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How to Grow Canna Lily from Seed (8 Easy Steps)

To grow canna lilies from seed, you will need to:

  • Soften the hard pod
  • Cut the pod open
  • Soak the seeds and keep them warm
  • Plant them in soil or vermiculite

Also, remember that you only want to cover the seeds with a small amount of soil so that the lilies can grow through.

Canna lilies are beautiful, but it can be challenging to get them to grow from seed. 

However, if you follow the precise steps in this article, you can easily and successfully grow your canna lilies.  

8 Steps to Grow Canna Lily From Seed

Step One: Cut the Seed Open

Canna lilies have a tough pod surrounding and protecting their seed, and if you don’t take steps to remove this, the baby plant cannot grow.

Some people simply soak the pod until it is soft enough to split, but you may find you have more success if you cut it open.

Yet, you will need to do this carefully so that you don’t damage the plant within.

Thus, use some small, sharp scissors, some baby nail clippers, a razor blade, or even sandpaper to scratch at this coating to remove at least some of it. 

The aim here is to take off enough of the coating to allow water inside, which will trigger the germination process without harming the embryo.

However, if you don’t feel confident with this method, try soaking the seeds for at least 24 hours in lukewarm water to soften the coating and encourage it to split.

Step Two: Soak the Seeds

You may wish to skip this step if you have already soaked the seeds to encourage them to split.

But if you have cut the seeds, you need to place them in warm water and allow them to soak.

Soaking will trigger the growth mechanisms in the plants and tell the seedling that it is time to sprout.

Yet, you should know that estimates on how long to soak vary. 

Some people soak the seeds for as many as five days, while others go for a shorter soaking period.

For the most part, you need to soak the seeds for at least 24 hours. 

Read Also >> How to Grow Calamansi from Seed

Step Three: Prepare Your Container

You will need a small container with good drainage holes, large enough for one or two canna lily seeds.

Make sure it is clean and free from debris, and then fill it with vermiculite or fine compost.

Overall, vermiculite will often give you a better result if you have it available because it retains oxygen and nutrients well.

However, compost should work too and may save you from having to buy additional supplies.

Next, water the vermiculite or compost well, and then allow the pot to drain.

Step Four: Plant the Seeds

Place one or two canna lily seeds in each pot, spaced out so you can easily separate the seedlings when you re-pot them.

Use your finger to press the seedlings down lightly. 

Then nudge some soil or vermiculite gently across them so they are about ¼ of an inch below the surface.

You can use a paintbrush or lolly stick if you find that using your finger is too fiddly. 

But, overall, you want to make sure that the seeds don’t end up too deep under the compost.

Read Also >> How to Grow Magnolia Trees from Seeds

Step Five: Dampen the Seeds

Once you’ve planted your seeds, use a plant sprayer to mist the soil lightly.

Misting will supply the seeds with enough moisture to prompt growth.

Step Six: Wait for Germination

Place your seedling pots somewhere with temperatures consistently above 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night and warmer during the day.

Then, every few days, mist the vermiculite or compost using a plant sprayer so that the conditions stay moist. 

Or, if you don’t have a plant sprayer, you should water the pot very gently instead.

However, ensure that you don’t flood your seeds or disturb them with too much water flow.

Generally, your seeds should sprout within two weeks, and you will see baby plants pushing their way out of the potting medium.

Step Seven: Transplant the Seedlings

When the seedlings reach around six inches high, it is time to transplant them to a larger pot.

To begin the transfer, you should stand your pots in the sink and fill the sink with water until the pots are almost covered.

Next, leave the pots to soak so that the compost/vermiculite becomes fully saturated, making it easier to lift the seedlings out without damaging their roots.

Finally, plant each seedling in its own, larger pot, and put them in a sunny spot to continue their growth.

Step Eight: Transfer Outdoors

You can then transfer your seedlings outside once there is no longer any risk of frost in your area.

Read Also >> How to Grow Persimmons from Seed


Canna lily seeds can be a little tricky to germinate, but once the seed casing has split, they should be relatively easy to look after. 

Just make sure you keep the soil damp while the seeds are germinating, as drying out when they are young could kill them.

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