For some color, texture, height, and drama, look at adding some summer bulbs to your garden.
Some can go in the ground, and others need to be lifted and stored depending on location, and keeping them in pots or containers is a great way to “keep them.”
Check out these summer-flowering bulbs to add some pizazz to your summer garden.
Simple pleasures such as a flowering summer garden bring unrivaled joy. Imagine smelling the flowery fragrance on a sunny summer day while sipping on lemonade.
Planting summer blooming bulbs or corms during spring will guarantee a beautiful garden during the summer.
Most people know the Hippeastrum by its genus name, amaryllis. These flowering bulbs are sold during the winter and fall, nearing the holiday season, where they’re often tossed after they bloom.
They are best planted during the winter to bloom from early to late summer.
Fertilize and prepare them during this time to transplant them outdoors in the spring.
You can opt to plant them directly in the ground if you want them to fatten up or plant them in large pots. Apply fertilizer just like the other plants in your garden.
As autumn approaches, cut off the essentials (water and fertilizer) to allow the bulbs to go dormant so they can prepare to bloom indoors during the winter.
image: via flickr
These are some of the easiest lilies to grow, blossoming in the early midsummer in a wide range of colors on hardy plants.
Their star-shaped flowers are amazing in the garden, and they can grow in vase; therefore, you can grow them indoors during the winter.
Most Asiatic Lilies grow to a height of 2′ to 3′ feet. They thrive well in moist but well-drained soil and full sun.
They, alongside the Oriental lilies, are the most common in the northern hemisphere.
You can choose from plenty of varieties of Asiatic Lilies, with the least expensive ones being single-colored and last for many years in the garden.
Image: via flickr
The lily family is a big one, and another variety that cannot be overlooked in the early summer blooming bulbs is the Oriental lily.
The details on –> Oriental Lily Care
They are the most dramatic lilies and bear large, star-shaped flowers in shades of yellow, crimson, white, and pink.
Their spicy scent is detectable from afar and, thus, will introduce a new fragrance to your garden.
The traditional varieties can grow to a height of more than 6 feet; the dwarfs varieties can grow to a height of 1′ foot.
They thrive well in moist soil with good drainage and under full sunlight. Support them so they can stand tall and straight. They are hardy in zones 5-9.
Image: via flickr
Gloriosa lily is an ideal plant for growing pot on a deck. It’s one of the few climbing bulbs on this list.
It produces striking summer flowers in shades of yellow and red. The flowers are garden showstoppers as they are reminiscent of meteors.
They can climb to a height of about 6′ feet tall, depending on the growing conditions and blossoms in the summer.
Gloriosa lilies do well in moist but well-drained soil and full sun. They thrive well in cooler areas.
During the winter, dig and store them in a frost-free place as they wait to be planted during the spring.
Also known as the shamrock plant, Oxalis bears clover-shaped leaves, most of which have shades of purple, white, and delicate pink.
The Oxalis regnelii can grow to a height of 10″ inches depending on the growing conditions. They are easy to grow and do well in moist but well-drained soil and full sun or partial shade.
They grow in cooler areas. Store them in a frost-free area during the winter when the foliage dies down. They can also be planted indoors.
Often, people can confuse them with weedy wood sorrel, but there’re some varieties that blossom some of the most attractive flowers when planted in pots.
Known by its scientific name Lilium lancifolium, the tiger lily is a common plant and can be planted in most areas.
They propagate easily from the bulb offsets and also from the bulbils that propagate along the stem of the plant.
They reflect well when the sun is setting; the orange color blooms reflect well when hit by the evening sunlight.
They can be aggressive in the garden, and therefore, you need to keep on controlling them. They attract some species of native bees.
Also referred to simply as Calla, a wide range of colors exist, but most varieties have shades of white.
However, other varieties have shades of pink, orange, red, and deep burgundy.
They have striking, arrow-shaped foliage with dots of white and produce flowers that offer an architectural asset to your garden. Very few flower bulbs are as stunning as calla (Zantedeschia).
The Calla lily thrives best in moist soil and lots of sunlight or part shade.
