In 2003, I attempted to plant yellow cannas to attract butterflies. I am pretty sure now that I overwatered them and they never came up. Can somebody tell me the most hardy canna that I can plant in Southern California (and hopefully not overwater this time) to attract butterflies and hummingbirds? I have the perfect spot for two or three of the large ones.
I tried googling and couldn't come up with anything!
Canna 'Robert Kemp' or 'Marabout' will bring in the hummers in droves. Especially 'Robert Kemp' as it is more red and the hummers seem to prefer that colour best. But 'Marabout' does a good job, too.
Both are very heavy bloomers which is very helpful, also :)
As far as butterflies, cannas attract them much less than other flowers will. But cannas with flowers facing upward like 'Florence Vaughn' will attract them. Perhaps the upward facing surface provides the space to land they need to feed.
Cannas should do very well for you in Southern California, though.
Perhaps you should start with cannas already growing as plants so you don't have to worry they won't come up ;)
Pix is a Swallowtail checking out 'Florence Vaughn' :)
I don't think overwatering is a problem as my SIL has them growing IN a pond in Mississippi. They love water. I have a bunch of them planted in this low spot where my AC units condensate drains dump, (very wet) But I agree with Abutilon, I haven't seen that many butterflies around them. Lots of hummers around my red ones though and LOTS of honey bees.
My personal experience is the red indica. At least for me it is. I have even had them in a flower bed, dug them all up and gave them away so I could plant something else there, then after many years dug that up and the cannas came back!!!! Go figure!
I take extra care when I plant cannas to get them right-side-up, because if they are planted upside down, they will not grow. Correct me if I am wrong... I have had a lot of failures in the canna area and my batting average soared when I paid more attention to this detail.
DIRTYGIRL71, I'm in 10b/11a and mine will bloom year round if I pull the stalks of the ones that have bloomed and break them at ground level. That encourages the new growth. I've had blooms in every month of the year.
Steve812, in cooler drier climates, like yours especially, you need to be more particular about planting the rhizomes "upright". In this coastal, Mediterranean-like climate that I live in, they seem to proliferate no matter what I do. (I used to live in Prescott by the way.)
My Picasso canna's are getting EXTREMELY top heavy and before all the flowers open, they start to topple over.. I need to stake them up, but what would be the best stake??? they are stanking about 36" and my Cleopatra's are starting to topple over too. They are both very pretty, very healthy, and can't wait till I have enuff to share, but if they keep falling over, I won't have any.
Hummingbird's love the color red, and they cluster toward the red blooming cannas I have and yes, they come back year after year, they multiply in fact, you can double the amount of cannas you have in about 3 years alone. LOL I have over 200 now and love every last one of them, they are very strong plants that withstand a lot of abuse and keep coming back.
I have planted rhizomes that did not come up also, a lot of times, it depends on who you buy them from. I don't plant seeds too often, I prefer certain companies for my canna rhizomes and some companies I just stay away from as everything they send never grows. So; maybe that is the problem. Easy to Grow has great rhizomes and I have had tremendous success with them.
Fall is a big event in So California when we plant differents kinds of vegetation for the spring. I just planted three one gal pots of Firecracker (dwarf canna) seeds. If this doesn't work then I am going to Home Depot and buy a plant that is already successfully growing to transplant. So far only one seed has sprouted.
Chuck: I usually don't spend the money they want for the plants at home depot, I usually can't get the seeds to grow either; and what I do is order the rhizomes from Easy to Grow, I have much success with their rhizomes becoming healthy and beautiful canna lilies and they are reasonable.