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How to Grow Canna Indica From Seed?

By Edited Sep 4, 2016 0 2

How to grow an amazing plant from robust, rock-hard shotgun pellets?

Outwitting Mother Nature

After harvesting Canna Indica seeds from withered plants in the Autumn, I've learned that growing that particular plant from small black pellets might be much more difficult than imagined.
Since I live in continental Europe, where winters are hard, the usual, ordinary way of growing this plant is to dig out plant tuber at the end of the summer and plant it back in the spring time, to avoid freezing and rotting.
Unearthing the plant's stem tuber is hard work to me, while "starting fresh" much more familiar concept, so I decided to grow Canna from seed.
Needless to say, stem tuber is always in high demand, as it requires both hard work and lots of storage area during winter time. Due to its delicate handling requirements, I've seen it frozen and turned to rotten biomass too many times.

Realizing that Google might be of more help than neighbors on subject of growing seeds, I went online and spent significant amount of time (English not being my first language) before finding the right keywords.
It turned out that you must take the seeds in pliers, one by one, and rub one end of each seed on sandpaper, until you see white inner layer bellow the hard coating.
I guess that patience is a virtue of most gardeners, but there comes the time when putting "rush" order on Nature is the only way.
The seeds were hard, and I lost quite few of them when weakening the grip with pliers. You might also try using some sort of power tool with sanded or abrasive rotating plate attached.

After that, it was all downhill.
I planted seeds in 1" deep fertilized soil, left nursery tray in warm and sunny room, and after a week of watering it seemed like all planted seeds started to grow.
When transplanting seedlings to the garden outdoors, I realized that I planted them too close to each other at the nursery tray.
I had to pull them away from each other, and inevitably some roots got damaged. Few of the plants grew up too fast and their stems bent because their leaves didn't unveil on time.
Trying to fix them manually did not work, leaves got torn. Overall, looking at the number of sprouts in several nursery trays, it was a success.

Stay tuned for new photos, showing them in full bloom! I expect 6 inches giants with huge leaves and bright red flowers in my garden!

Canna Indica seed(47422)
Credit: MM
White Inner Canna Seed Layer(47428)
Credit: MM
Nursery Tray
Credit: MM


May 10, 2011 11:47am
I am really sorry but I am a bit of an idiot when it comes to gardening, what is Canna Indica? I love the pictures in this article, it seems like really hard work but if the flowers are that spectacular it must be worth it. I have had a similar experience growing carrots with putting them too close to each other in the nursery trays, but carrots seeds are like dust so it is hard not to :D Still they are also growing nicely now.
I am really looking forward to your next article in the series and seeing how your seedlings are doing, perhaps in the next article you could tell us a little more about the origins of the flower and they types of conditions they thrive in? Still I really enjoyed this article very much.
May 10, 2011 11:59am
Thanks CrystalNici!
Will do.
I was amazed to learn that a life form can develop from something that you could shoot from the shotgun barrel, into giant plant with most amazing tropical leaves. Before I write another article about it, I want to observe it for myself.
I saw it in my neighbor's backyard, but it would not be the same.
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