90213thumbIt was easy to forget about spring bulbs after they went into the ground so unceremoniously last autumn. They got buried without so much as proper funerals. Cool season annuals got planted over the grave sites of some, just because bare soil is not much to look at. They stayed silent out in the garden through the cool and rainy winter weather. It might have seemed like the perfect crime.

Now they are back. Daffodil, narcissus, crocus and snowdrop might already be blooming. If not, they are at least extending their vertical foliage. Tulip will be right after them. Spring bulbs tend to bloom in very early spring or late winter here, just in time to remind us that there are even more bulbs and bulb like perennials to plant. This is the time of year for planting summer blooming bulbs.

As the name implies, summer blooming bulbs bloom later than spring blooming bulbs. They also get planted later. Unlike spring bulbs, they do not enjoy winter in the garden. (Most spring bulbs are chilled before sale, but would otherwise need winter chill to bloom in spring.) In fact, some summer bulbs are sensitive to frost if they start to grow too early. Types that bloom only once can be planted late to extend bloom, but will need to be watered more carefully after the rain stops.

Dahlia, canna and the old fashioned big white calla are the easiest of summer bulbs. Happy dahlias can last for years, and can be divided if they get big enough. Cannas are even more reliable and more prolific. Big white callas are slow to get started, but can be difficult to contain of once they get established. However, the smaller colorful types are quite demanding, and not so reliable.

Gladiolus and the various lilies are among the most impressive of summer bulbs, but they bloom only once annually, and if not grown in ideal conditions, are unlikely to bloom more than once ever. Lilies want to be watered and fertilized regularly, and grown in rich potting medium. Gladiolus bulbs are typically planted in groups, but only a few in each group will likely regenerate after bloom.

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3 thoughts on “Bulbs Are Not Finished Yet

  1. Wow, these are just not issues we have here. No summer bulbs naturalize for do-everything has to be lifted and replanted from year to year. The idea of calla lillies running amok is astonishing to me.

    But some people do have lovely dahlia gardens, for example. Anytime I have done summer bulbs, I have done them in containers and saved them from year to year that way.

    It’s so nice to live vicariously through your writing!

    Karla

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! There are times when I wish callas were not so weedy!
      My articles are written for newspapers in our region, where the winters are mild. Although it is not accurate for all climates, I would continue to write like that anyway, even if not for local newspapers. There is not much information that applies to all climate zones.

      Like

  2. Daffodils are six or more inches tall in Alabama, but I fear for their future in the extreme temperature swings we have been seeing.

    Like

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