Gardeners looking for great summer color should give
cannas a second look. They have always been a great plant
for their flowers but now there is plenty of leaf color
too. Cannas have been a favorite of mine and maybe they
can be one of your favorites too.
First of all they
don't mind the sun and heat. They also love the rains. In
fact some of the cannas are bog garden plants. So, if you
have a damp spot you definitely need to give cannas a try.
The plants pictured are some of the new varieties.
From left to right are Tropicanna, Tropicanna Gold and
Tropicanna Black. I have grown the later for several years
but the first two are new to my garden. All were started
from small rhizome portions sent to me for trial in
February. I grew them in containers and three months ago
gave them the garden spot. As you can see, they are now in
full bloom and growing vigorously.
always needed just minimal care. They do like to be moist
so the summer rains really help with the watering. I also
add a mulch and feed the plants every three or so months
with a slow release fertilizer. That is about it to get
Now they do need some grooming. Don't
be in a hurry to cut off the flower stems as one shoot is
full of many blooms. Only after you are sure the last
flower has opened do you cut the stem back to the foliage.
By that time more budded shoots are pushing up above the
Cannas can get a caterpillar that looks
like a slug. It is simply picked off and at our home
tossed to the fish. If needed, a natural insecticide of
Thuricide or spinosad could be used. Then there is a
disease called rust that may put orange pustules on the
leaves. If this happens use one of the systemic fungicide
labeled for rust.
I am only guessing but there
seems to be a hundred or more varieties available. I once
interviewed a gardener with 38 varieties and she was busy
adding more. The Tropicanna series pictured is easy to
find and as you can see are good performers. All cannas
grow well into the fall until cold weather and then they
sort of go dormant locally until spring. .