Canna (group)

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 7 Professionals
Common Name: canna
Type: Bulb
Family: Cannaceae
Zone: 7 to 10
Height: 1.50 to 8.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to August
Bloom Description: Red, orange, pink, yellow, cream, bicolors
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful

Culture

Best grown in moist, organically rich, well-drained soils in full sun. Rhizomes may be left in the ground in USDA Zones 7-10, however in the St. Louis area (Zones 6a-5b), the rhizomes should be lifted in fall for overwintering. Plant rhizomes 4-6" deep in spring after threat of frost has passed. Remove entire flowering stems immediately after bloom. In fall, cut plants to the ground immediately after first frost and lift rhizome clumps for winter storage in a dry medium (peat or vermiculite) in a cool dry location than does not fall below 40 degrees F. Container grown plants can be stored in their containers in winter.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Cannas are large tropical plants that produce gladiolus-like flower spikes in summer atop erect stems sheathed in large paddle-shaped leaves. Plants sold in commerce are mostly hybrids ranging from 1.5' tall dwarfs to 8' tall giants. Flower colors typically include red, orange, pink, yellow, cream and some bicolors. Foliage colors include shades of green, bronze and striped/variegated. Dramatic foliage provides considerable ornamental interest when plants are not in flower.

Genus name comes from the Greek word kanna meaning a reed.

Problems

Rhizomes may rot in poorly drained wet soils. Watch for aster yellows. Japanese beetles, caterpillars, slugs and snails may chew on the foliage.

Garden Uses

Mass in beds or borders. Large containers.