How Tall do Canna Lilies Grow

How Tall do Canna Lilies Grow
Gracie Owens
Gracie Owens she/her - Author at YardPrep October 01, 2023

When it comes to the height of canna lilies, there are several factors that come into play. Understanding these factors can help you create the optimal conditions for your canna lilies to grow to their full potential.

How Tall do Canna Lilies Grow

Canna lilies can grow to be anywhere between 2 to 8 feet tall, depending on the variety and growing conditions. These vibrant and tropical plants are known for their tall stalks and large, showy flowers that come in a range of colors. With proper care and maintenance, canna lilies can reach impressive heights, adding a stunning vertical element to gardens and landscapes.

Factors Affecting the Height of Canna Lilies

1. Canna Lily Varieties

Canna lilies come in a variety of cultivars, each with its own growth habits. Some varieties are naturally taller than others. For example, the 'Tropicanna' canna lily can reach heights of up to 6 feet, while the 'Pretoria' variety typically grows to about 4 feet. It's important to research the specific variety you have or plan to plant to get an idea of its potential height.

2. Environmental Conditions

The environment in which canna lilies are grown plays a significant role in their height. These plants thrive in full sun, so providing them with at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight each day is crucial for optimal growth. Additionally, canna lilies prefer warm temperatures and high humidity. They may not reach their full height potential in cooler or drier climates.

3. Soil Requirements

The soil in which canna lilies are planted can greatly impact their growth. These plants prefer well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Soil that retains too much water can lead to root rot and stunted growth. Additionally, canna lilies prefer a slightly acidic to neutral pH level, ideally between 6.0 and 7.0. Testing your soil and making any necessary amendments can help ensure your canna lilies reach their maximum height.

4. Watering and Fertilization

Proper watering and fertilization are essential for promoting healthy growth in canna lilies. These plants require regular watering, especially during dry periods, but they don't like to sit in waterlogged soil. It's important to water deeply and allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Fertilizing canna lilies with a balanced fertilizer every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season can also help promote taller growth.

5. Planting Depth

The depth at which canna lily bulbs are planted can affect their ultimate height. Planting the bulbs too shallow may result in weaker, shorter stems. It's generally recommended to plant canna lily bulbs about 4 to 6 inches deep. This depth provides stability and encourages strong, tall growth.

6. Pruning and Maintenance

Pruning and regular maintenance practices can also play a role in controlling the height of canna lilies. Removing spent flowers and dead leaves can help redirect the plant's energy towards upward growth. Additionally, dividing and replanting overcrowded clumps every few years can promote healthier growth and potentially taller plants.

7. Pests and Diseases

Like any plant, canna lilies are susceptible to pests and diseases that can impact their growth. Common pests that can affect canna lilies include aphids, slugs, and snails. These pests can damage the leaves and stems, leading to stunted growth. Diseases such as fungal leaf spots and root rot can also inhibit the plant's growth. Proper pest and disease management is crucial for maintaining healthy, tall canna lilies.

8. Companion Planting

Companion planting can be a beneficial strategy for enhancing the growth of canna lilies. Planting complementary plants alongside canna lilies can provide shade, attract beneficial insects, and improve overall soil health. Some suitable companion plants for canna lilies include tall grasses, salvias, and dahlias.


Several factors influence the height of canna lilies, including the variety, environmental conditions, soil requirements, watering and fertilization, planting depth, pruning and maintenance, pests and diseases, and companion planting. By understanding and optimizing these factors, you can help your canna lilies reach their full height potential and create a stunning display in your garden.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the best place to plant cannas?

Canna lilies thrive in full sun, so it's best to plant them in a location that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight each day. They also prefer well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter.

How many canna lilies should I plant together?

For a stunning display, it's recommended to plant canna lilies in groups of three or more. This creates a fuller and more visually appealing effect in your garden or landscape.

Do canna lilies spread?

Yes, canna lilies have a tendency to spread through their rhizomes. Over time, they can form dense clumps and expand their presence in the garden. Regular division of the rhizomes can help control their spread and maintain their vigor.

Do canna lilies come back every year?

Canna lilies are perennial plants, which means they can come back year after year. However, in colder climates where the ground freezes, they may not survive the winter. In such cases, it's best to dig up the rhizomes before the first frost and store them in a cool, dry place until the following spring.

How tall do canna lilies grow?

Canna lilies can reach impressive heights, typically ranging from 3 to 8 feet tall. However, the exact height can vary depending on the specific variety and growing conditions. Some dwarf varieties may stay shorter, while taller varieties may require staking to support their height.

When should I plant canna lilies?

Canna lilies are best planted in the spring, after the danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed up. This allows them to establish their roots and start growing during the warmer months. If you live in a region with mild winters, you can also plant canna lilies in the fall.

How often should I water canna lilies?

Canna lilies prefer moist soil, so it's important to water them regularly, especially during hot and dry periods. Aim to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Providing about 1 inch of water per week should be sufficient, but adjust based on your specific climate and soil conditions.

Can canna lilies be grown in containers?

Yes, canna lilies can be successfully grown in containers. Choose a large pot with good drainage and fill it with a well-draining potting mix. Place the container in a sunny location and water regularly to keep the soil moist. Container-grown canna lilies may require more frequent watering than those planted in the ground.