How to care for canna lillies

Updated April 17, 2017

When you want to add a tropical flair to your garden, plant colourful canna lilies. Canna lilies thrive in sunlight, and come in bright, bold colours. Though not actually a member of the lily family, canna flowers resemble the large, exotic look of lily blossoms. The hearty canna lily is a low-maintenance plant. With some basic care, canna lilies can be replanted year after year so you can enjoy their beauty for a long time.

Plant canna lilies where they will receive full sun or mostly full sun. The lilies can survive a few hours of shade a day, but for best flowering results keep them in a sunny spot.

Keep the soil moist and well-drained. Daily watering will give you best results, but you can water at a minimum of once a week during the summer. However, do not let the soil dry out.

Use a fertiliser that contains organic material about once a month. Also, at the base of the plants use mulch made up of organic material, such as shredded bark.

Remove dead flowers and leaves to make the flowers look better and to encourage new blooms.

Winterise your canna lilies so you can replant them the next year. Dig up the plant root clumps underneath the soil and leave a little bit of soil around the rhizome (the main horizontal stem underground that the roots grow out of). Leave them out to try for several hours, then store them in crates or boxes in a cool, dry location.


When winterising canna lilies, do not leave them in a location where there might be frost.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Fertiliser with organic material
  • Mulch with organic material
  • Plant clippers
  • Crates or boxes for storage
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About the Author

Jennifer Malloy has been a writer, editor, and copy editor since 2000. She graduated with honors from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and creative writing. She currently works as a magazine editor for an international children's magazine.