Although Canna is a half hardy perennial, it is grown as an half hardy annual in the garden.
Despite their name, Canna plants are not a member of the lily family (Liliaceae) but are members of the ten species stong Cannaceae family. Interesstingly, they are more genetically similar to Ginger plants (Zingiber officinale) and Bananas (Musa Spp.) than they are to the lily plant.
It is a tall tropical plant that may reach 1.5 m (5 feet) in height. Common names for Canna include Indian Shot and Achira.
They bloom in the summer and early autumn with yellow, red, or pink flowers on spikes.
These plants are beloved by many gardeners for their attractive leaves and asymmetric flowers.
There are many cultivars available that carry a wide range of colours in both leaves and flowers.
The flowers tend to be red in nature, with similar colours such as orange and yellow often see. Whereas the leaves, which are predominantly green in nature, are often varigated, marroon, or brown in the cultivars.
Canna lily by B&M Photography
When growing Indian Shot from seed outdoors, it is best to sow at a depth of 6 mm in the late spring, when the last frost has long gone.
If growing from tubers then these should be buried at a depth of about 9 cm (3 1/2 inches).
If planning to grow Canna seedlings indoors then the seed first needs to be chipped with a knife, and then soaked in warm water for two days.
The seeds (which may take from a month right up to a year to germinate) should be kept at a temperature of about 22°C.
If you are successful in growing Canna seedlings, then they should be planted at a spacing of about 50 cm apart in a sunny part of the garden, that has good drainage.
Canna and Hummingbird by Aunt Owwee
Indian Shot requires a moist soil of pH 6 to 7.
Canna / Indian Shot should be well watered in prolonged dry spells and fertilized monthly.
Tubers can be divided in the spring to create more plants.