How to Propagate Canna Lily Tropicana


The Canna Tropicana is many people's favorite canna lily because of its beautiful multi-colored foliage and stunning orange flowers. Although cannas are called lilies, they belong to a different plant family, Cannaceae. Cannas do well in containers or in the ground and prefer full sun and moist conditions. You can propagate the Tropicana variety by dividing the tubers in fall or by collecting seeds at the end of their blooming season.

Starting Tropicana From Seed

Step 1

Collect seeds from your Canna Tropicana in fall or late summer, when they stop blooming and have formed seeds. Wipe off any plant material and allow seeds to dry for one week in a dry, dark, well-ventilated area.

Step 2

Rub each seed with sandpaper to scarify them and promote germination. Don't sand off too much of the seed---just down to the beginning of the white interior.

Step 3

Soak seeds in warm water for two days.

Step 4

Plant seeds ½ inch deep in pots or flats with standard potting soil and then keep them in an area with full sun that is protected from cold temperatures. Keep the soil moist.

Step 5

Transplant young cannas to your garden in spring, after the final projected frost.

Starting Tropicana by Dividing Tubers

Step 1

Dig your canna in fall after it has stopped blooming---it can contain several tuberous clumps, which you can then pull apart. Make sure each piece has at least one "eye," because that is necessary for the clump to grow.

Step 2

Plant each clump in a 4-inch pot, using standard potting soil. Then cover your pots with a sheet of glass. Remove the glass to water your tubers every other day and then remove it after seedlings sprout.

Step 3

Transplant your young Tropicana plants to the garden after your final spring frost. Plant them 5 inches deep and about 1 foot apart.

Things You'll Need

  • Sandpaper
  • Rich, well drained soil
  • Nursery pots or flats
  • Potting soil
  • Shovel
  • 4-inch pots
  • Sheet of glass


  • Canna
  • Ruby Glen
  • University of Arizona
Keywords: canna lily, Tropicana Tropicanna, bulbs propagating

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hiā€˜iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Barbara wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, and She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.