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Home » Growing Guide » Canna Lily Growing Guide

Canna Lily Growing Guide

Header Canna Lily - Garden Express Australia

What is Canna Lily?

Canna Lily (Canna x hybrida) or canna for short is a vigorous herbaceous  perennial plant forming dense clumps of leaves formed from rhizomes. Originally from Tropical America (region unknown) this plant grows anywhere from Tasmania to Tropics. Its from the family Cannaceae. Modern canna hybrids come in four different sizes: pixie (45cm-60cm), dwarf (60cm-100cm), medium (1m-1.5m) and tall (1.5m-2m). They come in all different colours. The foliage may be green, blue-green, purple, burgundy, bronze or variegated. Flower colours also have a large range such as pale yellow, to orange, to dark red and all shades in between. Flowering season for the cooler climates is Summer to Autumn and in warmer climates Spring to Autumn. 

Benefits of Growing Canna Lily 

Canna Lily are a fantastic plant for hiding just about anything. Tall dense clumps of large heavy tropical foliage make perfect screens or wonderful backdrops. Ideal for screening, backdrops, borders or as a hedge. They could even be used for edges of ponds and pools or poorly drained positions.

Canna Lily copes well with all soil types, also tolerating damp (even wet) conditions. They are low maintenance.

They are very effective and showy in groups. Long flowering, wide range of flower colours, handsome foliage, available in different sizes and hardy. Canna Lilies are drought tolerant plants and are evergreen in warm climates.

How to Grow Canna Lily

Canna Tropical Sunshine 14142359pa 15 - Garden Express Australia

Canna Tropical Sunshine

Climatic Zones

Canna Lily grow in most areas of Australia.

Plant Size

Dwarf Height: 60cm-1m, Width: 50cm, Normal Height: 70cm-1.2m, Width: 80cm

When To Plant Canna Lily

Plant in Spring, once the last frost has passed.

Soil Preparation

Canna Lily grow well in all soil types however at their prime in rich organic well drained soil like most plants. Digging compost or well decayed manure through the soil will improve growth.

How To Plant Canna Lily

Plant in full sun, 50-70cm apart. Make sure that the new eyes of the rhizome are just below the soil level. The new eyes (the tips), will have either white or pale purple colour depending on variety.

Canna Lily Plant Care

To thrive, canna lily like water and food over Summer. This will encourage new growth and plenty of flowers. Remove spent flowers to keep them tidy. Keep them mulched with manure. Top dress with some fertiliser during Spring.

Canna Lily die back in Winter, the stems can be cut down to ground level and remove spent flowers. Canna Lily can be left undisturbed for many years however when the clumps start getting large you can divide them during Winter. If dividing, cut into sections with at least one good shoot each. If you are in very cold areas protect rhizomes against frost with a layer of mulch.

Watch for slugs and snails and control these if necessary.

Recommended Canna Lily Varieties

Bring some tropical vibes to your garden with these fantastic plants. Canna Lily are easy to grow, flower for most of the year and put on a wonderful display when planted en masse. With a large variety to choose from there is something for everyone’s taste.

Canna Tropical Ruby St 247632019 15 - Garden Express Australia

Canna Tropical Ruby

Canna Tropicanna Gold Pkclitgo - Garden Express Australia

Canna Tropicanna Gold

Canna Tropicanna Black 15 - Garden Express Australia

Canna Tropicanna Black