The Q&A Archives: Canna Basics

Question: Last year, a friend shared some bulbs with the office and referred to them as cannas bulbs to be planted in direct sunlight in the spring for late summer blooming. I have now decided to plant these bulbs and cannot remember what they look like or if they should be used as a border only. I searched the net and located only the following as a possible match "arthraxon saturensis almeida. This was only a possible match and I am now thoroughly confused. Help! Sara Campanaro East Windsor, NJ

Answer: I believe your friend gave you rhizomes of a variety of canna. Cannas are tender perennials, so wait until the soil is fairly warm (about the same time as you would plant peppers, eggplant, or scarlet salvia). You will need to lift and store the rhizomes in the fall soon after your first mild frost. Store them in a cool (40-50 degrees), dry place for the winter. Cannas are bold, tropical-looking plants, with big, broad leaves. They grow tall (4-7' depending on variety, although dwarf varieties are available.), and have very colorful gladiolus-like blooms, so they are best massed in beds and borders. If you like these and want to sample other varieties, send $3.00 for a catalog to American Daylily and Perennials, PO Box 210, Grain Valley, MO, 64029.

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by plantmanager and is called "Captivating Caladiums"