna tuber (rhizome) in the holes horizontally. Cover with soil and pat down tightly. Saturate the newly planted cannas with water. Soak the cannas with water weekly during the growing season, as well as anytime it rains less than 1 inch.

Step 4

Cover the area around the canna tubers with 2 to 4 inches of mulch. This keeps weeds from growing and maintains moisture in the soil.

Step 5

Apply a fertilizer with a rating of 5-10-10 or 5-10-5 (as directed) when the cannas appear. Spread the fertilizer around, but not directly on the shoots and drench with water to force it to the soil. Reapply fertilizer monthly during growing season.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake
  • Shovel
  • Hoe
  • Rototiller (optional)
  • Compost
  • Hand trowel
  • Mulch
  • Stakes (optional)
  • Water
  • Stakes


  • National Gardening Association: Canna
  • Easy to Grow Bulbs: Canna Lillies
  • Ohio State University Extension: Summer Flowering Bulbs
  • Iowa State University Extension: Planting Tender Perennials

Who Can Help

  • University of Florida: Canna x generalis
  • Iowa State University Extension: Tender Summer Blooming Bulbs, Corms and Tubers
  • University of Minnesota: Storing Tender Bulbs and Bulblike Structures
Keywords: cannas rhizomes, planting cannas, newly planted cannas

About this Author

Diane Dilov-Schultheis has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a food and travel writer who also specializes in gaming, satellites, RV repair, gardening, finances and electronics. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been published on Yahoo!, the Travel Channel and Intel.