Canna x generalis
Cannaceae Zone 7
A native of the northern and southern hemisphere. However, they do well over most of the U.S. provided there is plenty of heat.
They are very dependable. Easy to plant and easy to grow. NOW, they are regaining much of the popularity they once enjoyed as an old garden perennial.
Planting: Cannas may be planted in the spring after danger from hard frost (Irish Potato planting time in your area). Best results are achieved when planted in a loose, fertile, well-drained soil. However, they will tolerate a wide range of growing conditions.
Plant bulbs 12 to 16 inches apart. Lay long part of bulb horizontal to the earth’s surface, with eye up, if visible. Cover with 2-3 inches of soil.
In colder regions, (6-8 weeks before spring), bulbs can be planted in pots and placed in greenhouse conditions. When all danger of frost is past, remove from pot and plant outside.
Cultivate often to keep soil loose and free of weeds
Watering and Fertilization: Cannas should be watered thoroughly once a week by slowly soaking the area around the roots. For optimum performance, add a general all purpose fertilizer, Fertilome Start N’ Grow, during the growing season. Cut old spent flowers and seed pods to induce repeated flowering late into the autumn season.
Insects: Cannas are rarely bothered by insects. Leaf caterpillar is the exception. We have found Sevin and Malathion works fine.
Over Wintering: Dig up clumps of bulbs in fall after first frost, for re-planting the following spring. Two methods of storage are:
1) Remove old stalks, leave bulbs in clump with soil intact. Pile up clumps and cover with plastic and store in basement, OR
2) Bulbs can be washed, divided, dried, and layered with peat moss in waxed boxes with lids or in plastic bags to prevent drying out. Store in basement or other cool, barely moist place at 35ºF – 50ºF