The red velvet canna lily sports striking red blossoms that emerge from the center of attractive chocolate and olive green leaves. Hummingbirds love to eat its nectar, and many gardeners cherish it in their summer flowerbeds. If you live in USDA climate zone 8 through 12 (Dallas to Honolulu), you can grow this flowering perennial year-round. If your winters are colder, you can grow it in a container, which you can move to a protected, warmer area before your first frost.
Dig compost into the planting area. Spread 2 to 4 inches of compost on the soil surface and then mix it in with the soil. If you will be planting your red velvet canna in a container, use a rich potting soil that contains some sand.
Dig as many holes as you need to, depending on the number of Red Velvet rhizomes you plan to plant. Allow about 1 foot between planting holes. Make sure each hole is 3 inches deeper than the rhizome is long and then plant each rhizome with its "eyes" facing upward.
Fill your planting hole with the soil mixture you dug out and then pat it down firmly. Keep the planting area moist until your rhizome(s) begin to sprout, and continue to water it frequently to encourage blooming.
Fertilize your red velvet canna once each month with a fertilizer having an N-P-K ratio of 5-10-5. Follow package instructions.
Snip off flowers as they finish blooming to encourage more flower stalks to form. Cut the stem down as far as the lowest flowering node and not all the way to the base of the plant.