Canna Indica Plants
FLOW-CANN-1-5Regular price $9.50
Nothing says the 'tropics' like Canna Indica, but you don't need to live in full tropical conditions to grow them. This mid-height plant has large lush leaves and vibrant red flowers that make a dramatic statement in the garden or in a pot. It is even edible! Tempted?
Urban Bounty Canna Indica plants come in a 1.5 litre pot.
What is Canna Indica (Achira, Canna Edulis, Purple Arrowroot, Indian Shot)
Canna Indica is a perennial plant that grows to between 90 and 180 centimetres tall. Native to South and Central America, it looks right at home in a tropical or a coastal Pacific garden, or in a large apartment pot. It is a great option for a small garden or courtyard because it provides a point of interest, and height that blocks an ugly fence without blocking the sun.
Canna Lilies spread out to fill a space in the garden. They die back in winter, but come alive again in summer.
Culinary Uses for Canna Lily (Canna Indica, Achira, Canna Edulis)
Canna Indica has been cultivated by indigenous people in the Americas for thousands of years. The tubers (roots) were popular with ancient Peruvians and are still found in Vietnamese and Chinese cooking today. They can be ground into a starchy flour called arrowroot (used as a gluten-free thickener in cooking). Alternatively, they can be baked, boiled or mashed. Once cooked, the tubers become translucent and sweet. Canna Indica tubers taste a little like water chestnuts.
Canna leaves can also be used to wrap and steam fish, or pastries like tamales.
Growing Conditions - Canna Indica
Canna Lilies thrive in a sunny spot with rich soil and regular top ups with compost and manure pellets. This plant is very easy to grow, but it does require a bit of effort to cut back the leaves and deadhead the flowers once or twice a year. In season, plants grow to about 1.5 metres tall and spread out to fill a space.
The rhizomes (roots) should be planted at 10 cm deep, after the last frost. As this plant likes to spread out, we recommend that you plant them in a contained space where this doesn't matter, or a large pot. (The pot will keep the roots confined and restrict growth.) In the garden, Red Amaranth, Sunflowers, Taro and mass planted Purple Sage look amazing next to Canna Lilies.
Cannas need a sheltered spot. They won't tolerate frost, and don't do well in wind (which tears the large leaves). Although they tolerate dry periods, they do much better with regular watering. They are at their best during summer time, but need to be cut back in autumn.
What type of climate do Canna Lily prefer?
Canna won't tolerate frost or snow. They are best grown in warmer parts of New Zealand, unless grown in a pot and over-wintered inside. Plant Canna Indica in spring, summer or early autumn.