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Canna iridiflora

Screaming exotica. From darkest Peru, this canna can grow to 8ft in one year with bluish leaves and masses of shocking pink flowers. Cannas are surprisingly good in breezy places – particularly roundabouts in Normandy. A fine site.

For best results, plant cannas in a warm, sunny position in rich, moist soil. Dig up in the autumn and store roots in dry peat in frost-free conditions over winter, in colder areas. Can be left outside in mild areas but even there, a good idea to mulch in winter after removing the collapsed leaves. Excellent grown in a pot, but be careful not to over water in the winter and early spring, keep the soil almost completely dry. It can be as late as May before they break into growth again and then keep well fed and watered for the summer. As the roots bulk up, they can be divided and re-potted.

Start feeding weekly with Tomato Food (e.g. ‘Tomorite’) around February through to when the flowers emerge. Tomato food is designed to get tomato plants to flower and fruit as much as possible by feeding with lots of potash but very little nitrogen.

Propagated by us by division.

Hardiness traffic light green

Hardiness level Red

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Hardy in Atlantic Seaboard gardens, The Channel Islands, gardens in Central London (and other large cities) and conservatories.

This is only meant as a guide; there are some plants with red labels that would only survive in extremely favoured spots such as The Isles of Scilly or coastal south-west Ireland.

We're always on hand to give advice about plants and their frost hardiness.

Please remember that these coloured labels are only a rough guide.

General Point about Plant Hardiness: The commonly held belief that it's better to 'plant small' is perfectly true with herbaceous plants, but not necessarily true with woody plants. They need some 'wood' on them to survive severe cold - so plants of marginal hardiness in very cold areas should really be planted LARGER, rather than smaller, wherever possible.