These fascinating plants are a thick fleshy tuber belonging to the banana and ginger family. For years the canna has been grown agriculturally for it's high starch content.
Todays gardener prizes them for their bronze or striped leaves and showy tropical flowers which resemble iris blooms on steroids! Plant breeders developed colors ranging from scarlet-crimson to salmon, rose, yellow and ivory-white. In northern states they are treated as an annual, but in the south they are perennial, multiplying rapidly in clumps which can be divided each year. In the best of conditions, you'll have a continuous supply of new tubers which should be divided and transplanted to other parts of the garden or given to your lucky neighbors. Any good garden soil suits a canna plant, but rich garden loam supplied with fertilizer will bring larger foliage and bloom size.
Space them 18 to 24 inches apart and keep the weeds down until they are established. Heat loving and extremely hardy, Cannas can be virtually ignored in the garden as long as you plant the root eye less than 2 inches below the soil surface.