growing cannas from seed 2010

Syracuse, NY

This is the first year I am growing cannas from seed. I have been discouraged over the past years as the virus infected the stock I rec'd from a US grower who suggested that they would "outgrow" the virus. Yeah, right! Is it true that seed grown cannas are virus-free?

I planted my cannas about two weeks ago after nicking them and soaking in water for 24 hours. Some are already 2 inches tall, and vigorous. It looks like I will be repotting them all in a week or so, and continue to grow them under lights.

The ground isn't really warmed-up here (zone 5) until late May. I plan to set them out then. Can I expect them to bloom this summer?

Can you share your experience with seed-grown cannas?

Grayson

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

I don't know the answer to your question, I am just getting ready to do the same thing you just did. But, my question is, are these going to make tubers this summer? Maybe they will spend the supper making roots or bloom, or both?

cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

I grew seeds last year outside.. Started last week of may and brought them in sept/oct.. Some did bloom some however did not.. The ones that did I even got more seeds from.. The tube roots however were all the same size as the ones I purchased in the spring.. Storing them for the winter so far no problems.. They didn't have many stocks coming off each one though.. The roots I bought in the spring had up to 15 stocks on one plant, but the seeds only at most had 5. I will be again starting seeds this spring.. As its a cheaper way to add canna's to any garden.. Plus you get different looks too, since seeds don't always come true..
Jen

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

That is true Jen, where did you get the seeds that you started with originally? I am starting mine today.

cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

Through trades.. This year also, plus a few i got off my own.. http://www.karcheskycanna.com/ has the biggest selection i've found and there for a good price.. I think I just might order a few, not sure though cause I only have so much room..
I dont usually start mine till we can plant seeds outdoors usually mid may.. I might however try this year.. Just to get a head start... but not till they can go outside most of the day...
jen

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

I thought Grayson's thread that started this was interesting because my chart says they can go to 365 days to germinate. Wow, I would not have the patience for that. I will look at that site. LOL, I REALLY do not need any more plants (seeds).

cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

I have heard alot about the seeds and that they are very hard to get going... I'm not sure if these people nick the seeds or not, but in my tries I get almost 100% germinated and it only takes at the most maybe 2 weeks.. Soaking them overnight in warm water also gets them going.. I think the 365 days to germinate is cause the shell on the seed is water proof, and if not nicked yes it will take what seems like forever is even to get going.. But once nicked it gets the water in there and away they go.. I almost didn't even plant the seeds i had last year after reading they take forever and are really hard to grow.. I decided to plant everyone I had and maybe I would get one or two come up.. NOPE!!! I think they all did...
I would like to know about the virus if it stays in the seeds thought??
Jen

Coal Center, PA(Zone 6a)

Here is a seed growing blog that may help answer some of the questions above:
http://growingcannasfromseed.blogspot.com/

It is oriented more for winter and cold climate growers, but warm climate growers can adapt to best for them.

Virus will come through on some seedlings, but for the majority it will not.

Seeds do not take 365 days to germinate .. lol
Good they do not :)

Syracuse, NY

Thanks for the blog, Abutilon. I will be checking mine after dinner tonight. Four varieties were planted at the same time, and all have germinated but one variety.

cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

Oh geese I cant wait till may.. Seems like forever away, even more now that we got like 6" more snow.. I just want it all to melt and have the sun come out enough with this winter lol
jen

cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

garyon what kinds did you start?? and what ones are not coming up??

Syracuse, NY

I have seeds that were sent to me from another DG member taken from Indian Shot, Tropicana, an unnamed peach color and an unnamed pink. All have germinated well but the peach colored one, which shows no signs of doing anything soon. (I poked into the soil)

We got over a foot of snow last night. When I walked through the yard this morning the snow was above my knees in places.

The cellar is rigged up with fluorescent shop lights - about 20 lf - where I garden during the winter. It's quite cold down there - 55 to 65 degrees. Cool temperature plants do really well. By May I close this down completely until the following October or November when I bring things in before the frost.

cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

Tropicana?? i thought they didn't seed... Mine never did anyways.. good luck with the peach ones, I love peach color cannas, so pretty...

Syracuse, NY

I thought the same, but the seeds were labeled that way. The leaves are green and don't show any coloration.

I was impatient to see why some of the seeds didn't germinate, so I dug them up. They were the seeds that had the smallest 'Nicks', so I made bigger ones. They were much easier to do after they had softened. Next time I'll soak them first, nick them, and soak them again.

cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

I nick them with the big nail clipper (for toes) and then soak over night.. The seed itself will swell in some spots where the water got it.. then I plant them..
Hope that works for them, I know what it like th be very impatient...

Coal Center, PA(Zone 6a)

'Tropicanna' does not produce seed.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

That might be a good idea. Soaking them first. I don't know if I even got them nicked, I kept losing them so decided to quit while I still had them. They puffed up pretty good in the water. Maybe I did get them. Or, should I take them out of the water and nick them again before I plant them?

cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

try using nail clippers to nick the seeds, I tried a few other ways with pliers and a file.. I just couldn't hold on to the seed, and man they would fly... Thats what made me try the nail clippers.. I just grip the seed with my finger and thumb and clip in a spot or two its pretty easy that way...
If there swelling in the water I think they will be ok, weather nicked or not.. I think the nicking is to allow water to get in..
jen

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Well, maybe I got more of a nick out of them than I thought. Yes, I was afraid I wouldn't find them when they fly all over the house. Bouncing off the walls and ceiling. LOLOL. Just kidding. Not quite that bad.

