Canna Seeds - Knowledgebase Question

Ethan, SD
Question by Babybanty
August 31, 1998
My canna's are going to seed at the tops. Can I use these seeds to start more canna's? If so, what do I do? Do I plant them inside now or wait until spring to plant them? I have never had canna's before so I don't know the first thing what to do with the seeds and would appreciate any answers you may have for me.


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Answer from NGA
August 31, 1998

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Cannas are tuberous-rooted perennials that are generally propagated by root division, rather than seeds, but it's possible to germinate the seeds if you're willing to invest some time and effort. Collect the seeds and allow them to dry thoroughly, then store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark location. You can try to germinate the seeds in the ground next summer, or indoors next spring. Start by nicking the hard outer coating of the seeds and soaking them for 48 hours in tepid water. Then plant in moistened seed starting mix, covering with 1/4 inch of mix. Place plastic wrap over the seed starting tray, or the pots in which you've sown the seed and place them in a warm place until they germinate. Expect the seeds to sprout in 21-60 days at temperatures of 70F- 75F degrees. After the seeds have germinated, remove the plastic and place the seedlings under a source of bright light. Transplant them into individual pots when they've developed two sets of true leaves. If you wait until spring to sow the seeds directly outdoors, amend the soil with lots of organic matter first, and keep the seedbed moist but not soggy.

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