Q: Last year I bought a small canna lily plant for 50 cents. I planted it near the edge of our lake. Now it’s spread to six feet by ten feet. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but I am afraid it may take over my garden area!
A: When I was a child, we had a Maytag wringer washer on our wooden back porch. The drain ran through a buried pipe to a small garden plot tended by my grandmother. Close to the pipe end was the most glorious stand of red canna lilies you’ve ever seen. The soil was constantly watered by the rich clothes washer effluent from five children and three adults. This particular canna stand was controlled in size by our regular grubbing around the edges for earthworms, which also loved the spot. I think you’ll find your cannas won’t spread aggressively beyond the moist lakeside. If they do, just chop down the stems as needed.