Cannas can add a touch of the tropics to your landscape. And, new varieties are shorter with lots of flowers that are larger and more colorful than traditional cannas. Although cannas are a perennial, but they must be dug up every winter and planted again in the spring.

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Cannas - Shorter and More Colorful

Cannas with their large leaves add a tropical flair or atmosphere to a flower garden. The thing about most cannas that you see in the marketplace is that they’re mostly large leaves with a few small flowers at the top. The flowers aren’t a showy part.

However, these are a new development in canna breeding. These have short, compact plants with a lot more sprouts and shoots and a tremendous increase in the number of size of flowers. The flowers are much bigger than the traditional cannas, and the colors are intense. This plant is from a breeder in Israel, and they’re a great plant.

Another unique feature is that these are propagated from tissue culture. If you’re wondering why this is an important consideration, it’s because they are heat indexed for virus. They’re certified virus free. In the tissue culture propagation process, the plants outgrow any virus, and it’s heat-treated. Therefore, these can be guaranteed to be virus free. Virus in canna would constrict its growth.

Therefore, these will perform phenomenally. They’re a tender perennial. They’ll grow for twenty, thirty, or forty years, but they’ll freeze out in Kansas in the winter. The best thing to do is to wait for the first freeze that kills the top, but before the ground freezes. Then, dig them up as a clump. On a farm, they can be put into a cave or root cellar. Or, you can put them in the basement of your home where it’s cool and humid, so they don’t dehydrate through the winter. Then, in the spring you can take them out and shake all the dirt off, divide them into smaller pieces, and plant them. They’ll grow just fine.

This feature story prepared with Alan Stevens, former Kansas State University Research and Extension State Leader, Horticulture. For more information, visit your local county extension office or visit our website at

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