added by Rose Hochstetler
(11 months ago)
Although not true lilies, canna lilies make a wonderful addition to a wide variety of garden types and styles. They are easy to grow, easy to propagate and reasonably priced, and they create a large impact even in small numbers. Large leaves in a variety of color variations are topped with relatively small flowers in various colors as well. No matter what color scheme you are going for, there is a canna to match. While typically used in tropical-style gardens, cannas also can be used in more traditional gardens in colder zones down to at least 5a. We northern gardeners can plant them as summer bulbs, while zone 8-10 gardeners can use them year round! Let's take a peek at some well-placed cannas and their effect in the garden.
At a Glance: Canna Lilies
Botanical name: Cannaceae
Common name: Canna lily
USDA zones: 8-10 (find your zone)
Water requirement: Well-drained, well-watered soil
Light requirement: Full sun, slight shade
Mature size: 2 to 9 feet tall, depending on variety
Benefits: Easy to grow, tall and statuesque, pest resistant, interesting foliage, wide range of colors
Best time to plant: 2 weeks after the last frost in your area for colder zones and anytime in zones 8-10
Seasonal interest: Foliage looks the best in late spring-mid summer, while the flowers put on a show in late summer.
These beginner-proof beauties will give you confidence to move on to other, less forgiving, plants. How to Use Cannas in Your Garden
Cannas work perfectly as a background foil for smaller plants. You typically have to wait three to four years for an evergreen plant to grow large enough to work as a foil for other plants, but a canna can grow to four or five feet in a few months. Cannas have lush foliage, but can be top heavy. Try underplanting cannas with low-growing pots to cover up those bare ankles.
Cannas can be worked into a formal garden by keeping them clustered and neat. Notice how the overall form of the canna planting is circular instead of "drifting" in a free-form pattern.