Canna lilies are tropical and subtropical perennials. They produce leaves that resemble colorful banana leaves and showy flowers in ivory, yellow, rose, salmon, crimson and red. Dwarf cultivars grow to almost 2 feet tall, and tall varieties grow to 6 feet tall. Propagation of canna lilies is commonly achieved through division. This is done every one to three years to prevent overcrowding. If overcrowding does occur, then it can cause poor leaf growth, few blossoms and poor plant nutrition.
Using your shovel, dig up the entire clump of canna lilies in the spring, only after any threat of a spring frost is gone.
Shake off the excess soil from the rhizomes without damaging the roots. Carefully brush off the dirt so you can see the eyes (growth nodes) on the rhizomes.
Break the rhizomes into pieces with three eyes each. The canna lily rhizomes have natural breaking points. Discard the old rhizomes that do not contain any eyes.
Clean and rinse off the canna lily rhizomes with a bleach solution of one part bleach and nine parts water to reduce the risk of plant diseases that may infect the canna lily rhizomes.
Replant the rhizomes 1 to 2 feet apart, depending on the type of cultivar. Dwarf-type canna lilies are planted closer together than tall types.