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frequently asked questions

One of the secrets of happy gardening is to ask when you’re not sure about something.

Here we give you a list of the questions we’re most often asked, about gardening in general and about our plants in particular.

If after reading through these answers you have any further questions, just click here to ask us directly

tropicanna canna

 cold - will Tropicanna cannas tolerate frost?

Cannas are native to warm areas of South and Central America so they are sensitive to extended periods of frost. In warmer climates they can be left in the ground year round as perennials. In colder climates they can be lifted and brought indoors in the winter (shake off the loose soil and wrap the rhizomes in newspaper) or treat them as annuals and plant new ones next season. 

Of course cannas growing in containers can be stored indoors over-winter but don't water them until it's time to initiate growth again in the spring.

 disease - are Tropicanna cannas susceptible?

Due to their vigor, Tropicanna cannas are not prone to disease in the garden or landscape.

 feeding - do I need to fertilize Tropicanna cannas?

Tropicanna cannas are a high performance plant and benefit from feeding. In spring, use a slow-release flowering plant formula high in potassium to encourage flowering. Avoid high nitrogen fertilizers as too much nitrogen can produce a plant that is excessively tall and elongated. Ask for advice at your garden center. 

 indoors - can Tropicanna cannas be grown indoors?

While not the ideal location, Tropicanna cannas can be grown indoors in a well-lit position with a minimum of four hours of sun daily. Be sure to water and fertilize well.

 pests - will snails or slugs attack my Tropicanna cannas?

The leaves of Tropicanna cannas can be damaged by snails and slugs. Where these pests are an issue, snail and slug control is advised. Your garden center can advise you. 

 pots - what size is recommended?

It’s best to grow cannas in a large pot, 16 - 20 inches (40 to 50cm) in diameter or larger. Container grown plants will be shorter and can be cut back at any time to develop new growth. The removal of stems once they have finished flowering will promote vigor, color and more flowers.

 pruning - when and how?

No special pruning or pinching is necessary. Spent flower blooms drop naturally. It is a good idea to remove spent stems as this will encourage more foliage and flowers. In late Autumn, wait for the leaves to begin to die back, then cut off foliage to soil level. In spring, growth will start up as warmer temperatures arrive. 

 size - how tall will Tropicanna cannas grow?

In garden beds, Tropicanna cannas will grow up to four feet (1.2m) tall in the first year. In areas where winters are mild, they can grow up to six feet (1.8m) tall in subsequent years if left in the ground undisturbed. Container grown plants will be shorter, around 3 - 4 feet (90cm - 1.2m) tall or more.

 sun - does this canna need full sun?

Tropicanna canna performs best in full sun (six hours of sun daily), but it will tolerate partial shade (minimum four hours of sun daily).

 water - how much and how often?

Tropicanna canna is a tough plant and will cope with dry conditions, however to keep its broad fleshy leaves looking their best, it needs frequent watering. It’s especially important to keep plants grown in containers moist and well fed. If a container-grown plant should dry out excessively, leaves may fade losing the array of mixed colorations. If this happens, cut the plants back and water, and once they are beginning to grow fertilize them. Watered regularly, the Tropicanna canna will respond by sending up new shoots complete with vibrant colors and flowers.

 where - can I grow Tropicanna cannas?

Almost anywhere because these cannas grow well in garden beds and in containers as long as your frosts are not severe. Tropicanna cannas can also be used in water gardens, ponds and bogs. Avoid planting in windy locations as the large soft leaves may be damaged.