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When to thin????

Austin, TX(Zone 8b)

I have had some Cannas in ground for 4 to 5 years now and they are not blooming as well as before. When would the best time to thin them out be? I have not done this, but figure I could just dig up and take out some rhizomes....right?

This is a pic of when they were blooming well. Last year the apricot colored one only had a few blooms. I want them to look like this pic all the time.

Thumbnail by morganc
cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

First off let me say if that is your back yard, I'm sooooo jealous... Its breath taking...
I have read somewhere that cannas as well as other rhizomes do best if divided every few years.. I however have to dig mine up every year, so I really dont know.. I planted a small say 6" root of tropicanna in the ground last year, and by fall it was a 4 foot circle clump.. so I can only picture what 4 or 5 years could be under ground.. I would say dig them up and divide.. I would only put a few pieces back in each spot and let the multiply like crazy for a few months to fill it in a bit..
jen

Austin, TX(Zone 8b)

Well, thank you so much for the compliment. My husband and I have worked very hard to try and make this old ranch land pretty again.
As you can see, we do like a lot of color.

I had never planted Cannas until we moved here and I noticed how quick they spread and how well they take our heat. We have only been here 5 years, but I have added Cannas every year.....we are up to about 65 now. Call me crazy, but I love them.

Thumbnail by morganc
cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

Oh jeese 65 thats a crazy collection.. I have 22 to be planted this year, between seeds and roots.. I'm excited as this is my first year with pink, white and yellow.. Last year i only had orange and red (didn't know they came in all these colors) My fiance says that enough now, we have to plant other things besides cannas.. I asked him why? we have a few other things isn't that enough?? lol

But really you two did a wonderful job..

Austin, TX(Zone 8b)

I think the crazy thing is that you have to dig yours up every fall. I am lazy about doing stuff like that, so if that was the case we would surely not have so many.
I like them because every year when they return, it is like they bring friends with them. How cool is that?

We also tend to push the envelope of our zone. We have tropicals that no one else on our street will grow. My neighbor swears we live in an entirely different zone than she does. We tell her it's our own personal Disneyland!

I hesitate to ask because it will mean more work for you, but if I thin them.....a big if this year.....would you like some?

Thumbnail by morganc
cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

I would love to have some, but i think i need to decline this time around.. I think i have bitten off more then i can chew this spring with the 22 half of which are seeds.. Normally i would take on the work load. but being that i'll be 7 months pregnant by then, I dont think i can ask hubby for much more..
But thanks for the offer and for sure next time
jen

Killeen, TX(Zone 8a)

Hello!

I dug all of my cannas out at the end of last year & let them go dormant in my plant room.
I have had them outside in their individual container for about a week now & there is new growth everywhere!
I pare down what I have, keep the rhizomes with the newer growth & pass on/trade the rest to my friends & neighbors!
I do this with my banana plants too!
I have a pool, morganc, whereas you have a pond - I believe this enhances a mini 'microclimate'!
You did do a beautiful job!

Jen, I know the work you have a head of you with a baby & a garden...may both be your pride & joy!!

Take care! ~Cheryl

This message was edited Mar 25, 2010 11:19 AM

Thumbnail by Chebaby77
Austin, TX(Zone 8b)

Hi Cheryl,

NOT a pond.............but a POOL. But thanks, we think it looks like a pond too. It's really a salt water pool which we love in the Texas heat.

Pam

Killeen, TX(Zone 8a)

Looks great Pam!
A friend of mine has one down here in Harker Heights!
Nothing like a pool in the Texas heat YES!!

I had to watch how close I put my bananas to the pool in my landscape.
I was warned about burn from the evaporating chemicals in the pool.
Could this be a possibility with your cannas?

Just trying to offer up some answers for you! :)

I picked up a Wyoming & a Karl Feldstadt for less than $3 for 3 rhizomes today!

Hope it's a great day where you are! :) ~Cheryl

Austin, TX(Zone 8b)

There are no chemicals in a salt water pool.......it's a process that makes a natural chlorine type thing,(I'm not real sure how it does this) but it is not like regular chlorine because my husband is allergic to that and this was the only type of pool we could get. It is like swimming through wet silk.....wonderful feeling, and does not burn eyes.