They are frost-loving, so you can treat them as annuals, as they’ll still do well under freezing temperatures. Most varieties achieve a height of one foot.
To learn more, read our article How To Grow Calla Lilies
Caladiums are an idyllic choice for enhancing shady corners because of their colorful leaves that have shades of red, white, and pink.
Because of the colors of its leaves, you don’t have to worry when the plant goes out of bloom. They can do well both on the ground and in vases and can grow up to two feet tall.
Caladium leaves can be heart or arrow-shaped. They grow best in moist but well-drained soil and prefer full shade.
They thrive better in much cooler regions in zone 10. During the winter, store them in cooler areas that are free from frost.
Elephant Ear Colocasia plants are grown in gardens primarily because of their foliage. It has large green leaves, “black and purple in color. Colocasia can be grown indoors as a houseplant during the winter.
The Black elephant ears are one of the new Colocasia varieties with broad black-maroon leaves.
For those who prefer plants for foliage that gives the garden the tropical experience, there’s a better variety that offers good foliage called taro.
Allium cernuum – Nodding onion
These airy plants bloom flowers that are sphere-shaped. However, they are late and high summer bloomers and might keep you waiting before they appear.
They are commonly called nodding onions and are perennial. Their blooms have charming-shaped heads that weave in the summer.
Check out the other ornamental onions (alliums) with magnificent blooms!
They are known to attract various species of bees. They can appear in pink or white shades and are edible and ornamental.
It is commonly known as the Gayfeather; sounds a little bit funny, but it blooms gorgeous flower stalks that attract a lot of bees and butterflies.
They are perennial plants and thrive well during the summer season. You can have a few of them in your garden to add some color and variety to it.
Most of the above plant bulbs are sun-loving and will quickly blossom in sunny spots in your garden. To grow their best, they need direct sunlight for at least six hours a day.
Make sure to plant several varieties of the above summer blooming bulbs or stagger their planting times to get color in your landscape throughout the summer season.
More Lesser Known Summer Bulbs For Easy Summer Color
Discriminating gardeners everywhere are forever searching for new plants to lend drama to new landscaping ventures.
One of the most fertile fields from which to make such selections is the vast array of summer flowering bulbs.
Hybridizers have deftly applied their art, with new superior varieties emerging. Better in color, lines, and garden adaptability.
Below are some selected less-known species with proven high garden value in most sections of our country.
Many are superb for indoor growing as well. To generalize upon their culture, handle them as gladiolus unless otherwise directed.
This rare member of the iris family is a native of equatorial Africa and is sometimes referred to as the sweet-scented gladiolus.
The plant itself resembles the gladiolus, but the lovely orchid-like blooms open singly over a long period of time in late summer and autumn.
Several varieties are available, but the best known is Acidanthera bicolor murielae.
It is a strong growing plant producing gracefully arched stems surmounted by six or more fragrant, cream-colored flowers with rich chocolate eye zones.
Store the corms as you would gladiolus, except that the temperature should be not less than 55° F in the storage place.
Agapanthus Plant, African lily, Blue Lily of the Nile
The lush growing plant, with its wealth of strap-like foliage, is nearly evergreen.
Globular heads of small trumpet-like flowers rise atop strong, stiff stems in early summer, presenting a dramatic contrast to lower-growing subjects.
In frost-free areas, they may be grown directly in the borders, whereas in other sections, they should be grown in pots or tubs and placed at strategic points about the garden or terrace.
In the latter areas, take them in before the first frost and keep them over winter in a frost-free location, occasionally watering to prevent the leaves from falling.
There are several varieties in cultivation. Agapanthus Peter Pan is a popular dwarf variety. Still, perhaps the best-known and most practical one for general use is Agapanthus africanus which sends up three-foot spikes of blue.
Brodiaea, Triplet Lily, California Hyacinth
These lovely little West Coast natives are too infrequently seen in our Eastern and Southern gardens.
Grow them in rock or wild gardens, but always in association with good bedding plants since their grassy foliage is of little consequence.
Whatever they lack in plant form is more than compensated for in the impressive flower heads.
They should be planted in full sun, 2″ to 3″ inches deep, in gritty, well-drained soil. There are many forms and colors.
