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Date: 21 May 2019, Entry id: 1558435562-2

Colors of Cannas

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By Onika Amell, tropical flower specialist

Q: I’m a beginner gardener and looking for something easy to grow that will add a lot of color to my garden fast.

A: Try growing Canna lilies. They are a favorite of many gardeners as they are so easy to grow and always provide a reliable, beautiful show of flowers. In fact, Cannas are one of those plants that are spectacular even if they never bloomed. The leaves are tropical-looking, banana-like and huge! They range in a wide variety of shades and colors, always accentuating the large showy flowers on top.
One of our favorite cannas right now is Canna Cleopatra - very striking and most unique. Large yellow flowers speckled with red spots, or red flowers and even flowers with a little bit of both. Foliage is exotic and very beautiful, often dark green, dark chocolate or a combination of both. This is a canna that will definitely illuminate your garden!

Caring for Cannas

Cannas like a lot of water, full sun and high heat. They are also heavy feeders and prefer soils that are well drained, organically rich and moist. The leaves will quickly tell you when the plant is hungry. Feed your cannas weekly with a water-soluble 20-20-20 fertilizer Broad Leaf Plus, and they will quickly respond with beautiful, lush growth. Deadhead often to encourage continued flowering. Cannas are winter hardy in US hardiness zones 7 and warmer. If you live in colder areas, the rhizomes need to be lifted in the fall, and stored indoors in a dark, warm spot until spring arrives. Be sure to divide clumps every three or four years. Give them lots of room as they grow into large plants, forming spreading colonies up to 7 feet high and 4 feet wide. Show them off in mass plantings, in large containers or in mixed flower borders. Lure in hummingbirds with these beauties!

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