The plants get splashed all the time and they have no reaction. Look at that first pic, that was 2 years in the ground around that pool.

I just think I need to thin.

Killeen, TX(Zone 8a)

Yes Pam!

The thinning shouldl do some good - I did that to my Pink Sunbursts today!
What beautiful plants! All the colors in the little leaves!!

The salt water pools work through an electrolytic process! Wonderous things!
I have loved how my skin felt after swimming in my friends pool also!

Have a wonderful week!! Thank you for sharing your beautiful backyard(and Cannas) with us! :) ~Cheryl

Prescott, AZ(Zone 7a)

Morgan, I'm jealous too. The pool area is a delight and the cannas frame it admirably. A great thing about the cannas you have is that they look delightful even without flowers. It is a lush look. But the golden flowers are really sort of piping on a well decorated cake. Do you remember which cultivars you have?

My own guess is that cannas grown and well cared for in Austin could benefit from being divided every two or three years. If you divided them and had some roots left over I might be interested in buying or swapping. Dmail me if this interests you. I'm afraid right now all I have is some red King Humberts. But they might complement the ones you have.

cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

Steve if your talking about the first orange ones in the bottom left corner.. I'm 99.99% sure that one is the tropicanna.. there also posted on March 24, 2010 in the photo..
jen

Prescott, AZ(Zone 7a)

Jen,

Thanks. I could believe they are Tropicana. Photo of 24Mar2010 at 9:25 confused me a bit, though, because I was thinking the flowers and leaves were much too golden yellow. But maybe that's an artifact of the lighting.

Austin, TX(Zone 8b)

Jen--
You are 100% right, those are Tropicannas.

Steve--
I bought most of my Cannas from Horn Canna Farm. Except for the Tropicannas.....I think I got those at Home Depot.

cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

I though so, great plant. I bought mine last year, I think at walmart or home depot also.. The leaves are so stunning, this is not a plant that you wait for the flower..

Steve I'm sure its the lighting, I took a few of mine and they look so red others more yellow.. It just depends on the day i guess..
jen

Thumbnail by smurf428
Austin, TX(Zone 8b)

Wow....even though I know that is a new leaf unfurling, it so looks like a flower. Great photo.

The photo I took that looks so yellow is the morning sun back lighting the plant. Here is normal.

Thumbnail by morganc
cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

I took it cause when i seen it all i could think of was a calla lily..

Austin, TX(Zone 8b)

OMG......you are right. It DOES look like a Calla!

Prescott, AZ(Zone 7a)

Well, they are absolutely stunning. And thanks for the positive ID.

Canna leaves as abstracts can grow into a photographic obsession.

Thumbnail by Steve812
Austin, TX(Zone 8b)

Great shot Steve. I love Canna leaves too.

Thumbnail by morganc
cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

I love that leaf morganc thats gotta be Cleopatra.. Thats one i dont have.. Was planing on getting one this year but many others came first and now it will have to wait till next season..

What i love is the flowers the day before they open.. it reminds me of birds of paradise which i could never grow here.. However in a canna i get it all..
jen

Thumbnail by smurf428
Austin, TX(Zone 8b)

OMG.....it does look that way. Now I will be looking for that. Why couldn't you grow birds? You would need a greenhouse or take them in for the winter of course.

And yes, that leaf is a Cleo.

Thumbnail by morganc
cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

Nothing last in my house over winter.. I dont think I have enough light.. Could be to dry from the heat.. I had hibiscus last year, dead.. This year i had two more hibiscus, dead.. I have two 7 foot cabbage palms, since there totally brown i'm guessing, dead.. and my yucca cane is on its last leg.. oh also a croton, dead.. I try and try but they dont like my house lol.. I give up.. now with a little one on the way, if it doesn't go dornamt or into a storage box, I cant grow it.. I just keep shelling out money for one season its not worth it to me.. I did manage to keep about 8 different kinds of elephant ears alive, however they can be in full shade.. This past summer i found out there were hardy hibiscus so I have one of them in my garden and I will never buy another tropical hibiscus again, i like the hardy ones better.. Just to bad they dont come in bright yellow and orange..
jen

Austin, TX(Zone 8b)

There is always a greenhouse.........even homemade ones work.

