How to Plant Cannas

Cannas bring vibrant tropical color to the late-summer garden. With these tips, you can enjoy them year after year.
Summer Cannas

Summer Cannas

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

When to Plant: Late spring
At Their Best: Midsummer to fall
Time to Complete: 30 minutes for planting

Materials Needed:

  • canna rhizomes
  • organic matter, such as compost
  • mulch
  • straw
  • chicken wire or wooden box

Siting Cannas

These plants need a hot and sunny spot to flower well — a south-facing, sheltered area is ideal. Also, make sure that your cannas aren't shaded by neighboring plants, or competing with them for moisture, which can affect flowering.

Improve the Soil

Cannas are thirsty plants, so improve the soil with organic matter to help retain moisture. To plant, dig a hole about 8 inches deep and lay a rhizome in it horizontally. Refill the hole with soil, water well and apply a layer of mulch.


In the fall, after frost has blackened the leaves, cut down the stems. In mild regions, cover the rhizomes with straw, pinned down with chicken wire. In colder areas, lift and store them in dry potting mix, in a cool, dry, frost-free location.

Cover Rhizomes With Straw

Cover Rhizomes With Straw

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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