With bold flowers and bolder foliage, cannas are the flamboyant clowns of the perennial world. Extremely popular in the Midwest, South and East, their use in California landscapes has been limited for a number of reasons.

Cannas like warm nights. Although our climate is warmer year round, Eastern nights in May or June are warmer and more humid. Our cold spring nights slow the emergence of cannas from their semi-dormant winter state. For best results, protect cannas from cool coastal breezes and plant them where pavement or masonry walls will re-radiate heat at night.

Cannas can go dormant or look straggly. The key to canna vigor and appearance in our climate is a simple grooming technique. After the first cluster of blooms on a cane has finished, cut that cane back to the ground. With secondary bloom bud showing, it is tempting to remove just the spent blooms. If this is done, over time the plant habit will become more and more sprawling, with spindly new canes.

Canna viruses. A complex of at least four viruses together cause slow spring growth, reduced vigor, streaky foliage and misshapen blooms. Our mild winters allow cannas to avoid full dormancy, which allows the viruses to over winter. The viruses are spread by cutting tools and insects, so most cannas in California are infected. Virus free plants are usually infected within a year. Some of the varieties that suffer worst from virus symptoms include: ‘Lucifer’, ‘Technicolor’ (Pink Sunburst), ‘Wisley Dwarf’, ‘Panache’ and ‘Ehemanni’. The key is to plant vigorous virus-resistant cultivars, site and prune them properly.

From over 300 varieties tested, we have found the following varieties to be best for year round performance in California. They may show some virus symptoms in spring, but will grow out of the symptoms, usually blooming through November. Cannas are available only in 5 gal. containers. Pick up at nursery only.



From our own breeding program. Darker, shinier foliage than ‘Intrigue’, one of its parents. The dark, glossy leaves set off the intense pure red orange blooms that seem to glow with an inner fire.


EREBUS 20.00

One of the Longwood Gardens aquatic series, suitable for aquatic or terrestrial planting. Slender, glaucous foliage to


ERMINE 20.00

Lovely bluish green foliage to 4-5 feet sets off the full, ruffled palest yellow (“white”) blooms.


GAIETY 20.00

Graceful bright green foliage to 4-6 feet. Slender bright orange petals with gold edges.



Narrow vigorous bronze/maroon foliage to 5-8 feet can serve as a stunning tropical hedge or screen. We have it planted behind several “Brandy” roses. Small blooms are soft orange/salmon.



Stunning, wide dark bronze/maroon foliage to only 3-4 feet. Large rich rosy pink blooms. An excellent replacement for ‘Zulu Queen’.



Classic vigorous pale green leaves with conspicuous yellow veins are topped by large orange blooms.


RA 20.00

Another of the Longwood aquatic/terrestrial cannas. Slender glaucous foliage to 4-6 feet with small, clean, lemon yellow blooms.


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Tel: 562-494-8944 ~ Fax: 562-494-0486 ~

Open to the Public Saturdays April - June