If you want to grow your own canna garden, then you should know how to start canna seeds. Growing canna from rhizomes is the easiest way to propagate these tropical flowers. Still, you can also grow cannas from seeds.
Cannas can be planted as small, inconspicuous accents or as beautiful focal points in your garden. If you’re interested in growing cannas from seeds just to see how they would turn out, then it’s certainly worth a try.
Planting Cannas and Harvesting the Seeds
Cannas should be planted outdoors in early summer or late spring. Soil temperature should be 60°F. You can also plant cannas in greenhouses or in pots indoors if the planting season is short.
Canna lilies need moist soil and a lot of sunshine, so pick a site that receives at least four hours of sunlight daily. You should also loosen the soil and add a 2″ to 4″ layer of compost.
Seed pods will develop once the blooms are spent. The pods are round, green, spiky, and usually contain one to three seeds. You can harvest the seeds once the pods become dry.
The pods will open up, and that’s when you can easily squeeze the black seeds out. Collecting the seeds is easy because they are big and shiny.
How to Start Canna Seeds
It’s not easy to grow cannas from seeds. You need to soften the seed coat before planting them. The process is time-consuming, so you should prepare the seeds for at least one to two months before planting them outside. Germination usually takes one to two weeks. Here are two ways to germinate canna seeds.
Before sowing the seeds in a commercial medium, soak them in water for 24 hours. Then, cover the canna seeds and water the medium. Let the medium drain for several minutes. Cover the pot with a freezer bag and keep it in a warm place.
You also need to keep the medium’s temperature at 70 to 75 F. Once the seeds grow, remove the bag, and put the seedlings under fluorescent lights or near a sunny window. Transplant the seedlings into individual containers once they are big enough to handle.
Another way to encourage seed germination is by chipping the seeds before planting them. The hard coating of the seeds can affect the speed of germination. You need to be careful when chipping the seeds, though. Rub it off just until the white part of the seed becomes visible.
You can use a blade or file to rub off the seed coating. Sandpaper and nail clippers will also work. The best thing about this method is that you can plant scarified seeds directly in the germination medium without soaking them in water.
However, you need to keep the container warm throughout the gardening season. But if you still want to soak the seeds, you’re free to do so. Soak the seeds in water for two days.
Once they germinate, you can plant them either in 3″ to 4″ flowerpots or individual cell trays. Using the latter is convenient because you won’t need to plant them individually when they’re older.
If you’re only going to plant a few seeds, then it’s better to use plastic flowerpots. You can plant three to five seeds in a pot to reduce the stress of untangling the roots when you need to transplant them.
Fertilize the seedlings with a 10-10-10 fertilizer after one week. Cannas are usually propagated from rhizomes, but you don’t need to worry if you don’t have one. You just need to know how to start canna seeds, so you can grow these blooms in your garden.
Why Start Your Canna Seeds in a Mini Greenhouse?
There are several reasons why you should start canna seeds in a mini greenhouse. However, many gardeners are hesitant to dabble into greenhouse gardening because they think that buying or building one is expensive.
But the truth is, greenhouses come in different shapes and sizes. Mini greenhouses have a standard size of 6 feet, and they’re more affordable. These greenhouses are also a great way to start canna seeds or any type of seeds for that matter.
Seeds and seedlings are very delicate and they need all the protection they could get. Mini greenhouses are perfect for starting your canna seeds. They offer all-year protection and warmth, so your plants will grow healthy and safe from the elements. Greenhouse equipment such as grow lights, fans, and heaters and coolers allow you to create the ideal growing environment for your plants.
Greenhouses also keep pests away from your plants. Aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, deer, moles, and other pests and animals can be detrimental to your plants. Keeping them inside a greenhouse may lower the risk of pest infestations.
Final Thoughts on How to Start Canna Seeds
What better way to add a touch of tropics to your garden than to plant canna lilies? Knowing how to start canna seeds from scratch lets you enjoy the beauty of these plants in your home. Starting from seed is the easiest way to plant canna lilies and they grow best in USDA plant hardiness zones 8 to 11.