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How to Grow Canna Lilies From Seeds

Updated July 20, 2017

Canna lilies have foliage similar to that found on banana trees and trumpet-shaped flowers that emit a slight fragrance. The blooms of canna lilies come in many colours, including teal, green, blue, purple and purplish black. Although the most common way to propagate canna lilies is through bulb separation, you can also grow canna lilies from seeds collected from ripe pods.

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  1. Harvest seeds from canna lily pods. The red seed pods are ready for harvesting when they have dried, turned black and split open to reveal the seeds.

  2. Expose the white interior layer of each harvested seed with a nail file. Rub the nail file back and forth on the hard shell of the seed to expose the layer underneath. This process scarifies the seeds, readying them for germination.

  3. Pour hot water into a small bowl and add the scarified canna lily seeds. Allow the seeds to soak for 48 hours before planting them in the growing medium that you will mix.

  4. Fill a large bowl halfway with bagged potting soil. Add enough peat moss or perlite to fill the bowl to the top. Mix the soil with the peat moss or perlite. Pour the mixture into 6-inch biodegradable pots.

  5. Remove the soaked canna lily seeds from the water. Plant one seed in each pot ½ inch under the top of the soil mixture. Rake the soil gently over each seed.

  6. Place the 6-inch pots on a tray and water them. Set the tray in a warm, brightly lit area. Cover the pots with clear wrap and keep the growing medium moist.

  7. Remove the wrap when the canna lily seeds germinate and place the pots in decorative containers with adequate drainage for growing the plants indoors.

  8. Dig holes in a garden area with full sun exposure, if you want the canna lilies to grow outdoors. Do this after the last frost passes. Space the planting holes 12 inches apart.

  9. Set the biodegradable pots into the holes you have dug. Cover the area with a 4-inch layer of leaf mould to add organic nutrients to the soil. Water the area immediately. Keep the area regularly watered so that the soil remains moist.

  10. Control garden pests such as leaf rollers with commercial or organic pesticides.

  11. Tip

    Purchase canna lily seeds from a reputable distributor, if canna lily plants are not available in your area.

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Things You'll Need

  • Small bowl
  • Nail file
  • Large bowl
  • Bagged potting soil
  • Peat moss or perlite
  • 6-inch biodegradable pots
  • Clear wrap
  • Shovel
  • Leaf mould
  • Commercial or organic pesticide

About the Author

Dustin Alan began his writing career in 2000 where he was began writing for “Times Record." His work is featured in “Arkansas Home and Garden," “Green Thumb," Home Step Ahead and DIYImprove. Alan attended Arkansas State University and graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts in English.

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