It’s hard to believe now but it wasn’t too long ago when canna lilies were rejected by most gardeners. They were very popular during the Victorian era, but quickly lost their appeal sometime around the early 1900s.

Then about 20 years ago, they started to become popular again, probably because of  the introduction of new varieties. I remember when Tropicanna with its colorful foliage and other varieties with showier flowers were fairly new and somewhat hard to find.

The new cannas made the old-fashioned varieties we were growing look pretty pale in comparison. Since then there has been no turning back — there are now more than 400 varieties of cannas.

Canna lilies’ upright growth makes them the perfect candidate to add vertical interest to the garden. They can grow 5 or 6 feet tall, or even more depending on the variety and soil conditions. Typically, they are used at the back of large gardens and at the center of smaller gardens or containers.