How to Propagate Canna Lilies From Seeds
Canna lilies (Canna × generalis) add a touch of the tropics to the garden and offer easy care in return. Flowers are large, with bold, vibrant colors. The foliage on some varieties is colorful and variegated. Canna lilies usually are grown from rhizomes planted in the spring.
While this is the quickest route to propagate those tropical flowers, the plant is propagated easily by canna lily seeds, which can be harvested when the seed pods dry and pop open. Grow canna lilies in the U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 11. Start the canna seeds 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost date in your area.
Cut Canna Seeds
Chip a small opening in the canna seed coat. You don’t want to cut too deeply into the seed, just enough to allow moisture to reach the embryo. Good tools to use include nail clippers for babies, or a sharp razor blade, scalpel or sandpaper to scratch a tiny opening in the seed’s outer covering, advises Oklahoma State University.
Soak Canna Seeds
Place the canna seeds in a bowl and pour water over them until they are covered by 1 to 2 inches of water. Allow them to remain in the water for five days, changing the water daily.
Select Containers for Seed Germination
Choose a germination container. Although the seeds will germinate in any container with holes in the bottom for drainage, planting one or two seeds in small planting pots make it easier to transplant them later on.
Fill Germination Containers
Fill the germination container with vermiculite – a ground-up mined mineral. It is ideal to use when propagating seeds because of its ability to retain nutrients and oxygen. Alternatively, you can purchase a soilless growing mix that offers many of the same benefits, advises the University of Maryland Extension. Water the vermiculite slowly and allow the pots to sit until all of the water has drained.
Plant Canna Seeds
Set the canna seeds on the surface of the vermiculate and press on them lightly with your finger. Cover them with 1/4 inch of vermiculite. Spray the top layer of the medium with water to moisten it.
Germinate Canna Lilies
Place the potted canna seeds in a room where the temperature remains 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night, and between 65 and 70 degrees in the daytime. Don’t allow the vermiculite to dry out. Look for the seeds to sprout within one to two weeks.
Prepare to Transplant Seedlings
Set the pots in a shallow pan when they reach 6 inches in height. Pour water into the pan until it reaches 3/4 of the way up the side of the pots. Allow them to soak until the top of the vermiculite is saturated. This allows for easier removal from the pots and also makes it easier to disentangle the roots if you’ve planted more than one canna seed per pot.
Plant Seedlings in Pots
Plant each seedling into its own pot, filled with moist potting soil. Place the pots in a sunny area and keep the soil moist. You can transplant the plants outdoors once there is no longer a danger of frost, advises Iowa State University Reiman Gardens.
Fertilize Canna Lilies
Wait one week after transplanting and then fertilize the canna seedlings with a liquid 10-10-10 fertilizer, diluted with water to 1/2 the strength listed on the bottle’s label.
Things You Will Need
Nail clippers, razor blade, scalpel or sandpaper
How to Propogate Canna Lilies From Seeds. Canna lilies add a touch of the tropics to the garden and offer easy care in return. Flowers are large, with bold, vibrant colors. The foliage on some varieties is colorful and variegated. Canna lilies usually are grown from rhizomes planted in the spring. While this is the …