crop culture report: ‘Tropicanna Gold’

June 9, 2005 - 09:38

Grown mostly for its foliage, this canna also doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the flower.

Canna ‘Tropicanna Gold’ is the newest member of the Tropicanna family of cannas from Anthony Tesselaar International. It is a sport of the original Tropicanna (var. ‘Phasion’).

Description

‘Tropicanna Gold’ is distinguished by the alternatively striped or interveinal gold and green coloring of its leaves. Stunning, bright coloration makes this a perfect planting companion to the original Tropicanna, and also makes ‘Tropicanna Gold’ a dazzling addition to the garden border on its own.

‘Tropicanna Gold’ is well suited for planting in the landscape, garden beds and containers. In the ground, ‘Tropicanna Gold’ will grow 4 feet high the first year and up to 6 feet in subsequent years. In a container, ‘Tropicanna Gold’ will grow up to 4-feet tall.

Cannas are tropical plants and are sensitive to extended exposure to frost. In the United States, ‘Tropicanna Gold’ is hardy in Zones 7 and higher. In colder climates, it should be lifted in the fall as a tender bulb for protected over-wintering.
Mild winters (USDA Zones 7-11): As soon as the leaves begin to die back, cut off foliage to soil level, and leave in-ground or in large containers over the winter. In spring, growth will start up as warmer temperatures arrive.

Severe winters (USDA Zones 3-6): As soon as the leaves begin to die back, cut off foliage to about 6 inches, dig up the rhizomes, let them dry for a few days in a protected area. You should store the rhizomes in a cool dry place for the winter. Divide the rhizome shoots and replant in spring. Start indoors to get an early jump on the season, but do not put outside until all danger of frost is past. It may also be treated as an annual.

This variety, with medium to large orange flowers splashed with warm yellow edging and accents, flowers all season long. Duration is typically 2-4 months. Many flowers are produced during the season. There are 4-8 flowers per stalk; stalks grow and mature to flower throughout growing season.

‘Tropicanna Gold’ is also grown primarily for its foliage color; each exotic leaf of ‘Tropicanna Gold’ provides an enticing combination of green and gold stripes. Leaves are a dark gray-green to light yellow-green with alternating interveinal yellow-green stripes, which fade to creamy yellow as the plant matures. Interveinal stripes begin at the midrib of the blade and extend upward and outward towards the outer edges or tips of the leaves, with the shape and color of the stripes being irregular. Makes great cut foliage.

Growing on

In garden beds ‘Tropicanna Gold’ grows to 4 feet tall in the first year, up to 6 feet tall in subsequent years in Zones 7 and above if not lifted after growing season.

In containers it will grow up to 4 feet tall and can be cut back any time to force new growth.

Its growth habit is a dense clump-forming plant with horizontal subterranean rhizomes. It has an upright growth habit and full mature height achieved in one season.


‘Tropicanna Gold’ will tolerate poorly drained areas and a range of soils but will perform best in a deep fertile soil. Full sun is recommended, but it will tolerate partial shade. With masses of broad fleshy leaves, ‘Tropicanna Gold’ requires frequent watering to perform at its best. If a potted plant should dry out excessively, leaves may fade. If this should happen, cut back lackluster leaves or even the entire stem to the soil line. Water regularly. The plant will respond by sending up new shoots. A temperature greater than 60° F is also required for best leaf color.
Plant ‘Tropicanna Gold’ 2-3 feet apart in garden beds. It can be planted closer together in containers. Containers should be a minimum of 16-20 inches diameter to promote optimal plant growth/size.

Use a slow-release flowering plant formula high in potassium to encourage flowering. Too much nitrogen can yield a plant that is excessively tall and elongated. Pinching is not necessary. Spent flower blooms drop naturally. Dig and divide to maintain size and shape. Watch for snails and slugs, which can damage the foliage.

About The Author

Ian Smith is technical director for Anthony Tesselaar Plants. He can be reached by phone at 6 13 9737 9568.

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