Canna Lily splendor

Yellow Canna

The Canna Lily is a bold vibrant plant that can add structure and texture to the landscaped garden. Dynamic colours and foliage variegations make this plant perfect for adding interest to a garden bed and often add a tropical feel. The Cannas are closely related to ginger and bananas and in our climate they partially die down in the winter and literally spring to life in spring with ample fresh new growth. The only maintenance you will need to carry out is to tidy them up during winter with some secateurs to cut back dead foliage and flowers close to the ground. The mess is cleared quickly and easily and before you know it they are re-shooting for the spring season of flowering from early summer into the winter.
Cannas are easy to grow most love a sunny position and lots of compost, manure and moisture. Cannas are surprisingly free from pest and disease attack but they can harbor a few snails and slugs. Cannas need plenty of room for root development as they grow in clumps on a thick underground root that is called a Rhizome. It makes them easy to propagate from as you can just divide your clumps and move them around or give them to friends. The cultivars range in size from dwarf to quite tall. Some of the taller cultivars can reach up to 2 metres. It’s well worth planting a few different cultivars together to take advantage of the variations and enjoy the vibrant colours. The flowers can range in colour from pinks, red, orange, yellow and apricot. The foliage can be green, blue-green, purple, bronze or striped.
They just look great all blocked up in colour schemes and make great plants to grow in front of areas you would like to cover up or hide as well as adding height and structure to established gardens.
Look in your local nursery this month for Canna Lilies as it’s the best time to select while in flower. They flower for so long in Victoria, my recommendations would be Canna ‘Odinrae’ a beautiful pink bloom with burgundy foliage. Canna ‘Ace of spades is a spectacular deep red reaching 1.2 metres in height with dark green foliage. Pictured for the article is Canna ‘trinaciria’ which grows to a medium height of 1.4 metres and has a lovely lime green with yellow striped foliage. A truly exotic specimen would have to be Canna Lily ‘Tropicana gold’. The foliage is gold and green striped with dramatic orange blooms and stands tall once established at 1.8 metres. It’s really worth collecting a few different cultivars and enjoying the variations of them through the garden. You can buy them as established plants or if you’re going to start a collection then it may be more economical to purchase rhizomes in a packaged form from the nurseries or mail order. They grow so fast it’s really up to the individual, their patience and budget. Certainly a good investment.
Happy gardening,