How to Prune Cannas

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Pruning cannas simply involves trimming out the dead foliage to allow for new plant growth. Keep a canna looking nice and producing new leaves with helpful information from a sustainable gardener in this free video on growing plants.

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Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen, from vanveenbulbs.com, and in this segment, we're going to talk about how to prune canna lilies, or cannas. Now, cannas are a beautiful plant, from Mexico originally, so they're found all over the United States and all over the world. And they're really easy to grow, as long as you give them lots of sun and lots of water when they're growing in the summer, and make sure that they're dry, on the dry side in the winter. If you live in a cold climate, you can lose them if you leave them outside in the winter, so just throw them in a pot, throw the pot in the garage, or if you live in a warm climate, just leave them outside. Now, my rule of thumb with canna lilies and any other plant is if the foliage looks really good leave it be. If it looks trashy in any way, cut it out. And to prune a canna, basically, you're just trimming out the dead foliage and making it give room to grow new foliage. And at the end of the season, in colder climates, they die back as the night gets colder, so just chop them down to the ground and they'll come back again the next year. So, if you've grown it in pots though, throughout the season I like to clean them up and give them a haircut. Okay, so now we had some really hot weather, a hundred and seven degree days, and so that actually sunburned my canna so all I'm doing is I don't want to cut the main stem. I'm just cutting the dead leaves out, right where they're meeting the stem. And you can cut the whole leaf off, or you can just trim a little section of it off too and just give it a haircut, and you can save the rest of the foliage that way. But I just, periodically, go through and clean up my cannas and then they look really good again, and it encourages new growth. Now, this ones a little beat up anyway. It's not doing that well, and it's done blooming. It's made seedpods. Now, these seedpods actually will make more cannas so I like to save the seedpods, and turn around and plant them back in the soil where my canna lily's at and then I'll have babies. It might take a few years for them to really get going, but just by throwing them in the soil I've got more cannas for the future. So next, you know, whenever the blooms look really trashy, the same, I just trim them out wherever they meet another leafline, and I kind of do it at a corner just cause it looks better. Now, the leaf's not looking that great and you can actually just kind of trim it a little bit. So, by pruning your cannas here and there you're just keeping them up, and you can do that with pretty much any other plant in your garden. If it's green and lush, and looks good, leave it be. If it looks trashy or brown on the corners, trim it out. It's really as easy as that to prune a canna.

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