This spring, we planted a variety of new canna bulbs we ordered online. Cannas come in a wide selection of colors, most of which aren't available locally, but you can find some interesting options online. Since we planted them, they've grown well, putting on plenty of large green leaves, but have been very slow to bloom. This past week, at last, one of the new plants finally deigned to show some color.
This isn't one of the showier cannas we planted. It's called Tangelo, and on closer inspection, you can see the orange blooms are actually touched with yellow.
Fortunately, the occasional invasion from canna skipper caterpillars don't really damage the blooms, though they do cause some leaf damage. As wildlife gardeners, we tolerate these caterpillars rather than use pesticides, although if we spot the eggs before they hatch, we scrape them off. They're fascinating caterpillars, as we've noted before in previous posts.
We're still waiting on some of the more exotic-colored flowers to make their first appearances, like Cleopatra and Yellow King Humbert. We planted them in an area with part shade, which is usually fine for Cannas this far south, but we're wondering if this could be keeping them from flowering. Fortunately, since they're bulbs, they'll be easy to transplant this winter or spring if we need to.
In the meantime, we'll appreciate the blooms we have. Autumn is here, according to the calendar, so hopefully soon the temperatures will drop and we'll be outside doing clean-up and new fall plantings. We can hardly wait!