Canna – Brillant Tropical Landscape Summer Flowering Plants

Canna (ka’-nah) – is a genus of the Banana family. These tropical summer-flowering plants which grow from fleshy, thick, tuber-like roots.

Cannas are valued for their brilliant colored blooms in color tones of ivory, yellow, rose, salmon, scarlet and crimson, along with their tropical looking foliage of usually green or bronze.

In the north, cannas are treated as annuals, occasionally reaching heights of 5 to 6 feet. In the tropics, they grow wild and can reach 10 feet in height.

Few of the true species are grown, primarily cultivated hybrids and strains. Their hard bullet like seeds of Canna indica earned it the name “Indian Shot.”

blooming hybrid canna

Cannas Best In Mass Plantings

Cannas show their stuff best when planted in massed planting, making them an excellent choice for larger gardens. Their bold, bright colorful foliage, offer good background material for landscape effects.

Planting Cannas

Plant canna roots as soon as the soil is warm in the early summer. Space them 18 inches apart in an exposed spot. They are heavy feeders and require more plant food while living in a deep, enriched soil. After growth begins, cannas require lots of water.

In the fall when foliage starts to fade or is “mowed down” by frost, lift the roots and store the canna roots away from frost in a cool basement.

Canna Propagation

Propagating cannas is done easily by root division. Plants can be grown from seed, soaked in warm water, or notched with a file, to speed germination.

Started in February or March in flats or pots which are kept warm, seeds may start blooming after the first year. They may not, of course, be the same as their parents, but interesting new kinds may result.

Canna Enemies – Pest & Diseases

When the leaves are still rolled up in the bud, bacterial bud rot infection can start. When the buds unroll they can be partially or completely blackened, whole stalk died and flowers ruined.

To avoid this trouble select root stalks from healthy plants. Drip dormant corms in a streptomycin solution available at better garden centers. In greenhouses keep young growth dry and the humidity of the air low; out-of-doors set only disease-free plants and space them far apart. Be careful not to overwater.

Japanese beetles may feed on the blossoms.

Family: Cannaceae
Genus: Canna

Images: Just Chaos

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