Q: I have tried several times to germinate canna lily seeds with no luck. Could you explain how to accomplish this?
A: Canna seed are hard as rock and are almost impervious to water. You have to nick the seed in order for it to “imbibe” water and start the process of germinating.
Some gardeners soak the seed in warm water for twenty-four hours to soften the seed coat before nicking it. You can scratch the coat by holding a seed between your fingers and rubbing it quickly on a piece of sandpaper. Or you can hold it on a damp towel with a fingertip and slice off a corner with a sharp craft knife. Plant in warm, moist soil and sprouts should appear in three weeks.