Hosta and Canna Lillies - Knowledgebase Question

Chicago, IL (Zone 5B)
Question by knotloopandt
May 6, 2007
I was recently given some red canna lilly bulbs by a co-worker. She gave me some basic care instructions. However, I forgot to ask if the canna can be planted near my hosta. Are there any plants that grow will with cannas or should they be planted alone?


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Answer from NGA
May 6, 2007

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Cannas require a full sun location with rich, evenly moist soil to grow well. Hostas on the other hand are shade plants and will do well in shade all day or morning-only sun. Based on their sun needs, these two plants would not grow well in the same spot -- if it is shady enough for the hostas it will not be sunny enough for the cannas.

Depending on the specific variety of canna, the plants may grow very large and tall, and spread several feet across at the base. (Some stay smaller.) So you would want to make sure to allow space for it to grow over the summer. If you want to keep them from year to year you will need to dig them up in the fall after frost. This can be disruptive to nearby plants if they are crowded together. I hope this helps you decide where to plant the cannas. They are wonderful summer flowers!

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