Canna (or canna lily) is a tropical perennial plant that produces big, bold paddle-shaped leaves and bright, attractive flowers that grow on spikes in shades of red, orange, yellow and pink. They are valued for their beautiful foliage, as much as their flowers. Cannas are grown from rhizomes, bulbous structures that grow underground.
Cannas will grow to be 2-6 feet tall and about 3 feet wide.
Cannas are joy to have in the garden! These bright, colourful flowers will liven up any summer garden! As well, the blooms are long lasting, hardy and low maintenance. The bright colours will also attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. They look best planted in masses in blocks of a single colour in front of a wall or hedge.
These summer-flowering bulbs are easy to grow from rhizomes in the springtime, but they can also be purchased as a plant over the summer. As a tropical plant, it needs full sun and moist, rich soil for the best results. Water regularly. To keep soil moist, a thin layer of mulch is recommended. Taller varieties may need to be staked. Deadhead to encourage new blooms. When a flower spike produces no more buds, prune down to the next shoot, where a new flower spike should emerge. Lift and divide clumps every 3 years.
Dwarf cannas are also available for container gardening or other small places.
Climate Zones: 8-11
Fun Flower Facts about the Canna:
- The rhizome is rich in edible starch and has many uses in agriculture.
- The stems and foliage is used as cattle feed.
- The young shoots are edible and can be eaten as a vegetable.
- The seeds are sometimes added to tortillas.
- The seeds can also be used as beads in jewellery.
- The seeds can be used to obtain a purple dye.
- In some remote parts of India, cannas are fermented to produce alcohol.
- The fiber from the leaves is used to make a light brown paper.
- In Thailand, cannas are a traditional Father’s Day gift.
- In Vietnam, canna starch is used to make noodles.
- Planting Summer Bulbs (funflowerfacts.com)