Canna lilies add drama to your garden

In the heat of summer (should we be so lucky), we normally would be looking to add a little extra punch to our gardens, and there is one family of plants that has so much to offer but really doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

Canna’s like Pink Sunburst can add a splash of colour well into the fall.

In the heat of summer (should we be so lucky), we normally would be looking to add a little extra punch to our gardens, and there is one family of plants that has so much to offer but really doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

Canna lilies have been around for a long time, but with interesting new foliage colours and blossoms, they’re experiencing a huge resurgence.  Canna leaves that resemble those of bananas and flowers that look like ginger lilies add a refreshing tropical touch to any container or garden bed.  The problem is we don’t use enough of them!

I love cannas for their incredibly easy care.  They not only thrive in the heat of summer but also, like dahlias, will carry your garden well into November.  From a single tuberous root, they will develop into huge clumps, making a magnificent display.  They also come in low (18 inches or 45cm), medium (3 feet or 90cm) and tall (6 feet or 180cm) sizes.  Cannas can be used as foreground plantings or as  giant background specimens.

Cannas add drama.  Their striking leaf colours and variegations create an opportunity for some fabulous combinations.  There are dozens and dozens of canna varieties, but there are a few I’m really excited about.  Black is still where it’s at, and there are a number of dark foliaged varieties.  The master of black, however, is ‘Australia’.  This rather slender and elegant grower has almost black leaves with brilliant orange-red flowers.  It’s definitely a ‘wow’ plant in my book!

There’s one variety that I’ve had my eye on for some time now, and it’s called ‘Constitution’.  Its immense peach coloured flowers open above rich light grey-pink veined foliage.  It’s a class act and would be quite at home surrounded by dwarf echinacea.

Perhaps the most stunning of all cannas are the yellow and green varieties which, by the way, are all very similar.  Striped ‘Bengal Tiger’, with its rich orange flowers, was one of the very first of the intense yellow and green striped varieties.  ‘Pretoria’ looks almost identical with melon orange blooms and leaves similar to ‘Bengal Tiger’ but with a tiny red margin on the outside of its leaves.  One of the newest introductions is a very classy white flowered variety with green foliage called ‘Ermine’.

The most popular of all the striped varieties is ‘Tropicana’.  It has intense green, orange and red striped foliage that changes intensity with the temperature and maturity of the leaves.  Its orange flowers are a true compliment to its leaf colour.   It’s just a great plant!

Sometimes we simply get caught up in the foliage colours of cannas and overlook their exquisite blossoms.  Some, in particular, are breathtaking.  ‘Cleopatra’, with its most unusual red and yellow patterns, is one of the most sought after flowering forms.  Today there are a whole series of designer colours such as peach, apricot and pink shaded varieties that blend in with our current colour schemes.

Remember:  cannas are well suited to both container and garden bed planting.  They add both depth and vibrancy to any garden, but most of all, they can instantly add a magical touch of the tropics.

Just Posted

Unique treasures to be found at Chilliwack Christmas Craft Market

The 44th annual event is the Chilliwack Community Arts Council’s largest fundraiser

Chilliwack toy drive brings in gifts, money to Ann Davis Transition Society

People dropped by Superstore to donate toys and more for those in need this holiday season

Chilliwack RCMP find chemicals and cannabis extract in illicit lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Chilliwack RCMP seek suspects in rash of poppy donation box thefts

Incidents at four different locations in Sardis in the days leading up to Remembrance Day

German-born British Columbian warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

1 woman dead, man in hospital after ‘suspicious’ crash: police

Homicide investigators and Burnaby RCMP are investigating the fatal collision

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

Most Read