Grow Canna Lily With Step By Step Guide

Written by: Lars Nyman

Growing Canna Lily

Growing Canna Lily

"Discover the joy of growing the radiant Canna Lily in your own garden with our step-by-step guide. Bursting with vibrant colors and tropical allure, the Canna Lily is easier to cultivate than you might think. Regardless of your gardening experience, we've broken down the process into simple-to-follow steps so you can grow these stunning flowers at home successfully. Aimed at beginners and seasoned gardeners alike, we'll cover everything from seed selection, planting to care. Dive into a captivating world of Canna Lily gardening and uncover the beauty that this stunning flower can bring to your outdoor or indoor spaces. Let's get your green thumb on and join us in a gardening journey filled with colors, growth, and fulfillment."

Grow Canna Lily With Step By Step Guide

Choose the Right Location

Canna lilies thrive in full sun but can also tolerate partial shade. Select a location with at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Ensure the area has well-draining soil to prevent waterlogging.

Prepare the Soil

Before planting, amend the soil with organic matter like compost or well-rotted manure to improve its fertility and drainage. Canna lilies prefer slightly acidic to neutral soil with a pH level of 6.0-7.0.

Select Healthy Rhizomes

Purchase or obtain healthy and disease-free canna lily rhizomes. Look for firm, plump rhizomes with no signs of rot or damage. Larger rhizomes often produce larger and more vigorous plants.

Planting Depth and Spacing

Plant canna lily rhizomes horizontally, about 4-6 inches deep into the soil. Space them apart at least 1-2 feet to provide enough room for growth and airflow between plants.

Watering and Maintenance

Water canna lilies regularly to keep the soil slightly moist, but not waterlogged. Once established, they can withstand short periods of drought. Remove weeds to prevent competition and apply a layer of mulch to retain soil moisture and control weed growth.


Feed canna lilies with a balanced fertilizer high in phosphorus (middle number of NPK) every 4-6 weeks during the growing season. This promotes healthy foliage and abundant blooms. Follow the package instructions for proper application rates.

Staking and Support

Taller varieties may need staking to support their height and prevent flopping. Install stakes when the plants are young to avoid damaging the roots later. Secure the stems loosely to the stake using soft ties or twine.


In colder regions, dig up canna lily rhizomes before the first frost and store them in a cool, dry place for the winter. Remove excess soil, trim the foliage to a few inches, and place the rhizomes in a well-ventilated container filled with dry peat moss or sawdust. Check periodically for any signs of rot or damage.

Pest and Disease Control

Monitor your canna lilies for pests like aphids, slugs, or caterpillars. Use natural or organic methods to control pests, such as handpicking, spraying with a gentle soap solution, or introducing beneficial insects. Avoid overwatering and provide adequate airflow to prevent fungal diseases like leaf spot or root rot.

Enjoy the Blooms

Once your canna lilies start to bloom, savor their vibrant, tropical-looking flowers. Deadhead spent blooms regularly to encourage continuous flowering. Cut flowers can also be enjoyed in floral arrangements.

Tools and Supplies:

  • Shovel or trowel
  • Compost or well-rotted manure
  • Balanced fertilizer (high phosphorus)
  • Garden stakes
  • Soft ties or twine
  • Container for overwintering
  • Dry peat moss or sawdust
  • Natural pest control methods

Canna Lilies are among the most beautiful of plants, and they need minimal upkeep once they’re established in the garden. Plus, they make a striking addition to any landscape. They are highly rewarding, and growing canna lilies is easy as long as you know the basics. Without further ado, let’s discuss how to grow and care for canna lilies.

Step 1: Selecting Suitable Soil

Canna lilies are not fussy when it comes to soil, but the soil should be fertile and fast-draining. If your plants are in containers, then use a light potting mix with 10-10-10 fertilizer thoroughly mixed into it. If you are planting outside, amend your soil before planting canna lilies.

Step 2: Choosing A Suitable Location

Canna lilies prefer full sun, meaning they should receive at least 6-7 hours of direct sunlight every day. If these conditions aren’t available, partial shade will do — just make sure their location offers protection from strong, drying winds.

Step 3: Planting Canna Lilies

It’s time to plant your canna lily bulbs. Plant the rhizomes 4-6 inches deep with the sprouts facing upward. The rhizome should be planted slightly deeper in cooler climates. A space of 2-3 feet should be left between each plant.

Step 4: Watering And Fertilizing Canna Lilies

Be sure to water your canna lilies regularly, so the soil is kept moderately moist at all times. Once the canna lily plants are established, you can lessen the frequency of watering. However, it’s essential to water your canna lilies during dry spells.

