Bengals and Tropicanas

cannacrazy(8 SC)June 25, 2008

Some years ago, I unwittingly planted 4-6 cannas in my front yard. Suffice it to say, I now have cannas everywhere! I've grown to love them very much and have started adding some new varieties like Bengal Tigers and Tropicanas. The Bengals just don't seem to grow as well though. Am I missing something? Also, I'd love it if anyone is interested in trading. I'm thinking my original cannas may be Presidents? The originals are deep red with green leaves, about 3-ft tall. As they have spread, many of the flowers are now more of an orange-red. Can anybody tell me for sure?

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fivemurfs(6.5 TN)

Like you, I have acquired a taste for cannas over the years because no matter how I neglected them they just wouldn't go away. I'm no expert, but the cannas you describe sound the same as the ones I planted from bare roots from a friend who called them "President." Last year, which was their second, they were more deep orange than red. Do the flowers arch over when they bloom? Maybe mine may do this because they don't get full sun.

I have some Bengal Tigers that grow very well and come back every year in multiples, but not so much as to annoy me too badly. Do you water yours? Mine love to be ignored.

I love the Tropicana's that I see in the nurseries around town, but they are so pricey! Even though I have grown to love Canna Lilies, I can't make myself pay money for them!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 11:36AM
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cannacrazy(8 SC)

Check out a picture of my cannas at the link listed below. I started out with a few that were definitely red and over the years some have stayed red and some are more of the orange/red color. Now I have a new one that has emerged and it's red with yellow on the petal fringes. Don't know where it came from but my research tells me it's a Lucifer. My bengals are growing very slowly this year and haven't shown any sign of blooming--which is very disappointing. I'm wondering if they are not getting enough direct sun or maybe not enough water?? All my reds are in full bloom and my new Tropicanas are growing like crazy. They were very slow starting but are taking off now. The Tropicanas ARE getting more sun and water because they're front and center in my garden. I'm quite proud of them! Maybe I should move my Bengals out of the shadow of the reds?? Any thoughts anyone??

Here is a link that might be useful: Susan's Garden

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 12:29PM
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I ordered some "plain old" red cannas from Park Nursery 3 years ago. They sent what I call "orange sherbet." They thrived and multiplied; live whether they're watered or not,and we've had drought for several years now. I bought some of the "fancy ones" like Tropicana, etc., the next year, and had awful luck with them. They don't bloom as much; don't bloom as early; don't multiply as much, etc. I did buy some miniatures (think Lucifer was among them), and one has bloomed this week for the first time--a brilliant fire red/orange. I have to say for ground cover and covering a lot of space, the cheap yellow ones can't be beaten!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 7:44PM
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cannacrazy(8 SC)

I know what you mean. My reds thrive in drought and with plenty of water and they don't seem to mind my sandy SC soil. The Bengals have never produced many blooms and they reproduce very slowly. My Tropicanas are new this year and seem to be thriving and growing but no sign of any blooms. They were pretty ratty when I bought them--found them on sale for $8 each--so I'm watering well and giving them lots of sun. I don't have any yellows but they're on my list. What are your yellows? Did you buy them from Park?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 11:20PM
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I have some extra yellows that I can dig up and send you.

Send me your address.......


    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 5:34PM
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cannacrazy(8 SC)

Susie...very beautiful cannas! The yellows are gorgeous. Would love to have some. Please email me at

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 12:43AM
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nucci60(6 Ma.)

So even at zone 7, these cannas can stay in the ground and spread? They are never winter damaged in zone7?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 11:07AM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

I'm on the line between zone 6 and 7. Cannas can overwinter and spread, but it requires well-drained soil, especially in the spring. Where I live, the springs are usually very wet. The only canna I get to overwinter here is Red King Humbert, and those only do it if they are near the foundation of the house where it is warmer and drier. Tropicanna and Orange Punch have never made it, although their location is not as good.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 7:47AM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I have Tropicannas that have made it through 2 winters with fall leaves as a mulch. I agree they will rot if it too wet and if I get a cold winter, I may lose them.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 11:32PM
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quick question, what if we cover the area with a plastic sheet like 40 mil, then mulch/leaves on top, we'll be able to prevent water to go down the soil when snow melts. Will it work?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 5:19AM
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