La Canna Indica is an exotic species belonging to the family Cannaceae. The flowers, which take on the most delicate shades of yellow and the most intense of red, give the plant a very elegant appearance.
Flowers with beautiful shades of color and looking down on the large leaves. Supported by stems, which can even exceed one meter in height, the Canna Indica flowers seem to observe the surrounding area, to always have the situation in the garden under control. In fact, when it comes to ornamental plants to be used for the creation of large flower beds and refined borders, this which is the best known and most widespread species of the genus Canna always tries to overwhelm the beauty of any specimen that occupies nearby spaces.
Here, from above and confidently, the flowers of this plant try to intimidate even the most beautiful outdoor plants. Do they succeed? All-time. The showy bouquets of colored flowers, in the midst of beautiful foliage that characterizes many species of the reference genus, certainly do not go unnoticed, creating a truly extraordinary effect.
Canna Indica is a bulbous native to tropical and subtropical America and has a very rapid growth. The leaves are similar to those of the species Musa Cavendish (Banano Dwarf), but among those of the plant, we are describing, on the contrary for what happens for the species mentioned for the comparison, beautifully bright and often mottled flowers appear.
Planting the Indica species in your garden means bringing a little bit of the tropics right home. The leaves of the reed or flowering reed (as the species we are talking about is also known) wrap the tall stems, creating a very particular spiral. They can reach 60cm in length and develop more than 20cm in width.
- Domain: Eukaryota;
- Kingdom: Plantae;
- Division: Magnoliophyta;
- Class: Liliopsida;
- Order: Zingiberales;
- Family: Cannaceae;
- Type: Canna;
- Species: Canna Indica.
Canna Indica with red flowers is the best-known species of the genus to which it belongs, as well as the most widespread for cultivation in pots and in the open ground. It is a plant that can easily be defined as the Queen of the Gardens and not only for its spectacular appearance. In fact, among the qualities of this exotic plant, we can also remember its resistance and the little care it requires for cultivation.
There are many ornamental varieties that are used to embellish large and small gardens, but among all we remember:
Canna indica Flava: its yellow flowers are beautiful
Spotted variety: yellow flowers always have small red spots.
sanctae rosea: very popular for growing in pots. The size of this variety of Canna Indica is very small compared to all the others.
Canna indicates warszewiczii: its main feature is the purple leaves with bronze shades.
Canna Indica is a summer-flowering species, the protagonist of an enchanting spectacle. The flowers grow on long stems and bloom in succession. The advice is to immediately eliminate those that begin to wither, so as to stimulate the plant to issue new ones. The flowers can be yellow, orange, red or with contrasting and always evident shades and spots.
Tips for growing Canna Indica
Cultivating it is by no means impossible. With very little care it is possible to obtain specimens with extraordinary flowering. Canna Indica grows well in regions with a mild climate. But by placing it in sheltered positions and with the right exposure to the sun’s rays it can also be grown in the northern regions of our country. It is a species of tropical origin, but this does not mean that cultivation in our latitudes is impossible. Far from it.
The tubers must be planted during the spring, when the frost period has passed. The hole to be dug must have a depth between 7cm and 15cm. Once this first operation has been completed, you can move on to the phase that involves filling the hole: it is better to add a small part of sand to the excavated and worked soil. In this way the drainage will be better, avoiding dangerous stagnation of water.
Cultivation in pots
To grow Canna Indica in pots, it is advisable to obtain containers with a diameter of at least 25cm. A pot of this size can accommodate only one plant. To plant several specimens close together, it is best to opt for large and long tubs and large planters. It is a fast-growing species that need a lot of space, so it’s best to avoid arranging the rhizomes at close range. The minimum space to be left is about 25cm. Repotting must be done every year. As the tubers need to be planted again after the cold winter break.
Cultivation in the open ground
A tropical species with luxuriant growth and wonderful colors cannot fail to occupy a privileged place in the most beautiful gardens. Canna Indica is usually used to create large flower beds and flowering bushes. But also beautiful borders along with other smaller plants.
Before planting the flowering cane it is good to work the soil, which must be fertile (it is possible to add mature manure) and well-drained. The position to be chosen for cultivation in the open ground must be sunny or partially shaded, preferably in places well sheltered from the wind.
Growing on the terrace
Canna Indica can be safely grown in pots directly on the balcony. Since its flowers grow on stems that can reach up to 150cm. It is advisable to place the pot in a well-sheltered corner. The wind could easily break them.
The ideal temperature for growing Canna Indica is between 18 and 25 ° C. Better not try to grow it in areas where the climate is particularly cold and frosts are the order of the day.
Excellent exposure in full sun, half shade acceptable. The flowering reed grows well in conditions of maximum light, while it does not produce as many flowers. But only large leaves, when it is grown in more shaded places.
The ideal substratum for this beautiful species of the genus Canna must be rich in organic substance, soft and draining. Adding a part of sand is the best thing to do to allow the water to flow out in the right way, avoiding unpleasant consequences.
Watering must be abundant and regular during the flowering phase, while more scarce during autumn. Canna Indica needs a lot of water during the warm months, but it doesn’t need to be watered in winter. In the colder months of the year, sporadic irrigation interventions must be done only if the plant is grown in pots.
The multiplication of Canna Indica can take place in two ways:
division of rhizomes: in this case it is advisable to proceed in spring, dividing the rhizomes into small sections. Each of the parts must have a new casting and must be buried in a pot with a light layer of soil. It is not necessary, at least for the first period, to abound with watering.
Multiplication by seeds: before proceeding it is recommended to soak the small seeds for a whole day. Later it will be possible to bury them in small pots. Exploiting the properties of a very soft soil rich in organic substances.
In both cases it is advisable to place the containers in sheltered areas and where it is possible to maintain a constant temperature. Until the first sprouts appear, it is good to guarantee a temperature between 18 and 21 ° C.
What you need is a good quality liquid fertilizer for flowering plants, to be administered to the plant diluted in the water used for irrigation. Better to avoid universal fertilizers: they have too high percentages of nitrogen and are deficient in potassium.
When and how to fertilize Canna Indica? The interventions must begin at the appearance of the first floral buds. Therefore, starting from spring and throughout the summer period, it is possible to administer a liquid fertilizer rich in phosphorus and potassium (to stimulate flowering) every two weeks.
For this beautiful species of the genus Canna, we cannot speak of real pruning. It is important to limit yourself to removing the dry and damaged parts, so as to stimulate the plant to produce new flowers and make the growth more luxuriant. In this way, Canna Indica will gain more vigor and will be able to better withstand the lowest winter temperatures (when grown in the open ground).
Other care tips
In general, the Reeds fear frost, and for this reason. It is advisable to unearth them as soon as the leaves begin to show the indelible signs of the first frosts. The rhizomes must be placed, after careful drying in the sun, in a container to be kept indoors. During the winter shelter, it is good to humidify them slightly, so as not to dry them completely. In spring they can be planted again in pots or in the ground.
Parasites, diseases and other adversities
All the species belonging to the genus Canna are almost never affected by parasites or diseases. However, one of the main problems is caused by excessive soil moisture and stagnation that can occur when the substrate is not particularly draining. In these conditions, Canna Indica can be subject to attack by bacteria and fungi.
Even butterfly larvae can damage the plant, but in this case, using a specific insecticide, it is possible to ward off the threat easily.