Bulb seedlings

Kenneth Hixson khixson@nu-world.com
Tue, 13 Jun 2006 00:02:51 PDT
Hi, Jacinda
>Are Canna lilies easy to grow from seed?  I have two of the Dwarf Tropical
>Rose Canna.  It self seeded so goodness knows what I'll get.  How long till
>flowering from sowing do you think?  Any tips?

         Tropical Rose is a seed grown strain, and unless crossed
with other cannas, the seedlings probably will resemble mama.
         Cannas have a very hard, water impermiable seed coat.
It is often recommended that the seeds be filed, or nicked with
a knife.  Having tried both, I would suggest filing a shallow notch
in the side away from the point where the seed was attached.
It takes a while, even though you only need to make enough
of a notch to allow water to penetrate into the seed.  You may
find it easiest to hold the seed with a pair of pliers while you
file the notch,
         It is sometimes recommended to drop the seeds in water
which has been brought to a boil, then allowed to cool for a day
with the seeds in the water.  Didn't work for me.
         Once the seed germinates, growth is fairly rapid, although
for northern climates it is recommended that you start canna seeds
in January if you want to see flowers the first year.  For you, it might
not be that critical.
         This might be one exception to the "community pot" type
of growing.  I suggest that the seedlings be transplanted to individual
pots as quickly as possible, and then potted up to larger and deeper
pots as soon as the roots reach the bottom of the pot.  Given light,
warmth, and regular but weak fertilizer, cannas will be flowering size,
and large plants, before the end of summer.


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