Friday, September 14, 2007

The canna's as tall as an elephant's eye

I tend to avoid tropicals, preferring to put my money into perennials. A couple years ago, a neighbor stopped by with a bag of canna rhizomes, and now I'm hooked. I might even buy some different varieties next spring.

With their dramatic size, these make a great border plant. The tallest of mine have topped 8 feet.

Given the vagaries of our climate, they start to bloom just about the time we get our first frost. And then I face the uneviable chore of digging up their rhizomes in the cold October soil. It's extra fun if it's raining and dark, too.

But when it's all done, I'll have double or more the rhizomes I put in. Next spring, I'll be cruising the neighborhood, looking to give away a bunch of these.


Internet Ronin said...

Wow, Peter! 8-footers! Are they wild or just extremely happy cultivars? How were the flowers?

peter hoh said...

They are happy. Up here, they can't be wild. They seem to be the "garden variety" with a spike of small red flowers. One set of flowers is visible in the center of the photo.

These didn't reach this height last year. In fact, the neighbor from whom I got these has some in his yard that are struggling to reach 4 feet.

I think I did two things right, and I got lucky. The luck part was that the soil was warm enough for me to put them in May. (I can't tell when I put them in, but I saw a May 25 photo that shows that bed mulched, so they were in by then.)

I dug a deep trench, which I think helped, and I put a nice layer of fresh compost in that trench before I put in the rhizomes. Then I just had to water them, wait, and let the sun shine.

kris said...

Cool! I bought my first cannas this year - each had one bloom - and didn't get super tall - maybe 3 feet?? - but I'm hoping they'll do better next year. Yours are awesome!