Most adaptable for general use and reliably hardy as far north as Massachusetts is B. capitata, with its large heads of violet-blue, B. lactea, white or lilac, and B. laxa, white or purple. Growth is 12″ to 20″ inches.
In northern climates, bulbs may be left in the ground with a 3″ to 4″ inch mulch of straw.
Clivia – Kaffir lily
This striking member of the amaryllis family is a native of South Africa.
The Clivia plant has handsome evergreen foliage for which it is highly prized and should be used extensively as an accent plant at focal points throughout the garden or patio.
It can be grown in the open garden in frost-free areas; elsewhere, it is best handled in large pots or tubs with good drainage.
Bring it inside for a short rest period in late summer, then let it flower in a sunny window.
Older varieties have been outmoded by the new hybrids, many of which will flower two or three times annually.
It will undoubtedly come as a surprise to many gardeners to know that these tropical plants from South America can be grown out-of-doors.
Moreover, you can now brighten up dark corners with these brilliant plants. Because out-of-doors they will tolerate little or no sun or wind, they should be given northern exposures only.
Treat them the same as tuberous begonias but don’t start indoors since transplanting will disturb the plant.
Plant the tubers about two weeks before you would tomato plants, and they will flower in late July and continue through the season. Wide-named varieties are available through local garden centers or catalogs.
Ismene (Hymenocallis), Peruvian daffodil, basket flower
This amaryllid is a native of Peru and has a place in every modern or old-fashioned garden.
The Peruvian daffodil is one of the easiest bulbous plants to grow and is seldom bothered by pests.
From a cluster of lush foliage, 18″ to 24″ inch flowering stalks are sent up in early summer, each carrying several spidery, amaryllis-like, fragrant blossoms.
They are unsurpassed as cut flowers since the stalk may be taken when the first hud opens, and the remainder will continue to open.
Pure white, tinged, cool, icy green within the trumpet is H. calathina, best known of all varieties.
H. harrisiana is a dwarf variety with long buds which explode like bombshells into white, star-shaped flowers. H. amancaes, with deep yellow flowers, is an extremely rare species.
Milla biflora, Little Stars, Mexican Star
These little natives of Mexico grow on wiry stems 12″ to 15″ inches tall and are best adapted to the rock garden.
The delicate waxy-white blooms are supported by a tube-like structure that is ornamented by soft green stripes which extend out to the perianth segments on the underside of the flowers, which face skyward.
They are excellent cut flower subjects, having a lily-like fragrance.
Montbretias (Tritonia), African gladiolus
These South African bulbs, closely resembling miniature Gladiolus primulinus, are of the easiest culture.
The colors range from soft yellow through varying orange to deep red. Their late flowering habits (August and September) are of considerable value, both from the standpoint of cutting and garden decoration.
Each bulb sends up several flowering stalks, but because they are stiff and rigid, the plants should be used in connection with graceful foliage plants.
For cutting, they may be grown in rows.
Montbretias are hardy to about Philadelphia and perhaps a hundred miles farther north, with ample protection. Elsewhere, lift and store.
These charming little plants with their clover-like foliage are generally thought of as being indoor or pot plants.
There are now several types that can be grown out-of-doors, one of the best of which is O. deppei, a robust pink variety that is superlative for the borders since it is low-growing and boast dainty pink flowers all summer.
Sprekelia formosissima, Aztec lily, Jacobean lily, St. James lily
The Aztec lily is a distinctly striking amaryllid from Mexico that has been a favorite in European gardens for over three centuries.
It has been only within the past few years that American gardeners have become aware of its garden value.
The bulbs may be started indoors or planted directly into the garden in late April or May, and the great fleur-de-lis-type blooms will appear in late spring and summer.
The huge blooms are velvety crimson and are excellent for cutting.
Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa)
Polianthes Tuberosa (now Agave amica), long known as “tuberose,” is a Mexican native of great beauty and famous for its perfume. Many in the North have difficulty bringing the old-fashioned double variety into flower.
This is because so much elapsed time is required between planting and flowering.
Start them in pots or flats inside in April and transplant them outside after the danger of frosts.