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Growing Cannas

Botanical Name:

Canna x gerneralis

Growing Hints:

Southern zones can plant bulbs outside in the spring. To give them a head start, zones north of zone 7 should start bulbs indoors 5 weeks before the last frost date. Pot rhizomes in a soil-less mix, pointed end up and barely cover them. Keep them warm (75ºF) and slightly moist until new growth appears. Then move them to a sunnier location and feed every two weeks with a 1/2 strength houseplant fertilizer. Move plants outdoors when danger of frost has passed.


Interesting Facts:

Cannas can be dug up in cooler zones and stored until the following season. Dig them up after the first light frost and cut the tops back approximately 6 inches. Don't bother cleaning soil off the roots, just set them in damp peat moss and store in a cool (40ºF to 50ºF), dry place. Rhizomes should be checked throughout winter and watered lightly if needed to keep roots from shriveling.

Suggested Use:

beds, borders, landscape accents and container plants

Life Cycle:

perennial rhizomes

Planting Time:

spring after danger of frost has passed


dwarf types 2' to 3; standard types 5' to 6'


full sun


rich, moist, well-drained soil


perennial rhizomes 8 to 11; over winter indoors in cooler zones

Bloom Time:

late spring


variety of bright colors including fire-engine red, hot pink and shocking orange.


bright green, blue-green, deep red or tiger striped



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By guest (Guest Post)
March 25, 20060 found this helpful


I am just starting gardening and I'm attracted to cannas. I think I have a great place for a few with full sun. Could you tell me how long the flowers last?

I live in eastern PA, almost to NJ.

Thank you!,


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