The Indian flower tube, Canna indica, blooms in summer and autumn from around July to October. The plant reaches a diameter of approx. 50 and a height of approx. 150 centimeters. As a permanent bloomer, it enriches its surroundings for almost the entire gardening season with the lush colors of its large and either blue or yellow flowers. The Indian flower tube got its name at the time of the discovery of America, when its homeland was still considered part of India.


The plant belongs to the genus Canna, which is at home in the subtropical and tropical regions of Central and South America. Therefore none of the canna species are hardy.

With the botanical name Canna indica, the plant belongs to the Cannaceae family.

The Indian flower tube is perennial.

Since the plant sprouts from tubers, it belongs to the bulbous and bulbous plants.
From a horticultural point of view, the Indian flower tube is not counted among the perennials, but from a botanical point of view it is clearly to be classified in the perennial family.

A location with a lot of light

The Indian flower tube can be planted in beds or in pots without any problems and the right location for the Indian flower tube is a place where the plant gets a lot of sun. Since it can withstand a lot of light and also thrives well as a container plant, sunny terraces and balconies are also ideal as a stand for the Indian flower tube.

Pour a lot

In order to thrive well, the Indian flower tube needs not only a lot of sunlight but also sufficient water. Like all species of the genus Canna, the Indian flower tube prefers very moist soil. Accordingly, the Indian flower tube can even tolerate waterlogging, whereas it understandably does not like drought as an originally tropical plant. That is why regular watering is called for in order to optimally supply the plant with water.

Fertilizing is important

Since all canna plants can be described as heavy consumers, the Indian flower tube should also be provided with a sufficient amount of fertilizer more often than other plants. Usual flower fertilizer fully fulfills the desired purpose. An additional supply of patent potash is recommended at the beginning of September. This means that the tubers of the Indian flower tube mature particularly well and are better prepared for wintering.

Instead of cutting, just clean up

A regular cut is not necessary for the Indian flower tube. Flower stalks can be cut off at the bottom immediately after they have withered. As long as the leaves of canna plants are not completely yellow, they produce important nutrients for the flowers. Therefore you should only cut off the leaves of the plant when they have already completely yellowed. Before wintering, the plant is cut back almost to the tuber.

Prepare for wintering

Around the end of October or before the first frost is the right time to prepare the Indian flower tube for wintering. To put Canna indica into hibernation, cut it off about five to ten centimeters above the ground. The tubers are then dug up. Before you place the Indian flower tube in your winter bed, the soil that you brought with you from the bed and that is still adhering to the tubers should be carefully removed. You should be particularly careful when doing this, because damage to the tubers can easily lead to fungal diseases of the plant. Particularly in the case of strongly adherent, loamy soil, washing out can be the simplest method to clean the tubers sufficiently thoroughly and at the same time gently.

Before final storage, it makes sense to store the tubers in a dry, well-ventilated and warm place for a few days so that the tubers can dry off well.
Even at their final storage location for wintering, the pots are best placed where good air circulation contributes to the fact that moist air is transported away well and thus, with a dry room climate, the risk of mold formation is reduced.

The pots with the stored plants should also be dark and cool.
During the winter, the Indian flower tube needs temperatures in the range between 8 and 15 degrees Celsius and the plant must not be fertilized or watered during this time. This is the only way to prevent the plant from sprouting too early.

On the one hand you should keep the Indian flower tube very dry, on the other hand you shouldn’t let it dry out completely. If the storage location is particularly warm during winter, you have to actively prevent the tuber from drying out. However, it is sufficient to keep the soil in which the wintering plant is stored slightly moist. If you place the Indian flower tube in a bright and warm place in a sunny window in January, for example, it can start blooming again as early as May. As soon as it begins to sprout, the plant should be watered and fertilized normally.

The propagation of the tubers

Canna can be propagated by growing seeds or dividing the tubers. The latter type of propagation is most commonly used. To propagate the Indian flower tube using this method, the tubers are carefully divided into pieces with one to three eyes after overwintering. Then the pieces are potted. Now you must not water the freshly potted tubers of the Indian flower cane. As long as they have not formed roots, they can only tolerate so much water that the soil does not dry out. Without roots, the tubers cannot absorb any water and there is a risk of rotting if the water supply is too intensive. After a short pre-culture, the pieces can then be planted out. After planting, each section forms a new plant and quickly increases in size several times its original size. A previously undivided canna that has already been cultivated for one to two years, however, no longer needs a preculture before planting out. You can therefore plant them out after the last frost in May.

Planting out the tubers
The Indian flower tube can only be planted out in the open after the end of the frost period and the ice saints.

The correct planting depth for the Indian flower tube is then at a depth that corresponds to two to three times the diameter of the root tuber.

Half the width of an Indian flower tube is sufficient for the planting distance.

Sowing, growing and planting

It can be very interesting to obtain and attract the seeds, due to the higher effort this method of propagation is used much less often, especially in the hobby area. You should decide on the relatively laborious sowing and growing of canna plants, especially if you want to breed new varieties.

If you want to grow seeds of the Indian flower tube, you should start at the beginning of March. One of the basic rules for sowing and growing is to work cleanly in order to avoid the risk of infections of all kinds. To ensure that the seedlings grow into plants that bloom in their first summer, the best time to sow is in December or January immediately after the seeds have ripened.

Canna seeds have a fairly hard shell. Therefore, they are best sanded on the smooth side and very carefully so that the white seedling is visible but not damaged. Needle-nose pliers to hold the seeds can be very useful. The ground seeds are soaked in lukewarm water for one night and then sown in small seed pots. The seeds, about the size of peas, are sown about two centimeters deep in potting soil. The filed area should point downwards. Then lukewarm water is poured on and the soil is kept moist, whereby wetness must be avoided at all costs.

Warm room temperatures between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius and brightness are ideal for cultivation, but direct sunlight should be avoided.
Cultivation is greatly encouraged when not only the room is warm, but also when the pots can stand on a warm floor.

Under optimal conditions none of the canna seeds of most varieties then within about six days. Only some varieties of the Indian flower tube require a period of between a few days to about two weeks for germination, even under ideal conditions.

The seedlings can be planted out after the frost period has ended.

Diseases and pests

One of the most important animal pests for the Indian hemp cane are the slugs. Nudibranchs can only be combated with the usual methods such as collecting, laying out slug pellets, etc. Aphids or voles do not avoid the Indian flower tube, but they cause hardly any damage to the plants. If the plant is in very dry weather or in very sunny locations, it is also more likely to be infested with spider mites. An immediate countermeasure here is to spray the leaves of the affected plants with water. To reduce the risk of re-infestation, the plant can be moved to an environment with higher humidity.

Due to the global trade in plants, viral and fungal diseases are also increasingly appearing in the Indian flower tube, which can be traced back to introduced pathogens. This is how the so-called Canna Yellow Mottle Virus – CYMV, spread, which occurs particularly easily in unfavorable growth conditions such as cold weather. However, the Canna Yellow Mottle Virus does not infect the seeds of the Indian flower tube and an otherwise clean culture results in virus-free plants. If the CYVM is found to be infected, the plant must be safely disposed of in order to prevent the virus from spreading further as much as possible.


As a permanent bloomer, the Indian flower tube ensures summer blooms. It is best cared for with a relatively large amount of fertilizer and good irrigation. Propagation with seeds is relatively laborious, whereas propagation by dividing the tubers is easy. As a perennial, but not hardy plant, it has to overwinter in a frost-protected place.

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