Canna lily blooms will last for around 1 week on the bush. The canna lilies will flower over summer to fall for around 6-8 weeks in total. You can remove part of the flower head and it will send up a new set of flowers from the same stem. Canna lilies will drop each flower at a time until the stem is bare. Snip the stem off below the dropped flower heads to tidy up the plant.
You can encourage each stem to continue to flower 2-3 times over the season. Each flower stem lasts for at least a week and then can be replaced by a new flower stem if the plant is growing well.
Each canna lily will grow multiple stems from the bulb with each capable of growing 2-3 flower stems over the season.
How to keep canna lilies blooming for longer
Here are the top ways to get your canna lilies bloomer sooner and for longer. These tips will set your plant up to grow well throughout the season and produce flowers over summer and right into fall.
1. Plant canna lilies in full sun
Canna lilies love full sun and they will produce more flowers if they are in a bright position. Choose an open sunny position in your yard to plant your canna lily rhizomes. They will grow fast and produce flowers sooner with more sun.
Canna lilies will still grow successfully in part shade but will flower later in the season. My cannas have only started to flower in late summer and early fall because we had a cooler summer with lots of rain.
2. Keep the soil moist
Canna lilies will grow more flower and keep them on the stems for longer if the soil is kept moist. If you live in a tropical area they will love the summer rain but if you live in a temperate climate then top them up with water over summer.
Avoid getting water on the leaves and stems as this can cause fungal growth. Lift and divide the rhizomes every 2 years to give them more space to grow and more air movement. This will help to prevent any rot or disease and help them to grow more flowers.
3. Feed with pelleted chicken manure in spring
Rhizomes will grow rapidly in spring so it is a good time to top them up with a nitrogen rich fertilizer. I like to sprinkle on a handful of pelleted chicken manure for each rhizome at the start of spring when the weather begins to warm.
Stop feeding canna lilies after this time to allow the plant to absorb the nitrogen and for the soil balance to tip over to a lower nitrogen to phosphorus to potassium ratio. This will promote flowering and help the plants to bloom for longer.
4. Plant in good quality soil
Good quality soil is essential for canna lilies. They like slightly alkaline soil and lots of organic matter. Free draining soil is key to prevent the rhizome from rotting in the ground.
Before planting new canna lily rhizomes, add aged manure and garden lime to increase the pH of the soil. You can also mix pelleted chicken manure or a handful of blood meal to add extra nitrogen. I always like to add extra compost to my soil whenever I plant something new to help the soil drain freely.
Should I cut the flowers off my cannas?
It is best to leave canna lily flowers on the stems and enjoy them outdoors rather than using them as a cut flower. Once the flower is cut off the plant it will quickly wilt and will only last a day. Canna lily flowers can last one week or more on the plant so you can enjoy them for longer.
You should cut the canna lily flower stems off once the flowers have fallen off. They will quickly form seed pods which can spread to other areas of your garden. Remove the flower head and put it in the compost before it forms seeds.
This will encourage the next flower stem to sprout from the top of the plant. Take care to only remove the flower head just below the stem where the last flower has finished. This will allow the plant to grow the next stem fast.
Can you deadhead canna lilies?
You can definitely deadhead canna lilies and this will encourage it to grow more flower heads sooner. Canna lilies can grow multiple flower stems from their central stem so only remove the finished flower head. This will allow the plant to focus its energy on the new bloom.
If old flower heads are left on the stem the plant will start to develop seed pods. The plant will focus on creating seeds rather than flowering and it can slow the next blooms.
It is much easier to divide canna lilies rather than grow them from seed. There is no need to allow the seeds to form so snip it off when the flower heads start to fall off.
How Long Do Canna Lily Blooms Last? | Summary
Canna lily blooms can last for 1 week on the stems before it produces another flower stem which will last another week. You can expect a group of canna lilies to flower consistently for 6-8 weeks over summer to fall if you deadhead them regularly.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.