Canna lilies add a brilliant splash of tropical color to the landscape. They're easy to grow in the Southern states, and with just a little more care you can enjoy this tender perennial in the Northern states as well. Here's how to care for these garden beauties.
Dig up canna lilies after or just before the first hard frost if you live in Zone 5 or above (see References for a gardening zone map). Brush off the dirt gently and store the lily corms in a dark location that is cool (below 55 degrees Fahrenheit) but stays above freezing. Be sure they have sufficient air circulation; too much humidity will cause them to mold and rot. Divide and replant in the spring after the ground thaws.
Leave canna lily corms in the ground in the Southern states, Zone 6 or below.
Cut back the foliage, after it begins dying, to a few inches above the ground, then mulch heavily all around and on the base of the plant, sprinkling mulch over the remaining foliage to create a warm layer of about 3 or 4 inches.
Rake the mulch back in early spring, after the last frost and as the ground starts warming up.
Dig up and divide the canna lily corms every two to three years.