Canna lilies are low-maintenance large plants that can be easy to grow. Their large flowers and foliage are a welcome sight and a tropical vibe for any garden or garden beds.
Although Calla lilies and Canna lilies are often thought to be the same thing as their names are similar, they are 2 different plants. In fact, neither plant is an actual lily! How’s that for a fun fact?
Canna lilies provide a refreshing burst of color and tropical look being one of the most colorful summer tropical bulbs.
Let’s look at everything you need to know about growing these flamboyant Canna plants.
Canna Lilies At A Glance
Contrary to its name, Canna lilies are not true lilies. They are more closely related to gingers and bananas. Canna lily plants have broad, flat, alternate large leaves that grow out of flower stalks in a long, narrow roll that unfurls at the end.
The Canna leaves are typically solid green, but some Canna species have brownish, maroon, or even variegated colorful leaves. Meanwhile, the Canna flowers are typically red, orange, yellow, or any combination of that variety of colors which are aggregated into clusters of spikes of pinnacles.
Planting Canna Lilies
Cannas are best planted outdoors in the late spring and early summer when the rich soil temperature is about 60°F (15°C) or warmer.
Although they are considered a plant of the tropics, most cultivars have been developed in temperate climates. They are easy to grow in most countries around the world as long as they receive at least 6–8 hours of full sun and sunlight during the summer and are moved to a warm location for the winter months and in cold climates.
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While cannas can be grown from seed, it can be difficult, so for a more reliable propagation, you’re better off planting Canna rhizome instead.
Dig a hole 2 to 3 inches deep and set a rhizome in with its eyes facing up. Cover with about one to 2 inches of soil, tamp firmly, and water thoroughly. Make sure you have good drainage. The last thing you want is the soil moisture for your tropical plants to go from moist soil to soggy soil.
Each rhizome should be planted 1 to 4 feet apart when planted on the ground. However, you can also plant cannas in pots.
Cannas can sprout slowly and do not require much water until it shows signs of growth. Typically, it can take up to three weeks for them to sprout. Once this happens, cannas should be watered at least once a week by slowly watering the area around the roots.
In the summer, these plants need a good watering every other day.
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Caring For Canna Lilies
Throughout the growing season, provide consistent moisture to your canna lilies and do not allow the soil to dry out. You can reduce watering in your flower beds after the exotic flowers have bloomed.
Cannas can be greedy, heavy feeders, so applying a general-purpose organic fertilizer halfway through the season can be beneficial. This can promote a brilliant display of flowers and foliage.
You can keep Canna lilies blooming for as long as possible by deadheading them throughout the growing season. Remove a flowering spike that has no more buds, you can cut plants using shears or a sharp knife down to the next side shoot.
Once the stem is spent, it can be removed from the base at the end of the season.
Canna lilies aren’t prone to diseases. However, rust, fungal leaf spot, and bacterial blight may happen when they are overwatered or crowded.
Plus, caterpillars, Canna leaf rollers slugs, snails, and spider mites may damage its leaves. However, other pests do not affect canna lilies.
Do you grow cannas? Share your success tips with us!
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