Gardening Articles: Flowers :: Bulbs
Sweet Summer Bulbs (page 3 of 3)
by Charlie Nardozzi
Cannas are grown both for their bold, yellow, orange, and red spiky flowers and for their sometimes colorful tropical foliage. Varieties such as 'Tropicanna' feature multi-colored, banana-like leaves. The plants of many varieties can reach 10 feet tall, but dwarf varieties, such as 'Ambassador', only stretch to 2 feet. Cannas look great planted in the back of perennial borders, in containers, or along walkways to provide a stately entrance. Because they tolerate moisture, they also grow well near ponds and in wet areas.
Being a West Indies native, cannas need warm soil to grow. Plant rhizomes 4 to 6 inches deep and 2 feet apart. Keep them well watered, and fertilize monthly with a complete fertilizer to support their vigorous growth. Since cannas are only hardy in frost-free areas, after frost kills back the foliage, dig the tubers, and store them in a cool, dark, frost-free place.