Thank you. This is only my third year growing cannas, and I wonder why I waited so long. I love the tropical flowers. I wish I lived in a warmer zone and could enjoy tropical plants all year long. Too cold here, and I don't have a greenhouse or enough room in the house or garage to overwinter everything I grow. With the cannas all you have to do is dig up the rhizomes and store. So easy. And the hummers love C. indica and C. Robert Kemp.
Nice photo. I'm thinking about putting in another raised bed next spring, just for the cannas. They really crowded the Turk's Cap I have them planted near, and I want to plant more Turk's Cap next spring. Another hummer magnet!
hi, i was just admiring your pics, and i'm wondering if you want to trade any of your red cannas that the hummers love,. I have some named cannas that I purchased last year from a coop - all different colors - but what I really want are the species type that the hummers love.
Ihave about 6 different types if your interested.
maureenpm00: I deadhead the plants and never let them make seeds, so I don't have any seeds to trade. Last weekend I cut the stalks/foilage back to the ground and will be digging up the rhizomes soon. Those I keep to replant next year. So I don't have anything to share. Sorry.
I was just googling for the best cannas for hummingbirds and this thread came up so I thought I'd say Hi!
I thought this was interesting: When I googled, the PlantFiles page for Canna Indica or Robert Kemp came up and someone there who lived in Wisconsin mentioned that they leave this particular canna in the ground thru winter on the south side of the house. What do you think about that? Someone else said they can be hardy in Zone 6 if you give it some mulch. This surprised me.
I haven't had good luck with overwintering cannas in the garden, but thought maybe someone out there could comment a bit more?
tabasco: I never did get around to digging up my cannas before winter came blowing in, pulled some muscles across my ribs and wasn't able to completely finish winterizing my beds before we had very low freezing temps, which was unusal in early December. So the canna rhizomes are still buried in the raised bed with a layer of fallen leaves over them. I'm wondering if the layer of leaves will keep them insulated enough to survive our winter, even though some nights were in the single digits. The rhizomes should have very good drainage around them, so if they survive the temps they shouldn't rot from too much moisture, so I'm interested to see if they can survive here ground (or raised bed) planted. I've always suspected they could, but haven't tried in the past. Just in case they don't survive, I've already placed an order with Old House Gardens for more C. indica and C. Robert Kemp. And if they do survive, I'll post here!
This summer / fall I plan to only take out a few pieces of each just to save them.. As I will have a new born, I know the 18 hours of cleaning and storing them that i took last year, will just not be possible this year.. I'm hoping they do come back but if not I'll have the extra back up... This spring I'm going to order a bunch of plants that are winter hardy for me.. Its hard to find tropical looking ones, but I have a few I really like.. I just cant keep only planting ones i have to dig out.. The next few years gardening, I'm sad to say will be the last on my list and I still have to have a beautiful garden.. for the past 2 years our friends have came over every year and all make comments on our garden and plants they never seen before.. Now they all want pieces of different things.. I'm just not ready to have that gone yet.. So hopefully i can achieve the same thing through more hardy and less tropical..
tabasco: Robert Kemp vs. indica? I see more hummer action at the Robert Kemp, though both cannas are used repeatedly. The R.K. has larger flowers, maybe that's why, maybe more nectar. If you buy only one, go for the R.K. Mine were about 2 feet taller than the indica.
smurf428: I never thought about digging around the rhizomes in order to break off a section/sections. Excellent idea. You might want to try native plants that are naturally hardy for your area. I started doing that about 3 years ago. I bought some plants but also bought seeds, though the seeds had to be stratified. Of course, everything I picked out was hummer friendly. Native plants are supposed to have richer nectar. I found a nursery in my state that specializes in plants native to our area. I bought plants and seeds and have had excellent results with both, and instead of collecting seed I let the plants reseed as they would in the wild.
I have alot of grasses now and i always plant castor beans since they give a tropical feel in a annual.. I am going to order some bulbs that are hardy for me.. like Kniphofia uvaria, Ostrich Fern, Toad Lily, and Crocosmia.. Hopefully they will give the tropical feel i'm after.. I also have alot of hardy hibisucs seeds that i will start in the spring ..
Abutilon: I've never collected the seeds or tried cannas from seed. Is there any guidelines for canna seeds? I'm assuming the seeds need to dry on the plant before harvesting. How about sowing the seeds? How long from germination to flower production?
tabasco: If you decide to pot plant a Robert Kemp, use a really large pot. I put one rhizome in a 14" terracotta pot a couple years ago and over time the rhizome got so large it cracked the pot and it was impossible to get the rhizome out of the pot without cutting into it.
smurf: I have Toad Lily and Crocosmia and love them both. The Toad Lily doesn't bloom for me until September, but the little flowers are beautiful. I heard recently that the Toad Lily is hummer friendly, but I can't verify that (hummers love the Crocosmia); the plant is on the north side of my house which is normally out of sight unless I'm over there watering.
