The Q&A Archives: Canna

Question: What time of year can we plant Canna bulbs? Where can I purchase them in my area? Is my area hardy for them to grow? Can they grow well in partial sun? Thanks!

Answer: Because they are topical plants, cannas thrive in full sun, with plenty of summer heat and consistently moist soil. Wait until the soil has warmed and all threat of frost has passed before planting cannas outdoors. Rhizomes should be planted horizontally, 4 to 6 inches deep, and spaced 1 to 2 feet apart. For earlier flowers, cannas can be planted in pots and started indoors or in a greenhouse about one month before mild weather arrives.

Cannas grow and flower best when fertilized monthly. Keep plants well watered and weeded. Because cannas are tropical plants, they will overwinter outdoors only in frost-free areas (USDA zones 9 and 10). In most areas you'll need to dig up the tubers in fall and store them indoors. After frost kills back the foliage, dig the tubers, and store them in a cool, dark, frost-free place.

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