The Q&A Archives: Canna Lilies

Question: My girlfriend gave me 2 apple boxes full of what she called "cannon", then she said it is spelled "cannes" lilies. I can find nothing about these lilies anywhere - they are supposed to grow 6 feet tall with red or pink flowers - they are supposedly hybrids - from here Mother's yard in Salt Lake City - they are planted in my yard in various locations in Teton Valley, Idaho (elev. 6200 ft). They are anywhere from just poking up to a foot tall and looking awesome. Some stalks are very green and some more reddish. Do you know anything about these guys?

Answer: From your description, I think you're growing Canna Lilies. Canna's are tuberous-rooted perennials, native to the tropics and sub-tropics. Since your winters are cold, dig the roots and store them over the winter, then replant in the spring. Canna's have large, rich green to bronzy red leaves. Flowers bloom on 3-6 foot stalks, in summer and fall months. Remove faded flowers after bloom. After all flower clusers have bloomed, cut stalk to the ground. Dig in the fall and store in a cool location (a garage or unheated basement), then replant the roots in the spring after the soil warms up. Plant in loose, rich soil that drains well. Set five-inches deep and 10 inches apart. Enjoy your new plants.

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