Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Summer Bulb Series: Canna Lilies


Canna lilies are easy to grow and come in a variety colors. They are a sure way to add emphasis to your garden, especially when planted in clusters and along borders. In addition to their brilliant flowers, cannas have very large tropical leaves in various shades of green and red. Cannas can be planted directly in your garden after the last frost date, typically Mother’s Day; however you can get a head start by potting your cannas bulbs now and keeping them in a warm, sunny spot indoors until after the last frost date has passed. Then you can plant your cannas, roots, foliage and all in a spot in your garden where you want dramatic foliage and color.
Begin by selecting sturdy bulbs – technically rhizomes. You look for firm bulbs, with a milky white color under the skin. Each bulb should have at least two “eyes”. A plant will arise from each eye. You’ll find that through course of the summer the bulb will grow, developing multiple eyes.
A one gallon container is a good size to choose. These bulbs were stored over winter in the basement and have already started to sprout.

The soil mixture is a combination of Flower Bin potting soil, worm castings and Coco Loco. When you’re done potting your bulbs, place them in a bright location in the house and keep them watered. You may fertilize with Happy Frog Steamed Bone Meal or Fertilome 20-20-20 water soluble fertilizer.
After a few weeks, your cannas will emerge. Be sure and harden your cannas off, before planting them directly in the ground. Hardening off involves moving your plants outside for a few hours, then gradually increasing the amount of time they spend outside. This process may take 6 or 7 days in order to get your cannas starts used to outside conditions.
Then your cannas can be planted in your landscape or in a container of your choice.


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