As you plan and plant your vegetable gardens, you’re likely enjoying the spring flowers that are beginning to blossom. But soon, most of those blooms will fade and leave a bare spot in the flower bed. So, you should start planting your summer bulbs now. Put in a few summer blooming bulbs when soil temperatures reach 55 degrees F. Best of all, some of your hot weather blooms will last until the first hard frost.
You can find the dahlia in every color except blue. Also, the flower sizes from tiny and delicate to the size of a plate. Some are fragrant and there are various shapes. These grow from tuberous roots and are the official flower of Seattle.
A traditional garden bloom, you’ll find dahlia societies in most states. Related to the zinnia, sunflower, and daisy, there are 42 species, so you’re sure to find the perfect ones for your landscape. Dahlias bloom until the first hard frost.
White, trumpet-shaped blooms are seven inches long with a glorious fragrance in the summer. An Easter lily you purchase in early spring was probably forced in the greenhouse. Plant these bountiful blossoms in the sunny spots in your bed where spring blooms will leave it bare. Easter lilies grow two to three feet tall.
A member of the gladiolus family, these beautiful blooms have a somewhat different flower than the standard gladiolus. Peacock orchids are white with a deep purple center. Plant them in well-draining soil in a full sun spot. Place the bulbs about two inches deep and keep them moist for summer or autumn blooms.
The calla lily is elegant and unusual. You can expect funnel-shaped blooms from July through October. The flowers appear in white, yellow, rust or pink when growing in full sun. Best of all, there are new colors currently on the market.
Not a true lily, this plant grows from rhizomes, meaning it will spread quickly. If you don’t want them to fill your beds, grow them in a container. Growing Calla lilies is a great way to have mid-season color after the spring blooms fade. Plant them about four inches deep.
Elephant’s ears have large, ornamental leaves that may be solid green or flecked with green on the edges with white centers. The blooms are sporadic and may not appear yearly. But the striking leaves add enough interest so you won’t miss the blooms. Grow these as a background plant for coordinating blossoms in a full sun spot. A relative of the peace lily.
A Few Bulb Growing Tips
Keep your bulbs well-watered and water at the roots when possible. In the hottest climates, these plants may grow in areas that receive afternoon shade. Add an attractive layer of organic mulch to help conserve water for the longest lasting blooms. Now is the time to plant bulbs and seeds to keep your yard and garden going until fall.