Canna Lilies That Grow in the Shade

Written by janet bayers
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Canna Lilies That Grow in the Shade
Canna lilies prefer sun but can grow in partial shade. (Canna Leaves image by Jennifer Grush from

Tropical-looking canna lilies prefer sun, but they will grow in part shade. Part shade means the plant receives at least three or four hours of direct sun. Dappled shade means the area is bright but shaded by deciduous trees. Full shade means that no direct sun reaches the plants, such as along the north side of a fence or foundation.

Canna Stuttgart

Canna Stuttgart has cream-coloured leaves streaked with bright green. Its flowers are a peach colour. It needs to have protection from the sun or its leaves will burn, so plant it where it will receive only morning sun or in dappled shade, and give it plenty of water.

Canna Pretoria

Canna Pretoria goes by several names, including Bengal Tiger and Aureostriata. It has green leaves with narrow yellow stripes and produces orange flowers. It takes part shade and is very heat-tolerant. Canna Striped Beauty has similar leaves but yellow blooms.

Canna Pink Sunburst

Canna Pink Sunburst has leaves striped in green, red and orange, and the whole leaf has a pink cast. Its flowers are a salmon pink. It is a shorter variety, growing to 3 feet tall, and tolerates part shade. Other dark-leaved cannas will grow in part shade but will take on a greenish cast.


Cannas need moist soil and regular water. They grow 5 to 6 feet tall and flower in late summer. They are hardy to USDA zone 7 and should be mulched in winter after the foliage has been killed by frost. In colder climates, lift the rhizomes in fall and store them in moist peat moss or vermiculite over the winter.

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