Plant the canna just
before the rains
THERE are certain flowers like the canna that have virtually disappeared. Even landscap artists seem to have forgotten them though such plants do not suffer from any major cultivation problems.
Also called the ‘Indian shot’ for its hard blacks seeds, which need not be used for further propagation, the canna grows and multiplies very fast. A perennial plant, it is free from the usual gardening hassles. It is not afflicted by any serious insect attack or disease. The large showy blooms appear in succession or open simultaneously at the head depending upon the variety.
The canna is a prized
exhibition plant not only for its showy blooms but also for its varied
ornamental foliage. Ranging in length from 20 cm to 60 cm long, the
banana-kind variegated leaves come in shades of green, bronze or even
deep maroon. The flowers are also available in a wide range of
colours like red, pink, yellow, orange or even white. In certain
varieties, flowers are either spotted or streaked.
The best time to plant cannas is just before the rains. The soil can be prepared during early June. Its rhizomes run underground and are formed as clumps. These could be removed and cut into short bits, making sure each bit has at least one eye. A piece nearly 6’’ to 1 foot in length will do. These should be planted 1 ½ feet to 2 feet apart and eight to 10 cm deep.
The planting is followed by heavy
flooding. Next watering is done after seven days and subsequent watering
after three days till when the shoots appear. The growing plants
also need plenty of water. The first bloom appears within 100 days
of planting. The flowering stocks that have already given blooms
can be headed back into the ground .