This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

September 25, 2013

Canna in bloom in the desert

It's September 25th and The Tropical Paradise is really starting to look good. Summers are very harsh here in the Phoenix, Arizona area, but the weather turns pretty quickly, and by September and October this is one of the most glorious places on the planet to be, both for plants and people. I call it "Chamber of Commerce" weather.

Cannas, like this Canna Tropicanna, are grown for their beautiful foliage, not their flowers. But flowers are kind of nice to see. On cannas, they only last a day or two, and open in succession, so if you want them to look their best, just reach over and pull off the spent blooms. That's part of the reason why cannas should be planted where you can get to them regularly. If you've seen them in front yards, or in public places, they usually look pretty ratty.

To get the best look from the foliage, cut it back severely, and regularly. This year I am looking to limit the height of these plants to about four feet. They can get over six feet tall! I have access from the front and back (note the space next the wall), and when I trim, I try to cut the cane down as low as I can reach. If I get all the way to the ground, I will. Cannas grow like wildfire, especially at this time of the season, and unfurl some of the most beautiful tropical foliage I have ever seen. Give them plenty of water, some shade, and plenty of plant food.
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