How to Prune Canna Flowers


Cannas are attractive, tropical looking plants with a single flower growing from a stalk. Varieties are available with yellow, orange, pink and red flowers. The foliage is remarkable, wide banana-like leaves in colors from green to burgundy and bronze in solid, striped, or marbled varieties. Cannas create a lush tropical effect in the garden. Cannas need very little care during the growing season. Flowers need to be pruned or deadheaded when they begin to fade and the plant pruned to the ground before digging the rhizomes up in the fall. Proper pruning will help keep your canna plants healthy and attractive.

Step 1

Remove canna flowers as they wilt and begin to turn brown. Cut away the part of the stem that bore flowers. This is known as deadheading. Another flower shoot will appear at the node just below the flower.

Step 2

Continue to deadhead flowers throughout the season. Removing spent flowers promptly will encourage the growth of new flowers.

Step 3

Remove the entire stem and its leaves at the ground level or just slightly above the ground when all shoots on the stem finish flowering.

Step 4

Cut off the canna foliage after the first killing frost. Remove all the foliage to within 4 to 6 inches above ground level. Dig up the rhizomes and store them to replant in the spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean, sharp clippers


  • UNL Extension Horticulture: Tender Summer Bulbs, Canna, Gladiola & Dahlia
  • ACE: Canna Lilies for Alabama Gardens
  • ISU Extension: Growing Cannas in the Home Garden
Keywords: pruning canna, deadheading cannas, canna plants

About this Author

Diane Watkins has been writing since 1984, with experience in newspaper, newsletter and web content. She writes two electronic newsletters and content around the web. Watkins has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Clemson University. She has taken graduate courses in biochemistry and education.