Cannas grow from fleshy roots with erect stalks from which broad, long leaves emerge. Flower stalks rising in the center bear large flowers. Foliage may be green, bronze, or purplish in hue.
Cannas need full sun and grow best in a deep, rich, moist but well-drained soil. Incorporate extra organic matter and a slow-release fertilizer in the soil before planting. For earliest bloom, start in pots indoors. Otherwise plant roots directly into the ground after soil is warm and all danger of frost has passed. Use pieces of rootstock with 2 or 3 large eyes and plant 2 inches deep. Space 11/2 to 2 feet apart. Remove spent flower heads for more prolific bloom. In fall after the first light frost, cut back stems to 6 inches, dig roots with soil attached, and store in a cool, frost-free place. While in storage, water sparingly.