Canna - Garden Basics - Flower - Bulb


Cannas, with their bold and exotic flowers and foliage, add a touch of the tropics to you beds and borders. They also grow well in containers. A tub of cannas makes a terrific accent for a sunny patio or porch.

Canna is native to tropical and subtropical areas. Most hybrids have been derived from C. flaccida, a native of Florida. The flowers have three sepals, most commonly green, three long petals, which are colored and up to five stamens which look like petals and are broad and colored. One of these stamens forms the lower lip of the flower. The foliage can be green or bronzy.

Cannas like full sun, ordinary garden soil and moisture during the growing season. Fertilize only when the plants are actively growing, and keep the withered blooms picked off.

Cannas are hardy to zones 7 or 8. In colder climates they should be lifted at the end of the season and stored in a frost-free place. The tubers need to be dug and dried in the sun a few hours and stored in a cool (40-50° F) moderately dry (30% humidity) cellar or storage area. The tubers can be stored in dry sphagnum moss, vermiculite, or sand. They may also be placed on wire racks so air can circulate freely. No frost must reach the tubers and they must not be too warm or dry. A cellar suitable for Irish potatoes is about right for cannas.

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