Want to start growing cannas

mrs_tlcApril 20, 2008

Hi All. This is my first time posting here. I saw something a couple of years ago on a local gardening show about Tropicannas and thought they were so beautiful but at that time life didn't allow me any time to do any gardening. Now however, things have changed and me & my new DH are re-landscaping and I would love to start growing all types of Cannas.

I live in SW FL. Please give me advice on

1. which ones would be best for a newbie to start with.

2. where is the best place to find different varieties. We looked at Lowes and they only had one variety. Very pretty though!

3. Watering, feeding, etc.

4. Should I have a separate Canna bed or just intermingle them in the rest of the landscaping?

I would love to see pics of how you have yours planted. Especially Floridians.

Thank you!

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I am interested in this also. Someone just gave me about 10 cannas which I have to go pick up shortly. I will post pics soon.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2008 at 2:24PM
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Lowes had only one variety?? If that is true then you must have just missed them all. The Lowes by me (in MD) have probably around 10 varieties, they are just tubers in bags with pictures. They would be with spring bulbs if they still have any left. You can usually find many different varieties in bags with the spring bulbs at various stores. Since you are in FL maybe all your spring bulbs are long gone and you may have to wait until next year to get a good selection, unless you get them mail order. If you are looking for plants that are growing then you are right Lowes only ever has one or two varieties. And that is true for all garden centers (by me at least). I never see more than a few varieties available as potted plants.

Also you guys should read the FAQ section of the canna forum, there is a lot of good info there.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2008 at 6:01PM
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nightrider767(San Antonio)

MrsTlc,,, Ah, how to get started with canna, let me count the ways...

Well you picked a fine plant plant to start with. Canna's are very easy to grow. Matter of fact, as far as I've seen, they are one of the easiest plants to grow. I mean, they typically grow from rhyzomes you purchase, a fat root. Those rhyzomes are filled with starch and water. Everything the plant needs to start. Dig a hole, throw the rhyzome in and stand back, because something is going to happen.

Now in your case, if you really would like to grow a couple differant types, I'd recomend doing some research on the differant types, picking your favorites and purchasing the rhyzomes either online or at a gardenstore.

I think potted canna are a bit of a rip-off. The small plants you're looking at at Lowes are literally rhyzomes that someone threw into a pot with soil maybe three or four weeks ago. So find the rhyzomes, they are typically much cheaper.

Places like Walmart, Home Depot, Sams or Nursreries will sell you boxed rhyzomes for about $1-2 a plant for common varieties like President,,, a great plant. Tropicana I would buy as a plant from Lowes, because it is hard to find. The other option is buy less known, more exotic varieties online.

ANyways, but the best way to start is pick plants you really like and remember their names. Once you plant them they will grow and at the end of the season will form clumps. I've found that for every canna plant I have, it makes about three when divided at the end of the year, in spring.

So as you can see, you don't have to buy too many. They can quickly multiply. Add to that the seeds. I found six canna, sort of forgotten in a alley in Hawaii and pulled 200 seeds off of them. I planted forty and have them growing, as well as trading the rest for other seeds. So I have tons of canna.

One good thing about buying more exotic varieties online. Once they start multiplying, those rhyzomes are very easy to trade. So after your original investment, you can easily trade into a fine collection...

One last note, keep in mind that canna generally come in three sizes, dwarf, medium and large. If I was going to drop some money on some, hoping to trade into other plants, I'd probably by dwarfs as they are the least common. On my end, I have a ton of banna canna, giants that grow to 12ft that I hope to into smaller plants next year.

ANyways, enjoy you growing. I don't thing you can go wrong with canna.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 2:16AM
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