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How to Plant Canna Bulbs


The tallest canna lilies often benefit from staking to help them stay straight.


Saving the bulbs for growing again the next season is not always successful. The bulbs are very sensitive and if the storage conditions are not ideal, the bulbs may not survive.

Canna lilies are prized by many gardeners. The regal blooms add a striking display to any garden. If you are searching for something slightly different and unusually large to add to your flower garden, consider planting a canna lily. Plant the canna bulbs in the spring for summer blooming in a sunny garden.

Choose a sunny growing location in the spring after the threat of frost has passed. Add approximately 2 inches of compost to the top of the soil and work the compost in to mix it completely with the existing soil. Strive to work the soil down to a depth of at least 1 foot.

Dig holes for the bulbs that are between 4 and 6 inches deep. Space very tall canna lily plants 2 feet apart and smaller canna lily plants 1 foot apart. Make sure you position the holes so that the canna lilies will grow behind most other plants if they are the very tall variety.

Place the bulbs in the prepared holes with the eyes facing up. Fill the soil in over the bulbs and pat it down firmly. Water the bulbs so that the soil is saturated.

Add at least 2 inches of mulch around the plants to keep the soil moist and prevent weed growth. Make sure the plants receive at least 1 inch of water each week. Cut the flowers off after they finish blooming.

Cut down the stalks and foliage to a height of 6 inches after the first killing frost. Dig up each bulb and dry it for two days. Place the bulbs in a box filled with enough peat moss to cover the bulbs. Make sure the bulbs are not touching each other in the box. Cover the boxes and store on shelves in a cool, dry area (between 45 and 55 F).

Plant the bulbs again in the spring following steps two through four.

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