How To Grow Cannas in Your Home Garden
Cannas plants are now stepping in to the home gardens across the world. If you want to have a taste of tropics in your home garden you must go for cannas. It is one of the easy –care flowering plant.
Cannas range in height from 2 1/2 feet (dwarf or Opera series types) to 16′ the Omega) The dwarfs only grow to 3′ and tend to have larger flowers. The average tall canna is 4-6′. Foliage colors vary from green to purple to bronze and varigated yellow and green or even red orange with colorful flowers of pale or lemon yellow, scarlet or ruby reds, salmon or hot pinks, orange and multi-colored spotted or striped.
Cannas can be grown in pots, window-boxes and the ground. They make great landscaping plants to fill in large areas as they multiply each year and can form a screen or windbreak, but if you don’t want them to spread, sink pots into the ground.
They prefer full sun and can take lots of rain. They do like soil enriched with organic matter and dressed with a general fertilizer. You may add coffee grounds, egg shells, and shredded leaves regularly.
Cannas do well with other plants and can be under-planted with annuals, perennials, vines or shrubs. You may also like combining colors and textures– chartreuse sedums and black leaved peppers, coleus, and even trailing vines.
Some cannas grow well in water too. The ideal temperature is 60F but cannas will grow at much higher or lower temperatures provided they do not get frost.
Cannas make good container plants for the patio or sunroom. They don’t mind crowding but plant in good sized pots (10″) and window-boxes using a good potting compost, water and feed regularly. In a greenhouse, if temperatures are kept at 55F or above, cannas can grow and flower all year, just dead head old flowered stems from time to time– cut them off conservatively just below the last bloom as they often shoot out more flowers! Divide in spring or fall when they are more likely to be dormant. Many cannas like the Bengal Tiger, Tropicana and purple leaved varieties like Black Knight and Wyoming look beautiful even without blooms because of their colorful foliage.
During the growing season, keep the plants well watered and for maximum growth, use a liquid feed. Mulch also helps hold in moisture but if you under-plant, you will have attractive living mulch. Dead-heading prolongs the display and keeps the plants looking tidy. Remove dead blooms and yellow or brown leaves and shred for mulch. Be sure not to remove the side-shoots below the first flowers, as these become subsequent blooms. Most cannas do not need staking.
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