Add a pop of color to a home landscape with a tall, showy flower, either toward the back of your garden or as a mass planting. Many tall flowers, including varieties of lilies, callas and cannas, grow on a single stem and are available in a rainbow of colors. Most tall, single-stemmed flowers thrive in warm climates or as summer annuals in cooler climates. Whether bulbs, tubers or rhizomes, note the flower's hardiness level before planting, as some should be dug and stored through the winter.
The calla's (Zantedeschia) elegant, cone-shaped flower bracts and bright green, lance-shaped foliage add interest to any home landscape. The bract surrounds a yellow-white central spike. The common calla (Z. aethiopica) has a white bract that is up to 8 inches long and grows on a single stem that can reach 3 feet. The foliage is evergreen. Other cultivars are available in pinks, purples and yellows.
Callas grow in clumps out of rhizomes and can spread, so planting only a few ultimately results in a large swath of plants. These flowers are hardy to 10 degrees F and should be planted in full sun in most areas, though if you are in a particularly hot area, callas will tolerate part shade.
Cannas (Canna x generalis) are known for their showy blooms as well as their colorful foliage. These plants have single blooms at the top of 6-foot stalks with leaves may be solid green, bronze or red. The leaves, similar to those on banana trees or ginger plants, grow on alternating sides of the stalk. Canna flowers, which are available in blues, oranges, pinks, reds and white, propogate easily and may become invasive.
Cannas are tuberous-rooted perennials that die back in cold weather. In the warmest areas, U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 9 and above, these plants should bloom continuously and foliage stays healthy all year. In colder regions, tubers may be dug up and stored for winter. Cannas thrive in full sun and require regular watering.
While all members of the lily family produce showy blooms on single stems, the Madonna lily (Lilium candidum) also has a sweet fragrance. These white, star-shaped flowers grow on a single stem of up to 4 feet and foliage is small, oblong and bright green. The flowers bloom in late spring to early summer and the plant dies back after the bloom, but grows new foliage beginning in fall.
This warm-weather flower may be grown as an annual in colder regions. The Madonna lily grows from a bulb that should be planted no more than 2 inches below the surface. These flowers should be planted where roots get shade but flowers and foliage get full sun; and soil should be kept moist.
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