How cold does it get there?

cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

I would say about -5 on the coldest day I remember it going to -13..
jen

Austin, TX(Zone 8b)

And you live there because.......................???????

Fallbrook, CA(Zone 10b)

You know the foliage on the Pink Sunbursts look just like Tropicannas only they have a nice deep pink bloom. My Pink Sunbursts are my least prolific growers. Probably the best are Cleos and Richard Wallace. They're almost a menace with the need to thin them every year.

Killeen, TX(Zone 8a)

Love the Pink Sunburst though...

Thumbnail by Chebaby77
Austin, TX(Zone 8b)

Where did you get the pink? I want one!

cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

morganc were the warmest place in canada.. well i guess vancouver is warmer but they get way more rain so I'll pass on that... No its not that bad really.. I would say dec and jan are the worst, but its livable lol
jen

Raleigh, NC(Zone 8a)

I joked with my Canadian peers all the time this winter when they came down that they brought the abnormal winter temps and snow with them.

One of them is a gardener, and I offered her some of my thai giant elephant ear babies and hardy hib seeds to carry back with her on the corporate jet, but she said customs wouldn't allow it. I wonder why that is, since they can be mailed. ((shrug))

Coal Center, PA(Zone 6a)

'Pink Sunburst' is ever a favourite of mine, too.

cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

I think it has something to do with plants becoming invasive, which is silly cause most of the plants from your area wont even survive our winters lol... If they were planted in dirt then its got something to do with bugs.. I think its funny cause you can purchase them at some stores, walmart has the regular ears right now.. I've seen the giant upright ones at nurserys in the summer and wow do they ever want a pretty penny for those..
jen

Austin, TX(Zone 8b)

I think you just found the reason, Jen.......economics. Someone protecting their turf so to speak with laws and rules.

cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

I agree, its crazy how much we have to pay for somethings over here..

Prescott, AZ(Zone 7a)

It's funny. I thought canna Pretoria would be really tricky to grow because it is so darn expensive - not quite like Pink Sunburst, but almost. I planted five last spring. Only two took. But one of the two is now a five or seven eyed plant ten inches across. That's quick progress. Still, I had trouble growing Pretoria in NJ where other cannas grew well.

My guess is that Pink Sunburst grows slowly where it is commercially propagated. That it is so perfect with its stripes and flowers matching as well as they do, means it's in great demand. It's probably expensive because it's exceptionally beautiful, relatively new, and more difficult to propagate. Simple laws of supply and demand. Those of you who own Tropicana and Pink Sunburst could divide them and give away or sell the tubers to interested parties who would then do the same. In ten or twenty years, they would be as easy to come by as Richard Wallace or any King Humbert, I bet. I'm hoping by next spring I'll be in a position to give or trade some Pretoria.

Austin, TX(Zone 8b)

Steve--I do not know where you buy your Cannas, but have you tried Horn Canna Farm? Pretoria is $5 from them. From Karchesky it would be $14.

Everything I have ever purchased from Horn Canna Farm has grown just fine. Great company.

Pam

cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

I traded for my canna Pretoria this year, I think it cost me about $10 for shipping, but I hope i have better luck with it here.. Last year i got 2 Tropicana roots from walmart and they were $7 a piece, home depot had them for $14 I think.. My tropicanna both roots multiplied like made beans.. I started with a root maybe 5" in length and ended up digging out a 2 foot clump, for both of them.. I had top soil brought in with manure already added to it.. Everything I grew in that stuff did fantastic... Maybe thats what helped I dont know..
Steve did you have them in full sun?? In the ground or in a pot??

Prescott, AZ(Zone 7a)

Pam, Thanks for the tip on Horn Canna Farm. I've been buying from Van Bourgondien Wholesale. I didn't see Tropicana at Horn. Guess I'll have to check Wal-Mart and Lowes.

I grew Pretoria in a narrow bed filled with very loose soil in front of a south-facing stucco wall that faces due south. So they got very bright sunlight. I watered every day during the heat of the summer. They didn't get much supplemental food, though.

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