Tips on planting and caring for cannas in summer and overwintering

I consider myself an equal-opportunity gardener in the sense that I like to grow a variety of different plants in my garden and home landscape. Like most gardeners, I appreciate the ecological value in having a wide diversity of flowering plants, and I get joy from a variety of different colors and types of flowers, foliage, and plant-growth habits.

One flowering plant that had been missing from my landscape until the past couple of summers is the stately canna. These tall tropical-looking plants with banana-like paddle shaped leaves that wrap in orderly ruffles around the stems, have become the focal point in several different plantings in my landscape.

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Looking at the flashy and flamboyant red, orange, yellow and pink flowers of these plants, I now wonder how I ever lived my summers without these spectacular specimens.

Mike Hogan

Focal point of any planting

Cannas can be used in many garden and landscape settings as both focal points and attractive accents. Cannas are tall plants, with most varieties reaching 4 to 6 feet in height. Some monster varieties can reach up to 8 feet tall! Because of their height, cannas can bring structure as a tall border; as a backdrop in a flower, perennial, or even shrub bed; or soften the height of structures and raised decks in the landscape. There are also smaller dwarf varieties of cannas.