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Friday, August 29, 2014

My Favorite Plant in the Garden This Week...

...Is Canna 'Tropicanna.'

I have it planted in frost-proof orange pots in the front garden, where its striped leaves and bright orange flowers contribute mightily to the tropical theme. One pot is visible as you approach the southeast corner of the greenhouse.

Canna 'Tropicanna' with its companions -- a couple of orange Dahlias, a bright red Bromeliad, Aloe plicatilis and a variegated Echium

Fab flowers

Couldn't you just get lost in that?

Spotty, stripey goodness

Hot foliage too!

Echium and Bromeliad foliage

Bromelaid center cup with cast-off Dahlia petals

I wish I knew the name of this gorgeous Dahlia that I bought a couple of weekends ago at Flower World

I just adore the combination of orange and magenta

The second Dahlia is a shorter bedding type Dahlia with a smaller flower in similar colors.

Fallen Dahlia petals

Aloe plicatilis in an Esther pot with orange bowling ball and glass orb from Glass Gardens Northwest

The entire combo from a different angle

The Dahlias are still in their nursery pots because they're destined to eventually live in the bed behind the Canna. But for now, they make a nice homage to the Nichols garden, which I saw during last year's Garden Bloggers Fling in San Francisco. The Nichols garden was the inspiration for many of the changes I made in my front garden this year. You can read my post about that garden here. Canna 'Tropicanna' and orange Dahlias were a mainstay of that garden.

My second 'Tropicanna' Canna is planted in a matching orange pot in a curve of the recycled concrete wall, right next to a niche planted with Sedum 'Angelina,' a concrete Buddha face and a light green glass ball that was a gift from my neighbor Mary. It's not flowering yet, but the foliage is looking so beautiful.

'Tropicanna' foliage lit by the morning sun, with the matching colors of Digiplexis 'Illumination Flame' out of focus behind it

It's not the rarest of Cannas, but it's such a superb plant, I just love it! Although Cannas are hardy in the ground here, I'm going to leave these two in their pots and over-winter them inside the greenhouse. Last winter's prolonged cold knocked back my in-the-ground Cannas, to the point where they were very weakened and have barely made an appearance, just a couple of nubby leaves poked above the soil.

Here's some info about Canna 'Tropicanna.'

Height: 4-6 feet
Width: About one foot (although they do increase via offsets)
Hardiness: Zone 7b-11
Sun: Full Sun
Water: Consistent moisture, don't let it dry out

The orange pots I have them planted in do not have drainage holes. In the past I've put Cannas directly in the moving water of my back yard stream, and they've done wonderfully in that spot. They would still be there if not for the mischievous raccoons that destroy them while playing in the water, usually just as they're about to bloom.

You can also read more about 'Tropicanna' here at the plant lust website.

Loree at Danger Garden hosts the Favorite Plant in the Garden meme. You can read her current post here.