How to Transplant Cannas


Native to the tropical Americas, the canna exists in a family of its own called the Cannaecae, which is closely related to lilies, bananas and ginger plants. Cannas grow from an underground rhizome. In tropical regions, cannas grow year round and flower continuously. In cool climates, the stalks die back in the fall and come up again in the spring. Popular for their bright flowers and large leaves, cannas make a striking focal point in the garden landscape. Transplanting them is simple

Step 1

Dig a hole 20 inches wide and 8 inches deep at the new planting site, using a shovel. Cannas grow at their best in full sun, according to the University of Florida, so pick a site that gets at least eight hours of sunlight a day.

Step 2

Drive your spade into the soil 8 inches away from the base of the canna plant, remove your spade and drive the spade into the soil again until you have cut a circle around the base of the plant.

Step 3

Drive the shovel into the soil at a point on the circle and pull the handle toward you to lift the root ball from the soil. Keep as much of the soil on the root ball as possible, though some will fall off during digging.

Step 4

Move the canna to the new planting site immediately after digging to minimize the time the rhizome spends above the ground.

Step 5

Place the root ball into the hole so that the base of the stem is level with the surrounding soil. Fill in around the root ball a few handfuls at a time to prevent air pockets from forming around the rhizome.

Step 6

Pat down the soil and water to a depth of 8 inches. Keep the soil damp for the first few weeks after transplanting. If the foliage begins to wilt, cut off some of the lower leaves.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Spade
  • Water


  • Washington State University: Plant of the Month: Canna
  • University of Florida IFAS: Cannas for the Florida Landscape
Keywords: tropical flowers, USDA plant zones, flowering plants

About this Author

Olivia Parker has been a freelance writer with Demand Studios for the past year, writing for Garden Guides and eHow. She has studied herbal and alternative medicine and worked as a landscape artist and gardener. Parker is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Arts from Boston University Online.