How to Plant & Grow

Canna Bulbs

Are you after a striking summer-flowering perennial? If so, then Cannas are a top contender. Also known as Canna Lilies, these bold blooms will fill your summer garden with a sea of vibrant yellow, orange, and red shades for months on end. 

Here are our top tips for growing canna lilies for beginners, or for those who just need a bit of a refresher. 

What We've Included

When to Plant  |  How to Plant  |  Where to Plant  |  When to Water  |  Deadheading |  Overwintering  |  Propagating  |  Common Issues & How to Solve Them  |  When do they Flower?

When to Plant

Cannas can be planted from mid spring to mid-summer. They’re best started off in pots before their flowering season, as they’re not frost hardy. Grow them somewhere warm before it’s time to plant them outside, like in a heated greenhouse or a sunny windowsill. From May, you can harden them off and plant them outside. 

How to Plant

How to Plant Canna Rhizomes 
Canna rhizomes to beginners might sound intimidating but are in fact, incredibly easy to plant! Here’s how to do it:   
 - Start off Cannas in pots from April, keeping them somewhere warm inside (either in a heated greenhouse or on a sunny windowsill).  
- Dig a hole in the border that’s big enough to house the root system. If planting in a container, ensure it’s at least 30cm wide and fill it halfway with potting soil and then pop the roots in with the crown pointing upwards and the root system pointing to the floor.   
- Plant in groups for a fuller display, usually in groups of 3, somewhere that gets plenty of sunlight.   
- Plant the rhizomes about 75cm apart and 10cm deep.  
- Water well once planted.   

Where to Plant

Canna lilies can be grown in moisture-retentive soil in either full sun or partially shaded areas. A great choice for growing in the flower bed but can also be grown in a large pot - albeit, individually, as they can overwhelm smaller plants. 

When to Water

Water well during dry spells. This can be as little as once every two weeks throughout summer. Their rhizomes are prone to rotting if overwatered, so it’s best to give them a generous soaking when you do water them hold them over until the next watering. 


Deadhead spent leaves and blooms regularly to help them flower for as long as possible. 


Cannas can survive a mild winter, although they aren’t frost hardy. Once the foliage starts to die back from mid-autumn, fold the leaves over the crown of the plant and cover it with a thick mulch. You can also dig the plant up and store them in a cool, frost-free place until it’s time to plant them out the next year. 


You can propagate cannas in spring before they flower. Simply remove the sections of the rhizome that have a couple of growing points with a sharp knife, potting it on into a container. Follow the same growing instructions that you would when planting cannas for the first time to give them a good chance.

Common Issues & How to Solve Them

Cannas are generally pest and fungus free plants. The only issue you may encounter is that they grow to humungous sizes! Make sure you have some backup when trying to move them or dig them up.

When do they Flower?

Cannas flower for months on end, giving the garden plenty of interest. This is typically from July to October, so mid-summer to mid-autumn. This may depend based on which variety and type you grow, so double check the growing information when buying to know exactly when it’ll bloom.