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How To Plant Canna Rhizomes

Classic Caladiums Cannas

These tropical plants are hardy in zones 7-10. In the north, canna lilies should be treated as annuals.

Cannas thrive in full sun

    •  In warmer, southern climates they appreciate some afternoon shade.

When to Plant Cannas

    • If planting in the landscape, wait until temperatures stay above 50 degrees. Canna rhizomes can be planted immediately in pots and brought outside as soon as temperatures stay above 50 degrees. Pots must have drainage holes.

How to Plant Cannas

    • Planting Depth: Rhizomes should be planted 2-3 inches deep or with soil above the top most eye (see picture below for example). Pack soil firmly around the plant.
    • Canna Spacing: In the landscape, plant separately about 2-3 feet apart. Cannas multiple rapidly and need room to grow. If planting in large pots or containers, space them about 10 inches apart. Cannas should be planted in 10 inch pots or bigger.


 How to Care for Canna Plants:

  • Water: Cannas like moist soil. Water immediately after planting and a couple of times a week during the summer. Adding a layer of mulch helps retain soil moisture.

  • Fertilizer: 10-2-10 fertilizer applied two to three times during the growing season will give your cannas an extra boost. Classic Caladiums offers a controlled release fertilizer that meters plant nutrients over an extended period of time.

  • Pests: Leaf rollers, grasshoppers and other pests are the most common problem for cannas. If this problem occurs, apply a systemic insecticide containing imidacloprid such as BioAdvanced Complete Insect Killer, available at your local garden center.

  • Rust: In sub-tropic areas such as Florida, cannas can experience a leaf fungus called rust. It presents itself as yellow to tan spots on the plant's leaves and stems. Preventative fungicides sprays that contain chlorothalonil (such as one used for black spots on roses), will help if this occurs. Fungicides such as BioAdvanced Disease Control for Roses, Flowers & Shrubs is available at your local garden center.

  • Deadheading: When canna stems finish their life cycle, the older bloom stalk will start to die. At that time, the old stalk will be replaced by new ones.

  • What to Do With Cannas at the End of the Season - Cannas are hardy in zones 7-10. Cut back the foilage to the soil line as it turns yellow in late autumn.

    • In the Deep South (south of the I-10 corridor): Cannas will overwinter in zones 8-10. Heavy mulching (3"-6") may allow the rhizomes to survive the winters in zones 6-7.

    • In the North: Treat as an Annual