“Cannas”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 


When it comes to growing cannas either I have great success or failure to thrive.  First the successes.  Pretoria or Bengal Tiger cannas has done very well in my garden.  Given plenty of sunshine and water and this takes off every spring.  I placed it in a back corner of the garden, and the foliage repeats the colors and stripes of the variegated shell ginger about fifteen feet away.





I have the peach hibiscuses nearby and that helps repeat the canna’s flower color.  You can see some in the background.


Across the garden from the Pretoria canna, I have planted a new one this year.  It has a spectacular flower.  It is among the biggest I have ever seen on a canna.  Tropical Sunrise came from Brent and Becky’s Bulbs.  Mine is only about two feet tall, but it seems to be very vigorous.  Already there are two more stalks coming up.



Here, I am able to leave the rhizomes in the ground year round with just a heavier mulching in the winter.  Cannas are heavy feeders, so I fertilize monthly.  Some areas have problems with the canna leaf roller, but I have not had too bad a problem with those pests.  About two summers ago, I did have a small amount of damage on the President cannas.  I first cut off and destroyed the stalks which really didn’t help, but a spray of BT did the trick.  That’s the only time I have had any problems with leaf rollers.  Not many of my neighbors grow cannas, so maybe that is why I haven’t had a problem.


China Doll canna is another success story.  I have this in the front “pink” garden.  This is a dwarf canna I have had for years.



I also grow some of the old-fashioned India Shot canna (canna indica) in red and in yellow.  Even though the flowers are very small, I still like these heirloom plants that have been grown in Southern gardens for over a hundred years.


So that you know that not all have been successes.  I had a Futurity Rose, a lovely burgundy leaf with rose flowers, that did not survive a winter, The President canna, a lovely red, that has just languished after one year (maybe I should divide it), and a light yellow canna that never really grew or bloomed.


Even though not every canna I have planted has flourished, I still think they are great additions to a garden, esp. if you are looking for a tropical atmosphere.



Happy Birthday to my sister, Patty Jean.







  1. Nancy Bond said,

    June 4, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    What beautiful and unique blooms! Lovely, especially the apricot colored ones.

  2. Anna said,

    June 5, 2008 at 12:33 am

    Wow–I’ll say you are having some success. They look great. Our city loves to grow them too. I don’t know what variety they grow—but my goodness have a lot of them. Happy B-day to your sister.

  3. June 5, 2008 at 1:15 am

    Your Cannas look great – I like the pink one

  4. Mary Beth said,

    June 5, 2008 at 9:14 am

    I have decided to add some cannas to my landscape – and will be trying out those that have performed well for you – thanks for all the info.

  5. Phillip said,

    June 6, 2008 at 8:46 am

    I have Tropicana which I love. Your post makes me want to buy more.

  6. Jan said,

    June 6, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    Hi, Nancy. I am very happy with the new canna. You are right about it being such a pretty color and the bloom really is huge.

    Hi, Anna. These are tough plants which is why I think cities and parks plant them so much. Being this far south and not having to dig them in the fall is a plus for me.

    Thanks, Karen. China Doll is a favorite. It is the first canna I ever grew and is the perfect size for that section of the garden.

    Mary Beth, I hope you enjoy your cannas as much as I do. They are a great summer bloomer.

    Phillip, I have been tempted to get Tropicana. I think it would blend in well with other colors in the back garden. I’d like to see a photo of how yours looks in your garden.

  7. June 7, 2008 at 2:39 am

    My favorite is “Bangkok Yellow” which is a very soft yellow. They grow well in the pond, too.

  8. Jan said,

    June 7, 2008 at 8:36 am

    My daughter has Bangkok Yellow, and I plan to dig up some of her extras for my garden. One of these days, I am going to get to go to her home for it. Both of us are so busy right now, but you’re right that canna is a lovely yellow and needs to be in my garden. By the way, the crinum seeds are showing little sprouts.

  9. CA French said,

    June 16, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    ……as you… my favorite of my “18” species of cannas and my second addition years ago, was the Bengal Tiger and it was what caught my attention in the “Canna” world…. I re-propragate them, along with MANY other perennials… and have a huge back yard sale each year…. I LOVE Canna’s… and in our “very” Northern Cali area (zone 9b) we don’t have to pull em’ up each year either…. which is great!!.. However, I have one species that is new to my garden the “Tropical Sunrise”… it was doing WONDERFUL… and I’ve treated it like most of the other “17’s…” lol… and all of a sudden the leaves are turning brown around the edges.. and looks….well….horrible…. However, a couple more starts comin’ up and they look fine…. Since this is one that you’ve had a TON of success with….. do you have any thoughts as to what might be going on with this new addition to my garden??? Your opinion would be HORRIBLE… appreciated… since you seem to have the same love for this wonderful “Lily (no Lily)…” lol… thanks a ton Cynthia @, by the way – the leaves on the Bengal, aren’t they awesome…?? mine are already 12″ wide…. and it’s only mid June…..

  10. Jan said,

    June 17, 2008 at 9:39 am

    Without seeing the plant, it is kind of hard to tell what may be going wrong with your Tropical Sunrise. It might be that the stalk is bloomed out and is just dying naturally or maybe it needed more water. I think I would just cut it down to the ground and let the other sprouts come up. I hope this helps and thanks for stopping by.

  11. CA French said,

    July 16, 2008 at 7:53 am

    Jan…. thanx for the response.. BUT I think you were right… I actually lifted all of them…. ck’d the soil for “eat’n creatures”… & nothing.. moved them out of the day lilies a lil, to see if air was an issue… and cut back the big one (almost cried…) to see what the lil’ guys would do…. and watered them more heavily…. and so far – they are doin’ a lil better… Might just be a species that I have to find it’s “comfort” place.. I have a couple like that this year, funny how our plants can become like kids….or animals….. I guess we all have a “comfort zone”, ugh?? Thanks again for the reply….

  12. Jan said,

    July 16, 2008 at 9:30 am

    I am glad that your canna is looking a little better. Sometimes the answer is simple like just more water esp. for new plantings.

  13. CA French said,

    August 26, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    ….Jan… Funny thing about those that I moved…. They still didn’t do well… I moved them again this weekend…. However, there was another one that was close near by… and she is doing WONDERFUL…. what a blessing of color and just oodles and oodles of blooms… Can see now why you have that one…. Have you ever heard of the “Journey’s End”…. it is my first year with that one too… and it is equally as pretty… and just multiplies like crazy…. Every year I’m reminded why I am so crazy about Canna’s….. :)…..

  14. Jan said,

    August 26, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    Sorry to hear your cannas didn’t improve. This year I have had a yellow and a red that was very stunted even though I did everything I knew. A few years back I did dig up a poorly performing canna and then grow it in a pot for a year. When I finally planted it back into the ground, it did much better. Maybe it just needed a little pampering. Maybe when yours come up next year they will do better.
    I have seen pictures of Journey’s End and it is very pretty. I think it would look good in combination with solid yellow and solid red cannas.

  15. iloveplants said,

    July 5, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Wow, your are very nice. I haven’t been so fortunate with mine. They started off well but now the leaves are all turning brown as they emerge and are still rolled up. Guess its the canna leaf roller. Hopefully I can get rid of them with some pesticide.

    • Jan said,

      July 7, 2009 at 5:56 am

      I’ve used BT a few times that the canna leaf roller has showed up here. So far, I have been very lucky not to have those awful pests become too much of a problem.

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