How to Grow Canna Indica | Indian Shot Plant Care

Canna Indica is one of the most popular plants you can spot in India, thanks to its large leaves and bold flowers! Let’s have a look at how to grow it!


Popular as Indian shot or Canna lily, Canna Indica is a perennial flowering plant that belongs to the Cannaceae family. Native to tropical and subtropical regions, it stands out with its striking flowers and lush foliage!

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Canna Indica Information

Canna Indica, commonly known as Indian Shot, is native to the tropical and subtropical regions of South America, although it has been naturalized in various other parts of the world, including North America and Asia. It is one of the several species of plants in the Canna genus.


  • Color: The flowers of Canna Indica typically range from orange to red, although they can also appear in shades of pink or yellow.
  • Shape: They are trumpet-shaped with three petals and three sepals.
  • Size: The flowers usually measure between 3 to 5 inches across.
  • Blooming Season: The plant blooms from late spring to early fall, depending on the climate.


  • Shape: The leaves are broad and lanceolate, resembling those of a banana plant.
  • Color: Predominantly green, but some Canna Indica varieties may have maroon or purple tinted leaves.
  • Size: The leaves can grow quite large, often measuring 12-24 inches in length and 6-12 inches in width.

How to Grow Canna Indica


One of the simplest and most effective methods for propagating Canna Indica is through rhizome division. This method is generally best performed in the early spring before new growth begins, but it can also be done in the fall after the plant has finished blooming.

  • Gently remove the Canna Indica plant from its existing location, being careful not to damage the rhizomes.
  • Look for a healthy section of the rhizome that has at least one ‘eye’ or growth point. This is where the new plant will sprout from.
  • Using a clean, sharp knife or garden shears, cut the selected rhizome section away from the main plant. Each section should be at least 3 to 5 inches long.
  • Choose a well-draining, organic-rich soil and prepare a new planting area or pot.
  • Place the cut Canna Indica rhizome section horizontally in the soil, approximately 3 to 4 inches deep.
  • Water the newly planted rhizome thoroughly to help it establish roots.
  • Keep an eye on the planting area for signs of new growth, which usually occurs within 2 to 4 weeks.

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Best Canna Indica Varieties to Grow in India

1. Canna ‘Tropicanna’

  • Features: Striking multi-colored foliage and bright orange flowers.
  • Best For: Containers and borders.

2. Canna ‘Red King Humbert’

  • Features: Deep red flowers and bronzed leaves.
  • Best For: Focal points in gardens and mass plantings.

3. Canna ‘Yellow King Humbert’

  • Features: Yellow flowers with a slight orange hue and green leaves.
  • Best For: Adding color to a garden or as a border plant.

4. Canna ‘Erebus’

  • Features: Soft pink flowers with green leaves.
  • Best For: Cottage gardens and mixed borders.

5. Canna ‘Striata’

  • Features: Variegated green and yellow leaves with bright orange flowers.
  • Best For: Adding a tropical feel to gardens.

6. Canna ‘Cleopatra’

  • Features: Unique two-toned flowers of yellow and red.
  • Best For: Specimen planting or as a container plant.

7. Canna ‘Pretoria’

  • Features: Variegated foliage with gold and green stripes, orange flowers.
  • Best For: Creating a focal point in the garden.

8. Canna ‘Black Knight’

  • Features: Dark maroon to almost black leaves with deep red flowers.
  • Best For: Dramatic contrast in the garden.

Requirements to Grow Canna Indica



Canna Indica thrives in full sun, requiring at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. It is a sun-loving plant and performs best when exposed to ample sunlight. However, it can tolerate partial shade, especially in hot climates or the hottest days.


The plant prefers well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Canna Indica can tolerate a range of soil types, including sandy, loamy, or clayey soils. However, it performs best in fertile soils that retain moisture without becoming waterlogged.

Amending the soil with compost or well-rotted manure before planting can improve its fertility and drainage.


Canna Indica requires regular watering to keep the soil consistently moist. During the growing season, water the plants deeply, ensuring that the soil is evenly moist. Allow the top layer of soil to dry slightly between waterings.

During hot and dry periods, increase the frequency of watering to prevent the plants from drying out. However, avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot.


Canna indica is a warm-season plant that thrives from 15 to 36°C. It is not frost-tolerant and should not be exposed to temperatures below 10°C.

Canna Indica Care



Look for a balanced formulation like a 20-20-20 or 10-10-10. The best time to fertilize Canna Indica is during its active growing season, typically from late spring to early fall. Apply every 4-6 weeks during this period.


Pruning is not mandatory but can help improve plant appearance and overall health. Remove spent flowers by cutting the stalks back to encourage continuous blooming.

Prune away any dead, damaged, or diseased leaves and stems. After the first frost in colder regions, cut the foliage back to the ground before winter.

Pests and Diseases

Canna Indica is relatively resistant to pests but can occasionally be affected by aphids, spider mites, or slugs. Monitor the plants regularly and take appropriate measures if pest infestations occur. Insecticidal soaps, neem oil, or organic insecticides can be used to control pests.

The plant can be susceptible to fungal diseases such as leaf spots, rust, or root rot if the growing conditions are unfavorable. To prevent these issues, provide adequate spacing between plants for good air circulation, avoid overhead watering, and water at the base of the plant.

If necessary, apply fungicides following the manufacturer’s instructions to control fungal infections.

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