Yellow Canna Tropicanna plant

Canna Tropicanna: Grow and Care Guide

Scientific name: Canna Tropicanna | Common name: Canna

👍Loves:  Sun; Water   | 👎Hates: Frost; Strong winds

Canna Tropicanna is an exotic plant with vibrant foliage that would make a fine addition to your garden. This growing and care guide will go through the steps of looking after a Canna Tropicanna and how you can get the best results out of growing this plant.

This guide will include the following:

1.    Identification

2.    When to Plant

3.    Where to Plant

4.    Propagating Canna Tropicanna

5.    Pruning Canna Tropicanna

6.    Growing & Care Tips

1.    Identification

  • Leaves

Canna Tropicanna produces colourful flowers with shades ranging from red, pink, yellow and orange. They will help brighten up your garden with these vibrant colours, especially during the summer, and can be added to containers, borders, and conservatories.

Other Canna Tropicannas, like the Black and Gold plants, have different types of colours. For example, the Tropicanna Black has scarlet-orange flowers with purple-black leaves, and the Tropicanna Gold has green and gold tinted foliage, topped with soft orange flowers with a tint of yellow.

  • Formation:

Because Canna Tropicannas are grown from rhizomes, this makes them a particularly hardy and tender plant to grow. If you store and keep a rhizome, you can plant these between March and early April, with multiple layers of compost, and they can grow in a steady temperature between 10-16°C (50-60°F).

They usually form in clumps, which will be noticeable straightaway, with their dark brown and red streaked leaves becoming the most prominent when reaching 1.2m tall.

  • Height:

The Canna can grow up to 1.8m tall (6ft) by 1m (3 ½ ft) in diameter. They will need plenty of space to reach this growth range and face the sun enough to get a plentiful amount of light.

  • Spread:

Canna’s like to have to be well spread, and because they grow in clumps from horizontal-shaped rhizomes, they will grow upright to 1.2m in the first year and then up to 1.8m onwards from the second year.

However, if a Canna Tropicanna is grown in a pot or container, it will reach a stable 1.2m, but in a sheltered position, it can be cut back at any time, which will help enforce new growth.

  • Flowers:

The Canna Tropicanna traditionally has an assorted colour range of foliage, with splashes of red, yellow, pink, gold and green, and occasionally tangerine flowers that will slowly produce over several months.

As there are other variants of Canna Tropicanna, such as the Tropicanna Black and Tropicanna Gold, these will produce different colours of leaves and flowers. The Tropicanna Black, for example, will have scarlet-orange flowers with purple-black leaves, whilst the Tropicanna Gold has green and gold tinted foliage, topped with soft orange flowers with a tint of yellow.

  • Identifying Features:

Distinct features of the Canna Tropicanna include its exotic, tropical appearance alongside how tall it can grow (up to 1.8m) and the range of colours that grow on its foliage, from red to yellow, pink, gold and green.

Yellow and orange Canna Tropicanna leaves

2.    When to Plant

To get the full-colour pallet prospects out of the canna’s foliage, can be achieved during warmer temperatures from 15°C (59°F). You can even get a picturesque view of the Tropicanna with a backdrop of a setting sun that will give it a prominent glow.

After dividing the rhizome shoots, replant at the start of the spring after the last frost. Preferably start the plantation indoors to get a head start in the spring with a warmer temperature, as any frost is unsuitable for the Tropicanna.

With the right planting conditions at the appropriate time of year, the Canna Tropicanna can bloom between mid-summer to the start of autumn.

3.    Where to Plant

It would be best to plant a Canna Tropicanna in a position with a strong dose of sunlight, although they can tolerate a partial amount of shade too. Even in poorly drained areas, they are not too fussy about their soil so long as it is pH neutral or mildly acidic.

Canna Tropicannas also like bog-style conditions, so they will not mind a bit of extra water or mud nearby.

Special offers on Canna Tropicannas.

4.    Propagating Canna Tropicanna

The Canna Tropicanna should be propagated in the spring, divided by the rhizome, into separate sections, with around two or three growing points. They usually set seeds during a fertile summer, allowing the seeds to be sown for the following spring. Any seed-raised plants, however, will flower in the next year.

When sowing the seeds for a Tropicanna, the following steps will guide you through this process:

  1. To speed up the germination process, soak the seed in warm water for approximately 48 hours or make a small clip in the seed coat before sowing in some multipurpose compost at a temperature of 21°C (70°F). After, cover the seed with a depth of compost.
  2. Begin potting shortly after germination has begun and place in individual containers.
  3. Regulate the temperature at 16°C (60°F).

5.    Pruning Canna Tropicanna

Minimal pruning is needed for the Canna unless a flower spike has no bud, in which case, prune it down to the next available shoot so that a second flower may develop.

If the Canna Tropicanna has flowered, then all you need to do is cut off the fading flower and have the buds remain in place. If you do slip up and accidentally remove the buds, the Tropicanna will eventually grow a new set of stalks and flowers.

6.    Growing & Care Tips

  • Watering – if they are not grown in a pond, then the Canna Tropicanna will need around one inch of water twice a week to help keep the soil moist. Using a two-inch layer of mulch will also help retain the soil’s moisture. Frequent watering will help the plant perform better, so the fleshy foliage does not dry out.
  • Fertilising/feeding – Liquid fertilisers are the best food source to help keep a Canna Tropicanna healthy. Using a fish emulsion fertilizer will provide extra nitrogen levels that are organically nutritious for the Canna, although rose or tomato food are suitable alternatives. Because of the size of their leaves and fleshy nature, the Tropicanna needs an adequate amount of both water and feed. If using slow-release fertiliser, add a handful in during the spring
  • Soil – Canna Tropicannas like a rich amount of water-retained soil, although most soils will do fine, so long as it has a neutral pH (6.5). As Canna’s can also grow in hot conditions, using rich soil will not hurt either because they are highly adaptable to certain environments. Ensure that the soil never dries out, and adding mulch will help to keep it damp and well-fed.
  • Pests – Watch out for glasshouse red spider mites, aphids, snails, and slugs on the Canna. Use an appropriate pesticide to get rid of them. The most common issue with pests is usually caterpillars, as they can damage the leaves. Aside from pests, the leaves can be very soft, so position the Canna out of the direction of the wind so that high winds will not damage it if they occur.
  • Infection – Cannas can suffer from viruses which can lead to ruining the foliage that cannot be cured and unfortunately would have to be destroyed. Signs of infection include a yellow streak or mosaic patterns on the Canna’s leaves.
Green Canna Tropicanna leaves

Can’t Resist the Canna Tropicanna

In conclusion, the Canna Tropicanna is a relatively easy plant to look after and can usually look after itself when things go wrong unless it has become infected. Keeping them in your garden will be very rewarding, especially with how colourful they are, and will tower over your other flowers so that they will be jealous of their magnitude!

Check out our other exotic plant guides.

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