Want a gorgeous summer flowering beauty with a difference? Go for cannas – there’s nothing subtle about them! They’re impressive planted en masse and once summer comes around, they burst into stunning blooms of velvety soft petals in tropical colours such as red, yellow, cream and orange.
They sit high on slender stalks above an abundance of large-leafed green foliage and suit tropical-style gardens and a frost-free climate.
• After flowering, cut back the stem to a few centimetres above ground level.
• In a relatively frost-free zone, leave the rhizomes (the underground roots they sprout from) in the ground over winter and they will reshoot next year.
• If in an area prone to frost, lift the rhizomes with a garden fork, divide them, wash, dry and then store them over winter in a dry place such as a garage or garden shed. When the next planting season comes around, replant the rhizomes in the ground. A single rhizome planted in spring will multiply to eight rhizomes by the next planting season!
• Lift and divide canna clumps every 2–3 years to keep the clumps looking tidy – you’ll also have more cannas to plant around the garden.