These dramatic flowers and foliage love the heat

Julie Chai,  – July 17, 2006

Bold-colored flowers and foliage make cannas the perfect summer focal point. They’re especially striking when planted en masse, but even one or two plants can add a tropical touch to your garden.

Broad leaves ― sometimes as wide as 6 inches across ― topped with billowy flowers are showy next to pools and entryways, and fit comfortably in beds, borders, and pots.

Colors: Canna flowers come in red, orange, yellow, pink, white, cream, or bicolors. Leaves may be shades of green, bronze, or striped variations of those.

Height: Most reach 4-6 feet tall, though some smaller types can be half that height.

Care: Cannas prefer full sun and regular water during growth and bloom.

Planting: Plant in spring or summer for bloom in summer into fall, and choose a spot with loose, well-draining soil. In areas where soil freezes deeply in winter, lift rhizomes and store them over winter. Divide plants every 3-4 years.

Great companions: Cannas look great alongside other tropical-looking plants like agapanthus, palms, bananas, and ferns.