Tropicanna is perfect in ponds

Tropicanna® cannas are ideal in ponds and water features, adding an exotic touch. However, for ultimate success, it’s important to follow these 4  easy preparation steps.

Canna Tropicanna

Tropicanna is an ideal plant for large and small water features or ponds.

1)  Planting in Water Features and Ponds

Carefully remove your Tropicanna from it’s original pot and rinse off the soil. If the plant isn’t root-bound you can re-use the same pot but if it is, use a larger container because you want the pot to be large enough to allow for the rhizomes to grow.

If the pot has holes in it, line the bottom of the pot with burlap, newspaper or some other heavy-fibered material. You don’t want any holes in the pot, as good drainage is not an issue. The most important thing is to keep your dirt/mud mix in one place.

Place the washed Tropicanna into the pot, spreading the roots and keeping the crown of the plant 2-3” below the rim. Then fill the pot to about 2-3″ from the top with the “mudpie” mix below. Continue to fill with soil, shaking the pot gently to ensure that the soil is evenly distributed among the roots.

2) Making a Mudpie Mix

If available, instead of using garden soil, use clay or a commercial pond soil that is available at most garden centers. If that’s not available, use a mix of 20% potting soil and 80% sand mix. Mix with soil with the water from the pond to make a nice thick “mudpie” in the pot of your choice.

3) Adding gravel

Remember to leave 2-3 inches between the soil line and the rim of the container. Place clean gravel or small rocks in this area to both give the plant a more finished look and to help keep the soil inside of the pot. Tap the pot on the ground a couple of times. This squeezes most of the air out of the soil, which ensures that minimal soil will be blown out into the water as the air escapes into the water, and the pot is less likely to tip over in the first few moments after having been lowered into the pond. Lower it into the pond slowly at first to let more of the remaining air escape.  Submerge into your pond or water feature, but keep the top of the pot just a few inches out of the water.  

4) Fertilizing

Fertilize your plants monthly with a fertilizer that has been designed specifically for aquatic plants. They come in liquid, granular or tablet form. Never pour non-aquatic liquid fertilizer into a pond. Avoid “once-a-season” timed-release products. We have found that they dissolve too quickly adding too many nutrients to the pond at once and can encourage algae growth. A monthly routine of fertilization of pond plants will provide healthy plants with abundant flowers.

Tropicanna canna

With its exotic foliage, Tropicanna is an ideal feature plant in a pond.


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9 Responses to Tropicanna is perfect in ponds

  1. Kat Guyot April 18, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    I’d like to know if Tropicaca can be in full sun, and if it’s fish friendly.

    • Your Easy Garden Team April 18, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

      Yes to both!

    • Your Easy Garden Team April 18, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

      Hi Kat,
      Tropicanna loves full sun and it makes the foliage colors even more vibrant. In terms of it being fish friendly, it’s certainly a safe plant for fish (and in some parts of the world, canna bulbs are ground into flour for human consumption). However, if you’re growing it in a pond, make certain to not use and fertilizers that could harm the fish.

  2. Kathy G May 12, 2014 at 1:01 am #

    If you add fish to your pond fertilizing plants is not necessary. The fish will “doo” it for you!

  3. Charles Brandau September 15, 2016 at 9:01 pm #

    I have flowering canna in my pond. The green leaves are turning black. Any way to treat it or prevent it?
    Thank you

    • Your Easy Garden Team September 22, 2016 at 2:47 pm #

      Hello Charles, without knowing what variety of canna you have, it’s a bit hard to provide any information. There are varieties such as Tropicanna ‘Black’ and canna ‘Australias’ that have dark colored leaves. If they don’t get enough sun, they tend to be more reddish-green in color but with more sun, they’re a darker red/burgundy. We’ve not heard of cannas getting any sort of leaf rot – at least not enough so that it turns the leaves black, so we’re not sure about this. Wish we could be of more help!

  4. RObin January 2, 2017 at 7:41 pm #

    I have moved my pond inside for the winter. Do I need to do anything with my Canna? Do I need to repot them? The leaves on top have died off.
    Thank you

    • Your Easy Garden Team January 4, 2017 at 10:15 pm #

      If your pond is in a warm location within your house, you can just cut off any dead leaves to encourage more foliage and flowers. Or, if you wish, you can cut off all foliage to about 3 inches from the bottom of the plant and you’ll get a total new regrowth. If the canna has been in the same container for more than a year or so, it may be outgrowing it’s pot and may need to be removed from the pot, divided and then repotted into 2 containers. Let us know how they do!

  5. Macadamia Mary January 11, 2017 at 12:41 am #

    I live in Australia in a region which has hot summers and cold winters with temperatures down to around -10F. It rarely snows, but renowned for heavy frosts. I’m sure there are similar climates in the US, so this may be of interest to some.

    I grow cannas in the ground. The first frosts kill off the leaves which I remove and put in the compost. I mulch my whole garden with autumn leaves (I know plenty of donors), including the cannas which are left in the ground. Once spring comes, they’re up again in no time.

    One of the varieties I grow is Canna musifolia, the banana leaf canna. It grows 3m to 4 m high with enormous leaves similar to a banana leaf. The flowers are small and nothing to get excited about but the plant has a very tropical look to it, and lots of WOW! factor.

    My son’s recently purchased house sports a large shallowish ornamental pond. I have potted up a couple of cannas – Tropiciana and a very dark maroon leafed one, variety unknown, and popped in the water. I’ve never grown them in water before, so it’s a learning experience. I’ll take them out put them under a shrub over winter. If they don’t survive, I’ve got plenty more to replace them next year.

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