A large genus of hardy herbaceous perennials, extensively employed in beds and flower-borders, their handsome bananalike leaves and many-colored flowers in stately spikes giving fine tropical effects in Summer gardening. Few plants are more easily grown, but to do well, they require a rich deep soil and plenty of water at the root. Before planting, the soil should be trenched two spades deep and freely mixed with half-rotted horse-manure. The plants should be set out about two feet apart; if in beds, the taller varieties should be planted in the middle and the dwarf kinds on the outside. A partially-sheltered sunny spot should be selected, as harsh winds rip the foliage and damage the flowers.
Propagation is easily effected by dividing the roots; each rootstock with bud and roots attached will make an independent plant. Divide the roots and plant new beds as soon as growth commences in Spring, generally late in March or early in April. They may also be propagated from seeds sown in the early Spring and covered to the depth of half an inch.