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

September 26, 2014

Beautiful cannas in the Phoenix, Arizona area

If you have cannas right now (late September 2014) in the Phoenix, Arizona area, they should be incredible until the winter frost. And that's because of the heavy rains that we've had recently, in combination with doing all of the right things. I've had cannas here at The Tropical Paradise for many years, and this is what I've discovered that they need:

• Trim them back hard. It's the new growth that looks so nice and lush. So trim the canes all of the way back to the ground on a regular basis. Look for sunburn on the leaves, and trim them away. When in doubt, trim. Believe me, they will grow back!

• Fertilize them. I like using the houseplant spikes that I get at the Dollar Store. Use as many as you like! Tropical plants look their best with fertilizer. By the way, I don't spray liquid fertilizer on the leaves, because Phoenix has hard water, and it leaves spots. I will apply liquid fertilizer towards the bottom of the plants, that's all.

• Water them. Cannas are practically water plants, you can't over-water them. So, they loved the heavy rains! If the ground is still soggy, you don't have to water right now, but the sun is coming back, so be sure to keep their *feet wet*.

• Cut off the flowers quickly. Cannas are grown for their beautiful foliage, not their flowers. After a stalk flowers (which is only for a few days), I cut it to the ground. Flowers consume energy that can be sent back to the foliage.

By the way, save yourself some money and buy just the bulbs, not the plants in a pot. There's no need for that. Get the bulbs from a place that you can trust, and be sure to read the label. Mine are Canna Tropicannas, by the way. I got them from +Easy to Grow Bulbs, Inc. , but I'm sure they're available at any local nursery. Plant them in some rich potting soil, fertilize, water, and stand back. They grow like wildfire!
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