Coal Center, PA(Zone 6a)

I like the rough sandpaper method.
I have a small pair of gadget pliers with a little notch in them. I hold the seed in these and place a sheet of rough sandpaper on the counter, and rub the seed over it several times until I get beneath the outer coat.

You made me laugh about flying seeds ..
A fellow grower friend once told me he used his blender to nick seeds.
Well .. You have to keep the lid on TIGHT. And you can't take a peek until completely stopped.
I had seeds flying everywhere and got hit (fortunately not seriously), too.

His method nicked the seeds too much for me and I did not try it again.
But we have surely had a lot of laughs since remembering what happened. ha


This message was edited Mar 2, 2010 3:17 PM

Syracuse, NY

Germination rate so far after about one month:
Indian shot 100%
labeled "pink" 40-50%
labeled "peach" 20%
labeled "Tropicanna" 0%

I'm not really hopeful about any more coming through.

Some are 4 leaved, stocky 4 inch plants now. I've transplanted into 8 oz foam cups. These things grow quickly.

cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

Yes they do, once they start they just take off.. Although I have found the taller (6-8 feet) ones grow far quicker then the shorter ones.. My banana canna was over 5 feet, while my tropicanna was a foot and a half.. Makes it nice to have the all in one garden..
jen

Syracuse, NY

These have been growing less than three weeks. The larger ones in the back are Indian shot: 100%germination on them. Those in front are "pink", with about 50% germination.

Thumbnail by garyon
Syracuse, NY

Indian Shot less than three weeks old.

Thumbnail by garyon
Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Looking good. Now, do you expect these to bloom this year? They are from seed right?

Syracuse, NY

Yes - seed from a DG exchange in January. I've never grown them from seed before. Can anyone let me know what I can expect?

Here's a picture of my fluorescent light set-up in the cellar. The photograph makes it look much more glamorous than it really is. They're shop lights suspended from the rafters and other supports, along with miscellaneous pieces of scrap wood and furniture. I get a lot of enjoyment from a modest investment.

Grayson

Thumbnail by garyon
Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Hey Gary, whatever works. It sure looks like you are utilizing every square inch of space under those lights. Those shop lights are what we all use. We are just sure that we get the cheapest ones.

cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

garyon & Jnette
I planted cannas from seeds last year.. However I didn't start them till later on in may, and I just planted them right in the ground.. I would say they were in more sun then shade, but not morning sun, usually about 1:00 the sun would hit them till dark... I did have about half bloom and the other half didn't.. I even had some go to seed.. On the other hand I planted a bunch of banana cannas and even the ones from rhizomes I had didn't flower, so maybe they need more time??
For storing them in the winter the seedlings make a nice root clump.. I even had one my friend liked that i could break a piece off for her... They wont get huge roots this year, but bigger then the size you would buy at a big box store, walmart ect.. in those bags...
jen

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Jen, that sounds promising. Thanks. I only have 2 seeds. I bought some, but traded or gave the rest away. But, that's ok, 'cause I wanted them for containers and the foliage will be good in there too whether they bloom or not.

Syracuse, NY

Update: no more germination yet. Plants are growing much more slowly now, having been moved to 55-65 degrees.

Blue Ridge Mtns, VA(Zone 7a)

Looking good there, Grayson. You had a great germination rate.

Syracuse, NY

Just got seeds from "President" in a seed exchange. Will nick and soak tonight.

Coal Center, PA(Zone 6a)

Canna 'President' does not produce seed.
It will be interesting to see what you get ... :)

Blue Ridge Mtns, VA(Zone 7a)

Just curious how your Cannas are doing, Grayson.

Syracuse, NY

Some are doing great. Indian Shot has been most successful (about 80%). Some of them are 8-10 in tall and quite vigorous. Next is the pink one with about 40% success. The rest were no-go.

I got 5 seeds from a red canna in the robin. One of them has germinated.

I am satisfied with my first try enough to try again next year. Thanks for getting me started on this.

How have yours done?

Blue Ridge Mtns, VA(Zone 7a)

Sounds like yours are doing great. Since I don't have a greenhouse or good indoor growing conditions, l just planted mine a few days ago outside in cell packs.

Abutilon, somebody sent "President" seeds to me too. Oh well...lol We'll see what grows :)

cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

I planted 47 canna seeds in salad Tupperware 10 different types each in there own container.. Anywhere from 2-8 seeds of one type.. As of yesterday I have 11 of the 47 that came up.. I still have hope for the rest as I have read they can take up to 20 days... If they dont however i have extras i kept just in case.. we'll see in a another week or so..
jen

Syracuse, NY

Front row is from "pink" seeds, back rows are from "red Indian shot". I gave up on the seeds labeled "peach" and replanted the flat with castor beans. At the end of last week I saw a canna emerging.
Last month I planted 5 seeds from a seed exchange: "red". One has emerged.

Look at the leaves in this picture. I think we have disproved the theory that the virus is not transmitted through the seeds. As the season progresses I will discard anything that looks disreputable. I don't want to infect a "Tropicanna" that was recently sent to me.

Grayson

Thumbnail by garyon
Syracuse, NY

Here's another view of the leaves:

Thumbnail by garyon
Syracuse, NY

canna virus:

Thumbnail by garyon

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