Heres what i do:::
To get seeds off cannas:
I think all cannas after flowering will get a green bumpy ball with a dried tip at the top.. that is the seed pod.. There can be anywhere form 1-6 or even more inside.. However not all cannas seed some will be empty and those are sterile.. You do have to wait till the green ball turns brown and cracks open.. If you wait to long though, you will loose the seed as they will fall out.. I have covered a few of mine when i went out with nylon pieces and twist ties, it kept the seeds in for me.. I'm not sure if you have to wait to plant them or not as i always wait till the following spring..
Growning the seeds:
What I do and i have to say works great.. The seeds need to be nicked, so i take a pair of nail clippers.. (the big ones i think for toes) I nick a few holes in the sides, nothing really deep just enough to break the hard shell.. Then I soak them over night in water.. When you look at them after they look all bloated in spots where the water got in.. These ones are ready to get planted... I dont do anything special, I stick them right in the ground.. My soil is just stuff thats been there for years and its not the best stuff.. They come up in a few days..
I made the mistake of going crazy last year, planting way to many.. I read they were hard to grow, but that just wasn't the case... I want to say they all came up, but i never counted how many i planted.. I did however plant every one i had lol... I did get a few to bloom first year, however they wern't in full sun, if they were i think more would of bloomed..
I just dont believe their hard to grow, but also know you dont get 100% match to the parent plant.. You might get reallly close, or nothing like it at all.. for me thats the fun part...
Jen: Thanks for all the info. I always suspected the 'green bumpy ball' was the seed pod, but I always deadhead to promote more flowering. C. indica is a species plant so the seed should come true. Do you remember how long it took before the blooms started? Six weeks? Eight weeks? Three months? Just wondering so I will know how early to plant the seeds inside under lights so I'll have blooms (hopefully) in June.
I planted them the end on may.. I would say not much later then the cannas that came from a rhizome.. The pics i have the rhizomes started the begining of aug and the seeds about the end of aug.. I even got seeds off a few.. The problem i'm sure is they were only in part sun, after 3:00 pm - night, the other cannas I had from rhizome were all in full sun... I only have the ones that are above 4 feet.. Other then my tropicanna (which oddly is last to bloom) So I'm not sure if shorter ones bloom sooner..
Here us a blog I made for seed growing using one of the methods I like best.
I hope I don't get in trouble for posting it here: http://growingcannasfromseed.blogspot.com/
These bottles in cold dreary months are placed in a hooded aquarium with 1/4-1/2" of water in the bottom and 1 clear and one blue light left on for warmth. Once the seedlings are up, the hood is opened. As they progress and become to tall for the "greenhouses", those lids are removed. A little more development and they are potted individually.
You should have blooms on a number of seedlings in 3-4 months after sowing.
Abutilon: Thanks for the link. I have 2 questions. Do you pre-cut the soda bottles when you plant the seeds in the growing medium so you can lift the top off when the plants get bigger? And in the instructions quoted below, when you put the bottles on a "saucer of water" does the bottom of the bottle touch the water? Have you drilled drain holes in the bottom of the bottles? (Guess that was 3 questions.)
Quoting:We use recycled soda and water bottles as mini greenhouse. Placed in bright light, warm temperatures, and on a saucer of water, they create the perfect atmosphere for germinating canna seeds.
hummer_girl wrote:Nice photo. I'm thinking about putting in another raised bed next spring, just for the cannas. They really crowded the Turk's Cap I have them planted near, and I want to plant more Turk's Cap next spring. Another hummer magnet!
what is Turks cap ? what am I asking for I can find out here on Daves Garden
I will have to see if I can plant that here I like hummers
CherokeeGreg: Turk's Cap is Malvaviscus arboreus/ Malvaviscus arboreus var. Drummond, in case you haven't found it in PF. The nursery I purchased the plant from lists it as hardy in zones 6-10, though PF lists zones 8-11, so I'm interested to see if it will survive our winters. We had temps around zero in January along with quite a few single digit nights. I should know in March if the plant survived.
Abutilon -- First I have to tell you what a great blog you have. Love your pics of the cannas and seeds and your instructions. I'm soaking my seeds now and was wondering, if I do as above and put them in the soda bottles with holes on the bottom and then in a saucer of water, won't the potting mix in the bottle soak up all the water and be too wet? And what type of a saucer, like just a small plate with some water on it?
thanks (i'm afraid if the containers are too wet the seed would rot). I have some Indica seeds and I really needs these to grow to attract hummers to my yard:-)