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How to Attract Hummingbirds in Your Yard by Planting Canna Lily Lilies in Your Garden

Updated on May 28, 2014

What is a Canna, Canna Lily

Hummingbirds love Canna Lily flowers. Canna are not actually a lily but are often referred to as "Canna Lilies/Lily". It is a genus of nineteen species of flowering plants. Although it is a plant of the tropics, it can grow in most countries of the world as long as it can get 6-8 hours of average sunlight during the Summer.

They are large tropical/subtropical perennial herbs with rhizome roots. They have broad, flat, alterate leaves that grow out of a stem in a long narrow roll and then unfurl. The leaves are typically solid green but some have brownish, maroon, or even variegated leaves.

Beautiful Canna Lilies

Canna Lilies
Canna Lilies | Source

Canna leaf

Hummingbird & Canna Lily

Hummingbird getting nectar from a Canna Lily Flower
Hummingbird getting nectar from a Canna Lily Flower | Source

How to Plant Canna Rhizomes

Cannas have "rhizomes" which are horizontal stems of the plant that send out "roots" and "shoots" from it's nodes.

Dig holes and plant the rhizomes horizontally 4"-6" deep, and 2 feet apart for tall varieties or 1 foot apart for the medium to dwarf types. Place the rhizomes (after any threat of frost ) in an area that drains well with the eyes facing up. Water generously soaking the soil. I live in the Northeast Region and I usually plant my canna after Mother's Day as long as any threat of frost is long over. They grow rather quickly and before you know it they can get as tall as 7-8 feet.

Once the flowers appear, have your camera ready and watch for the hummingbirds. They love red colored flowers and the sweet nectar of the canna.

I am going into my seventh season this year planting canna. Before the first frost I have to take the rhizomes out of the ground and place them in peat moss in large brown bags and store them in the basement for the next season. It is a lot of work but well worth it. Besides attracting hummingbirds they give your yard a tropical feel all Summer long as well as provide a privacy fence.

You can start out experimenting with a few. If you live in a year-round warm weather region they can stay in the ground. The great thing about the rhizomes is you can actually break them in-between the eyes to divide the roots. Every year mine multiply like crazy and I end up giving friends and neighbors rhizomes.

Note: Canna does best in full sun, well drained area & loves to be watered!

Canna Rhizomes

Canna Rhizomes
Canna Rhizomes

Hummingbirds Love Canna Lilies



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    • profile image

      Nicholas C. 

      5 years ago

      What is the variety of canna lily in the first picture? Tall, with deep red flowers and only green leaves? I want to try to grow this variety, but I do not know the name... I like these better than ones with bronze colored leaves. Any help would be appreciated!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      new complete guide! It has erneivhytg and more. It has really inspired me.The pictures are fantastic. They can give you ideas themselves. This book lets you know how to plan out your landscape, let's you use your imagination, and gives you choices and step by step instructions to make your landscaping dreams come true. I highly recommend it. This is the best book out there! It has some excellent ideas!


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