Eazy Gardening

Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’: The Gorgeous and Toxic Plant You Need

Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’: The Perfect Addition to Your Garden

Are you looking for a striking, low-maintenance plant to add to your garden? Look no further than the Canna ‘Madame Butterfly,’ also known as the Canna Lily.

Overview of the Plant:

Common Names: Canna Lily, Madame Butterfly

Vernacular Names: Achira, Indian Shot, Queensland Arrowroot

Description: The Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ is a flowering perennial that can reach a height of up to five feet. Its large, wide leaves are a vibrant green color and fan out from the stem.

Its showy blooms are a stunning combination of yellow, pink, and orange, and they bloom in the summer and fall. These flowers last for several weeks and attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

Plant Characteristics:

Appearance: The Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ is a striking plant that adds color and texture to any garden. Its large leaves and showy blooms make it a statement piece.

Blooming Habits: This plant blooms in the summer and fall, and it produces flowers that can last for several weeks. Wildlife Benefits: The Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, making it a beneficial addition to any garden wishing to welcome wildlife.

Plant Cultivation and Care:

Preferred Growing Conditions: Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ thrives in full sun but can tolerate partial shade. It prefers well-draining soil and will grow in most soils as long as its well-draining.

Soil can be enriched with compost when planting. Potential Pest and Disease Issues: Spider mites and canna leaf rollers can cause damage.

To prevent infection, ensure you do not water the leaves. Regular applications of insecticidal soap will also help prevent most pest damage.

Also be aware of fungal infections common in humid areas or in overwatered soils. To prevent this, make sure to have enough space between plants to allow for good air circulation and plant in an area with good soil drainage.

Planting and Maintenance Tips: Plant your Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ in the spring after the threat of frost has passed. To plant, dig a hole as deep as the root ball, and mix compost with soil.

After planting, water until the soil is moist. Fertilize the plant monthly with a balanced, controlled-release fertilizer.

Remove spent blooms to stimulate the growth of new flowers. Make sure to cut back the plant at the end of the season.

In conclusion, the Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ is a beautiful plant that is easy to care for and will add a stunning pop of color to any garden. By following these simple steps to care for it, you can enjoy its blooms for many years to come.

So why not add this charming, low-maintenance plant to your collection today? Plant Propagation Methods of the Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’

The Canna ‘Madame Butterfly,’ as with other plants, can be propagated either sexually or asexually.

Propagation is the process of making more plants from a parent plant. Here are the propagation methods that can be used to propagate the Canna ‘Madame Butterfly.’

Sexual Reproduction:

The Sexual reproduction of the Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ is through seeds.

The seeds can be bought online or harvested from existing plants. Here are the steps to grow the Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ from seeds:


Fill a seed tray with compost, make a hole around 1 cm deep

2. Place one seed in each hole


Cover with the soil

4. Water gently and keep in a warm, bright and humid place


Seedlings will appear within a few weeks

6. Once the seedlings are big enough to handle, transplant them into bigger containers or in the ground

It is worth noting that seed grown cannas can vary in color from the parent plant, as genetic diversity means that the resulting plants will not necessarily produce copies of the parent Canna.

Asexual Reproduction:

Asexual reproduction is faster and more reliable than sexual reproduction as it guarantees that the offspring has identical genetic makeup to the parent plant. Here are the best two ways to propagate the Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ asexually.

1. Rhizome Division:

Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ is propagated most commonly by rhizome division because this plant forms thick underground fleshy stems called rhizomes which can be separated and re-planted.

This is the best way to reproduce the exact plant multiple times. Here are the steps to propagate Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ through rhizome division:


Dig up the parent plant carefully when the plant is dormant

2. Divide the rhizomes at natural separations into sections making sure each section has at least one eye (growth bud)


Dust the cut section with rooting hormone

4. Plant the separated rhizomes in the ground or in containers.

Make sure that the soil is well-draining. 2.


Taking cuttings is another way to propagate Canna ‘Madame Butterfly.’ It is best done during early summer and is a great way to increase the number of canna plants you have. Here are the steps to propagate Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ through cuttings:


Take a healthy cutting from the parent plant, at least 5 inches long

2. Cut the lower leaf off and make sure you have at least three leaves at the top


Dip the cut end in rooting hormone

4. Plant cutting in a growing mix


Keep the cuttings in a warm, moist, protected place until roots have formed

6. Repot into soil or plant in the ground

Plant Adaptations to Different Environments:

The Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ originates from the American tropics and subtropics and has adapted to changing environments.

1. Drought-tolerant:

Due to its fleshy, moisture-conserving rhizomes, the Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ can tolerate periods of drought.

The plant will shed its leaves and go dormant during drought conditions, allowing it to conserve water for survival. 2.


In flood-prone areas, the Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’s’ rhizomes can survive rejuvenating themselves from energy stored in their underground stems and frequently re-sprouting new leaves. 3.


Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ plants are heat-loving and grow in full sun. They are also tolerant of high humidity.

4. Salt-tolerant:

The Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ is salt-tolerant, making it a great choice for beach communities.

Its rhizomes can tolerate salt, allowing it to grow in saline soil. In summary, the Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ can be propagated by sexual and asexual methods to create new plants.