Fertilize your plants twice a month with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer, such as 5-5-5 or 8-8-8 during spring and summer. If you’re planting in containers, use a dilute liquid fertilizer once or twice a week during their active growing season.

Step 5: Removing Dead And Fading Blooms

Canna lilies tend to bloom from spring until the first frost of winter. As your plants begin to make fruiting pods, it’s time to remove the pods and fading flowers. This not only helps keep the plants looking tidy, but also aids in future blossom production.

Step 6: Overwintering Canna Lilies

In areas where temperatures drop too low, it’s best to dig up your canna lily plants and store them in pots indoors for winter. Place the pots in a cool (not cold) but bright location. Water the plants every month to keep them from completely drying out.


Now that you know the basics of growing and caring for canna lilies, you can get started on your own. Growing canna lilies is easy, and they will bring a lot of beauty and color to your garden. Enjoy their exotic blooms and lush foliage for years to come!

Canna Lily FAQ

1. What is a Canna Lily?

A Canna Lily, scientifically known as Canna indica or Canna x generalis, is a beautiful flowering plant that belongs to the Cannaceae family. It is native to tropical and subtropical regions and produces vibrant and eye-catching flowers in various colors like red, orange, yellow, and pink.

2. How do I grow Canna Lily?

Growing Canna Lily is relatively easy. Start by selecting a well-draining location with full sun or partial shade. Dig a hole and place the rhizome (bulb-like structure) about 2-4 inches deep with the eyes facing upwards. Cover it with soil and water thoroughly. Maintain regular watering, provide support if necessary, and apply a balanced fertilizer every few weeks. Your Canna Lily will start blooming in about 8-12 weeks.

3. When should I plant Canna Lily?

The best time to plant Canna Lily is in late spring or early summer, after the danger of frost has passed and the soil temperature has warmed to around 60°F (15°C). This ensures that the rhizomes have optimal conditions to sprout and grow.

4. How do I care for Canna Lily during winter?

In colder regions, where frost occurs, you need to dig up the rhizomes before the first frost. Cut back the foliage to about 4-6 inches, carefully lift the rhizomes, and allow them to dry out for a few days. Store them in a cool, dry location (around 45-50°F or 7-10°C) for the winter. Replant them in the spring when the soil warms up again.

5. Can I grow Canna Lily in containers?

Absolutely! Canna Lily can thrive in containers as long as you provide them with enough space for their roots to grow. Use a well-draining potting mix and a container that is at least 12 inches deep. Ensure the pot has drainage holes and place it in a location with full sun or partial shade. Water regularly and feed with a balanced fertilizer to promote healthy growth and abundant flowering.

6. How do I prevent pests and diseases in Canna Lily?

To prevent pests like aphids or spider mites, spray your Canna Lily regularly with a mild insecticidal soap or use organic pest control methods. To avoid diseases such as leaf spot or fungal infections, make sure your plants have good air circulation by providing adequate spacing and avoid overwatering. Remove any affected leaves or plant parts and dispose of them properly.

7. Can I divide my Canna Lily?

Yes, dividing Canna Lily is an effective way to propagate and rejuvenate the plant. Wait until the rhizomes are dormant, typically during late winter or early spring. Carefully dig up the rhizome clumps, separate them using a clean, sharp knife, ensuring each division has at least one healthy bud or "eye". Replant the divisions, following the planting instructions mentioned earlier, and they will start growing vigorously.

8. How long does Canna Lily bloom?

Canna Lily blooms typically last for several weeks, usually around 2-3 weeks per flower stalk. However, the overall blooming period can extend for several months if you have multiple stalks or if you continuously deadhead (remove fading flowers) to encourage more blooms.

9. Are Canna Lilies deer resistant?

Yes, Canna Lilies are considered deer-resistant. The strong and sturdy foliage of these plants is distasteful to deer, making them less likely to be browsed upon. However, it's important to note that no plant is completely deer-proof, and in times of scarcity or high deer populations, they may still nibble on Canna Lily.

10. Can I grow Canna Lily indoors?

Canna Lily can be grown indoors if you provide them with the right conditions. Choose a large container with proper drainage and place it in a well-lit area where it can receive at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. Maintain a consistent temperature of around 70-75°F (21-24°C) and provide adequate humidity. Regularly water and fertilize your indoor Canna Lily to ensure healthy growth and blooming.

The Canna lily is a rewarding plant to grow. Not only is it beautiful, but it will also bring a lot of joy with its vibrant colors and unique shape. Plus, it is easy for even beginner gardeners to care for and will provide them with a sense of accomplishment. Growing the Canna lily is a great way to learn about gardening and create a colorful and beautiful outdoor space!

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