Canna comes from the Greek word spelled "kanna," which means "reed," though the canna plant does not have narrow reed-like leaves.
There are about 10 species in the genus, which has showy flowering plants that grow from tender rhizomes that can only be left in the ground over winter in zones 7-10. In other zones they must be dug and stored over the winter.
Canna plants enjoy moist but well-drained soils in full sun. Plant the rhizomes 4-6 inches deep and space them 18-24 inches apart for best results. They can also be grown in large pots and stored in the pots in areas where the winter temperatures remain above 40F degrees.
If dug for storage, do this after the first frost and store the rhizomes in vermiculite. The rhizomes can then be divided and replanted in the spring. If they shrivel during winter storage, spray lightly with water occasionally.
Plants can be grouped and used to provide height and dramatic effect, in beds and borders, or used to conceal a fence or shed. When bloom is finished, cut the flower stalk right down. If you grow and enjoy these bold, showy plants, you will soon have a lot, as the rhizomes increase quickly. The original bright reds, yellows, and oranges, as well as the newer shades, pack quite a punch in the garden in high summer.
This is Moya Andrews, and today we focused on cannas.