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Variegated Canna Pretoria

By Frank Whittemore ; Updated September 21, 2017

Variegated Canna Pretoria is among the most beautiful of hybrid cannas. It is prized for its striking foliage, which stands out in any garden setting. This canna is also called Bengal Tiger Canna, for the impressive stripes on its leaves. Its large flowers also make this plant attractive. Variegated Canna Pretoria is a warm weather plant, but with care, can be grown in cooler regions.


Large, orange to melon-colored flowers form on tall stems that project from the base of the plant. These stems are usually 36 to 48 inches in length. The foliage is impressive, with large, broad, lance-shaped leaves that emanate on heavy stems from the plant's base, averaging around 24 inches in length. The leaves bear a striking, striped pattern alternating between creamy yellow and dark green.

Growth Habits

Variegated Canna Pretoria grows quickly, producing many leaves early in the growing season, followed by flowers. The plant grows best in hardiness zones 7 through 11. During the cooler months of winter, it will die back to the ground. The plant blooms from midsummer to the first frost. It grows from specialized underground stems known as rhizomes.


The plant grows best in full sun, however, it will tolerate partial shade. Variegated Canna Pretoria appreciate rich, fertile, moist soil and requires considerable water to grow well. It is often grown as a semi-aquatic plant. Rhizomes should be planted about 18 inches apart to allow room for the plants to spread.


In areas above hardiness zone 7, where freezing temperatures are more common, the rhizomes of the plant can be dug up in the fall and stored in a dark, cool, moist place. Care should be taken that the rhizomes do not freeze. This protection will allow the plant to remain dormant until spring, when they can be planted again.


Variegated Canna Pretoria can be used in borders and mixed plantings to add color and variety to the landscape. It can also be grown as a potted plant for patio and indoor plantings. This canna loves water and is often grown as a marginal plant around ponds, bogs and other wet environments.


About the Author


In Jacksonville, Fla., Frank Whittemore is a content strategist with over a decade of experience as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy and a licensed paramedic. He has over 15 years experience writing for several Fortune 500 companies. Whittemore writes on topics in medicine, nature, science, technology, the arts, cuisine, travel and sports.