award winning plantsFabulous exotic foliage would have to make this group of Cannas the most striking ever introduced. Providing attractive foliage and brilliant blooms, Tropicanna®,  cannas make stunning backdrops to garden beds and borders. They’re  also ideal in containers or interplanted with contrasting colored annuals and are terrific in ponds and water gardens.


In addition, Tropicanna® cannas are ideally suited for landscapes that require a striking and bold planting. The foliage is a real attention grabber as the uniquely colored leaves begin to unfold; and again when the striking flowers open. The plants quickly establish into clumps, and are great planted among perennials or as a backdrop. With the sun shining behind the foliage, the leaves are absolutely stunning with their unique colors


Tropicanna® cannas have been featured extensively in commercial settings such as large display gardens, zoo and park entryways, plus landscaped terraces. Planted out into large containers, they command attention with their tropical colorings.


Grows in USDA zones 7 through 11 without winter lifting. In zones 3 through 6, need to lift for winter.


Key Features of Tropicanna Canna

  • Brings a tropical touch to the garden
  • Exotic display of large striped red, pink, yellow and deep green leaves
  • Brilliant tangerine orange flowers
  • Can be planted in full sun or part shade
  • Ideal for gardens, landscapes and water garden


Suggested Uses

Commercial landscapes in USDA zones 7 through 11 (no lifting required). It is ideal for planting in garden beds and borders and container plantings. Great for water gardens, ponds and bogs.


Growth Habit

Dense clump-forming plant with horizontal rhizomes. Upright growth habit. Full mature height achieved in one season.


Growth Pattern

Annual rhizome development.


Plant Size

In garden beds: grows to 4 feet tall in the first year, grows up to 6 feet tall in subsequent years in zones 7 and above if undisturbed (not lifted),after growing season. In containers: will grow 4 feet tall or more, can be cut back any time to force new growth. Plant in a large pot, 15- to 18-inches diameter or larger.


Flower Size

Lily shaped, medium large, 4 to 5 inches.


Mature Height

4–6 ft.



Plant 18-inches apart in garden beds. Can be planted closer together in containers. Containers should be a minimum of 15- to 18-inches diameter to promote optimal plant growth/size.



Cannas are tropical plants and are sensitive to extended exposure to frost. Mild winters (USDA zones 7 through 11): As soon as the leaves begin to die back, cut off foliage to soil level, and leave in-ground or in pots over the winter. In Spring, growth will start up as warmer temperatures arrive. Severe winters (USDA zones 3 through 6): As soon as the leaves begin to die back, cut off foliage to about 4 inches, dig up the rhizomes, let them dry for a few days in a protected area. Store the rhizomes in a cool dry place for the winter. Divide the rhizome shoots and replant in spring. Start indoors to get an early jump on the season, but do not put outside until all danger of frost is past.


Flowering Period

Flowers all season long. Duration is typically 2 to 3 months. Many flowers are produced during the season.


Number Of Flowers

Four to eight flowers per stalk; stalks grow and mature to flower throughout growing season.


Flower Color

Bright tangerine orange with vivid clarity of color.



Not fragrant.



Variegated leaves, each slightly different, yielding a multihued display that changes from burgundy to red to pink, yellow, gold and deep green with varying shades and intensities of coloration. When backlit by the sun, the leaves seem to shimmer with an iridescent glow. Makes brilliant cut foliage.



Not necessary. Spent flower blooms drop naturally. Dig and divide to maintain size and shape.



Canna Tropicanna is a tropical plant and should be protected from frost. Plants will over winter in the ground and withstand light frosts; however, potted plants will need to be protected or over wintered in a greenhouse. Tropicanna will start to grow when temperatures exceed 50°F in Spring, but leaves won’t attain full color until temperatures regularly exceed 60°F.


Light Needs

Outdoors: Performs best in full sun (six hours of sun daily), but will tolerate partial shade (minimum four hours of sun daily). Indoors: best performance is achieved in a well-lit site with a minimum of 4 hours sun daily and a minimum night temperature of 58°F with a summer vacation out of doors in a sunny or partially sunny spot.


Soil Requirements

Tropicanna will tolerate a range of soils but will perform best in a deep fertile soil. It will tolerate poorly drained areas.


Water Needs

With masses of broad fleshy leaves, Canna Tropicanna enjoys frequent watering to perform at its best.



In spring, use a slow-release flowering plant formula high in potassium to encourage flowering. Too much nitrogen can yield a plant that is excessively tall and elongated.


Disease Tolerance

Cannas are not prone to disease in the landscape.


Pest Issues

No major pests. Snails and slugs can damage leaves.


Special Care

Avoid windy locations as the large soft leaves can be damaged. Outdoors: Easy care plant. Better performance will be attained if plants are watered and fed regularly, but once established, Tropicanna flowers readily with minimal care. In Containers: If a potted plant should dry out excessively, leaves may fade to green and yellow, losing the array of mixed colorations. If this should happen, cut back lackluster leaves or even the entire stem to the soil line. Water regularly. Plant will respond by sending up new shoots.

Learn more about how to store canna bulbs at — which has featured Tropicanna Cannas, Flower Carpet roses and other Tesselaar plants.



Sport of Canna indica var. ‘Wyoming.’ This spontaneous natural hybrid was discovered in South Africa.