As for adaptations, the plant has evolved to tolerate drought, floods, high heat, and salinity, making it a versatile plant for a variety of environments. By understanding these traits, gardeners can ensure they plant the Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ correctly and appropriately.

Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’: Using it as an Indoor or Outdoor Plant

Are you looking for a plant that can be used both indoors and outdoors? The Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ is a highly adaptable plant that can thrive in both environments with a bit of care and attention to specific needs.

Usage of Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ in an Indoor Setting:

Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ can add a splash of color to your indoor decor. It is ideal for spaces that have bright, indirect light.

It also helps to purify the air, making it an excellent choice for plant-lovers looking for an air purifying indoor plant. Here are some tips for using Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ indoors:



Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ requires bright, indirect light. Keep it away from direct sunlight as this can scorch its leaves.

2. Humidity:

Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ plants prefer high humidity levels.

You can achieve this by placing a tray of water near the plant. You can also mist the plant often.

3. Watering:

Overwatering is a leading cause of plant deaths.

Make sure to water your plant only when the top inch of soil is dry. Overwatering can lead to root rot.

4. Potting:

Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ should be in a pot with drainage holes to avoid waterlogging.

Opt for a slightly bigger pot than the current container. 5.


Fertilize the plant every two weeks during the growing season and once a month during the winter. Make use of a slow-release fertilizer to avoid overfertilizing.

Usage of Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ in an Outdoor Setting:

Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ is an excellent plant to enhance the aesthetic value of outdoor spaces. It can be grown in various outdoor settings, from borders to container gardens.

Here are some tips for using Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ outdoors:

1. Location:

Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ requires plenty of sunlight.

Therefore, it should be put in a spot that gets full sun or partial shade. It also requires good air circulation.

2. Soil:

Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ thrives well in well-draining, fertile soil.

You can add organic matter like garden compost or well-rotted manure.



Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ requires regular watering. The amount of water should be enough to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.

4. Fertilizing:

Fertilize Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ plants monthly using a slow-release granular fertilizer during the growing season.

5. Mulching:

Mulch your planted bed with well-rotted organic materials to help the soil maintain moisture levels while smoothing temperature fluctuations.

6. Winter Care:

In colder climates, Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ may not survive the winter.

Therefore, plants should be dug up, cleaned of soil, and re-planted in a container indoors. Water the plant sparingly during dormancy, then resume regular watering and feeding once new growth emerge in the spring.

In conclusion, Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ is a versatile plant that can thrive in both indoor and outdoor settings. By understanding its specific growing requirements, gardeners can ensure that each plant they cultivate grows and flourishes.

Also, by following the above guidelines, you can add the beauty of these plants to your indoor and outdoor spaces while enjoying the benefits of their air-purifying qualities. Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’: Toxicity to Pets, Horses, and Humans

While the Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ plant is admired for its beauty and ease of care, it is essential to note that it can also be toxic to pets, horses, and humans if ingested.

Toxicity to Pets and Horses:

The Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ contains alkaloids (Cannain) that can be toxic when ingested, causing gastrointestinal issues in dogs and cats. Symptoms of poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, and decreased appetite.

Ingesting a large enough quantity of the plant can be fatal. Horses could suffer from colic after eating canna lily.

It is essential to prevent pets and horses from eating the plant material by keeping it out of reach. Make sure to clear any fallen leaves, blooms, and other vegetable matter, as well as putting a pet-safe barrier around your plants.

Toxicity to Humans:

Ingesting parts of the Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ plant is not advisable as it is poisonous to humans. If ingested in large quantities, the toxin can cause vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and headache.

In severe cases, it can lead to coma and death. Therefore, it is essential that people understand that the plant is not edible, and precautionary measures should be taken to keep children and adults from ingestion.

It is also critical to take adequate measures to prevent direct contact with the plant’s sap, as it may cause skin irritation, resulting in dermatitis. Always wear gloves when handling Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ and avoid touching the face or any allergy sensitive areas while handling plant material.

In conclusion, while Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ is an alluring plant to have in gardens, it is crucial to keep in mind its toxicity nature to pets and humans. Always handle with care and dispose of plant material where pets and children cannot access them.

If exposed to the plant and feel symptomatic, seek medical attention, and in critical cases, dial emergency services promptly. In conclusion, the Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ is a versatile and low-maintenance plant that can thrive both indoors and outdoors.

With proper care, it can add a splash of color to any garden or living space. However, it is crucial to remember that the plant is toxic to both pets and humans, and precautions should be taken to avoid ingestion or skin contact.

By understanding how to grow and care for the Canna ‘Madame Butterfly,’ gardeners can enjoy its beauty while ensuring the safety of their loved ones and furry friends.



Is the Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ plant poisonous?

Yes, the Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ plant contains alkaloids that can be toxic when ingested, making it harmful to pets, horses, and humans.

2. Can the Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ plant be grown indoors?

Yes, the Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ can add brightness and beauty to indoor spaces when given bright, indirect light. 3.

What is the best way to propagate Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ plant?

The best way to propagate Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ is through rhizome division or taking cuttings.

4. What type of soil does the Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ require?

The Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ needs well-draining soil that is fertile and rich in organic matter like compost or well-rotted manure. 5.

How often should I water the Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ plant?

Water the Canna ‘Madame Butterfly’ when the top inch of soil feels dry, but avoid overwatering, which can lead to root rot.

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