Cannas often command oohs and ahhs in the perennial border. A bold tropical looking garden is not complete without the big leaves and voluptuous flowers of Cannas.

Tall varieties offer a sensational backdrop for just about anything. Dwarf varieties can move into the middle or front layer of the border to offer good substance in the mix of plants.

Christopher Lloyd taught us to mix Cannas with finer, tall foliage such as Heilanthus angustifolia or ‘Lemon Queen’ and Miscanthus 'Arabesque' for textural contrasts. Cannas also look great alone. A superb tropical container plant, Cannas pair well with papyrus or sweet potato vine. If you plant more tender varieties such as C. australis or 'Intrigue', it is best to overwinter them in the garage or some sheltered area.

Cannas also teach us patience. They are one of the last perennials to emerge in the garden and in nurseries. This is because Cannas require heat to wake up. They need at least 6 hours of direct sun, regular water and very good drainage. To insure good drainage, mix an inch of pumice plus compost into the bottom of the hole.

Ponds are another area in which to feature cannas. They can tolerate 4-6" of water over the crown. It is essential to move pond cannas into a dry area for the winter. If your pond has afternoon shade, try Canna 'Stutgart' which has bold variegated leaves.

Canna Tropicana

Canna 'Australia'

Rich burgundy leaves with bright red flowers July to October

Grow 3-5' tall 30"wide

Zones 7-10

Canna 'Intrigue'

Canna 'Intrigue'

Stunning dusky purple foliage topped by delicate orange flowers

Grows 5-6' tall and 18-24"wide

Hardy to zone 8.

Canna Tropicana

Canna musifolia: Bananna leaf canna

A huge plant with giant leaves in red or green on red stems

Small red flowers in summer

Grows 6-12' tall 24"+ wide

Zones 8-10.

Canna Tropicana

Canna 'Pretoria' - a.k.a 'Bengal Tiger'

Striking gold and and green striped leaves

Huge orange flowers July to October

Grows 6' tall 24"wide

Zones 7-11.

Canna Tropicana

Canna 'Tropical Series'

A series of compact cannas growing 2' tall 18-24"wide.

Large flowers come in red, rose, white and yellow.

Zones 7-11.

Canna Tropicana

Canna Tropicana® - a.k.a Phasion

Bright rosy red leaves with chocolate and green stripes.

Fluffy orange flowers July to October.

Grows 4-6' tall 24"wide.

Zone 8

Find the Best Perennials for your Garden

We have a wonderful selection of perennials year round, but if you are looking for a specific perennial we will have the best selection when it is in bloom around town. Note: Native plant pages will take you into the Native Plant section.


Lewisia: Bitterroot