« February 2009 | Main | December 2008 »

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Starting Canna Seeds

Canna seeds require special preparation before planting.
Canna seeds require special preparation before planting.

Canna seeds have an extremely hard outer skin. It is necessary to open a tiny hole in the skin to let in moisture so the seed can begin to germinate. The method that works for me is needle-nosed pliers and coarse sand paper. Other methods include pet nail nippers and grinding wheels.

Sand off just enough of the dark skin to expose a tiny spot of white.
Sand off just enough of the dark skin to expose a tiny spot of white.

Don't sand off too much. The seed could be damaged by excess grinding.

An empty water bottle makes a good soaking container.
An empty water bottle makes a good soaking container.

Put your seeds in an empty bottle and add about one or two inches of hot (not boiling) water. Using a bottle with a lid prevents irritating spills. After 24 hours of soaking, the seeds are ready to plant.

Add hot water and soak 24 hours.
Add hot water and soak 24 hours.
Posted by Dawn Hill at 7:38 PM
Categories: Projects, Seed Starting
Comments

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Looking Back, Thinking Ahead

The rampaging Canna 'Omega', 10/31/08
The rampaging Canna 'Omega', 10/31/08

I've been thinking about my planting scheme for the cannas this year. Last year, I put all my tall cannas in the main bed opposite the pool facing west. The short cannas were mostly in pots on the patio. Phase II - along the side of the house facing east - became a mixture of medium, tall, and very tall varieties. All this worked pretty well until late in the season when the sunlight started to hit from a different angle. Then, I had a problem with taller cannas blocking the light to shorter plants. I'm going to try to solve this problem by planting taller to the north and shorter to the south.

Another error I made last year was planting Omega under the drip from the condensation off the heat pump on the roof. It is directed there by a pipe from the roof and Omega took full advantage of it, using the extra moisture to brutally overrun Florence Vaughn and shove the railroad tie out of place. This year I am going to put the lovely Panache under the drip. Omega will find himself in a new location next to the pool.

Sunlight shines through the leaves of Panache (blooming) and Tama Tulipa.
Sunlight shines through the leaves of Panache (blooming) and Tama Tulipa. 10/31/08

Will the vegetables return to Canna Land? I think so. At least two tomato bushes.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Taj Mahal Finishes The Season With A Florish

Canna 'Taj Mahal' up close and personal
Canna 'Taj Mahal' up close and personal

Taj Mahal took off like crazy this fall. She must have appreciated the cooler temperatures! Thinking back, she was the first to bloom in the summer as well. These pictures are from December 1, 2008.

Taj Mahal, 12/1/2008
Taj Mahal, 12/1/2008

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Orange Canna Seedling

This canna seedling has spidery orange flowers.
This canna seedling has spidery orange flowers.

Another orange seedling! I like this one very much! The soft orange flowers are about 3 inches across. It seems to be a dwarf with lightly wavy green foliage.

Another canna blooms indoors
Another canna blooms indoors
Slightly wavy foliage similar to C. 'Orange Punch'
Slightly wavy foliage similar to C. 'Orange Punch'