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Happy Isabel Brings the Beauty of Cannas to the Forefront

Virtues: Happy Isabel canna offers large, brightly colored flowers and dark green foliage in an overall small package. Growing to just about 22 inches tall, this canna is decidedly smaller than many other cultivars. It is well suited to growing in a container, and it's also perfect for a spot closer to the front of a flower bed. The long-lasting flowers, which appear from midsummer to autumn, glow with a unique deep salmon-pink color.

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Common name: Happy Isabel canna lily

Botanical name: Canna indica CannaSol Happy Isabel

Exposure: Full sun to part shade

Flowers: Large, dense spikes of broad-petaled flowers open in midsummer. Flowering can continue until frost. The flower color is a deep salmon-pink, with some slight orange-gold markings toward the center of the flower.

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Foliage: The sturdy, broad leaves are solid dark green, making a good backdrop for the bright flowers.

Habit: In flower, Happy Isabel canna stands just under two feet tall and about one foot wide.

Origin: Canna indica is native to Central and South America. The cultivar Happy Isabel is a member of the CannaSol series that was bred for a long bloom time, vivid flower color, compact overall size and good plant health.

How to grow it: The care for Happy Isabel is the typical care for any canna. This plant grows from a large rhizome that should be planted after the danger of frost has passed in the spring; in cold regions the rhizome can be started indoors in late winter to get a jump on the growing season. For the summer, provide it a spot in full sun or part shade. Where the afternoon sun is particularly harsh, such as the southern United States, be sure to provide afternoon shade. Cannas are thirsty plants that need regular watering and can even withstand constantly wet soil. If you grow Happy Isabel in a container, be sure to check the soil moisture often because pots tend to dry out more quickly than the ground. 

Where it is not hardy, Happy Isabel canna can be treated as an annual or dug up after the first frost kills back the foliage in fall. Let the rhizome dry and then store it in a cool, dark place for the winter. Learn more about storing cannas from the Missouri Botanical Garden. This cultivar is hardy in USDA Zones 8 and warmer.