Gardeners needing summer color should check out the cannas available at local garden centers. They have always been a great plant for their flowers but now with newer varieties there is plenty of leaf color too. Cannas have been favorites of mine and maybe they can be one of your favorites too.
First of all, they don't mind the sun and heat. They also love the rains. In fact some of the cannas are bog garden plants. So, if you have a damp spot you definitely need to give cannas a try.
Cannas only need minimal care. They do like to be moist so the summer rains really help with the watering. I also add mulch and feed the plants every three months with a slow release fertilizer. That is about it to keep them growing.
Now they do need some grooming. Don't be in a hurry to cut off the flower stems as one shoot is full of many blooms. Only after you are sure the last flower has opened, do you cut the stem back to the foliage. By that time more budded shoots are pushing up above the foliage.
Cannas can get a caterpillar that looks like a slug. It is simply picked off and at our home tossed to the fish. If needed, a natural insecticide of Thuricide or spinosad could be used. Then there is a disease called rust that may put orange pustules on the leaves. If this happens, use one of the systemic fungicides labeled for rust.
I am only guessing but there seems to be a hundred or more varieties available. I once interviewed a gardener with 38 varieties and she was busy adding more. All cannas grow well into the fall until cold weather and then they sort of go dormant locally until spring.
Do you like cannas as much as I do? How have they performed for you?