9 Groundbreaking Tips for Summer Bulbs

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Why Summer Bulbs are a Bright Idea

  • Summer Bulbs add texture, color, height and glamour to your garden
  • Versatile – plant them in the ground, window boxes or containers, indoors and outdoors
  • Adds the “exotic touch” that comes from sub-tropic species
  • Provides years of beauty and enjoyment when you plant them every spring
  • Easy to grow and care for by following a few simple steps

Hot Bulbs for Summer

We often think of planting bulbs as a Fall activity for Spring color, but there are many Summer Bulbs that can be planted now that bring bright color, cheer and sweet fragrances into our lives. Okay, some are actually corms or tubers, but they always get lumped in with the true bulbs. Our favorite Summer Bulb varieties include:

  • Caladium – sometimes called “elephant ear” due to the big heart-shaped leaves. Leaves are marked in varying patterns of white, pink or red.
  • Canna – often called a lily, but it’s not. Large, 3-petaled flowers are red, orange, yellow or a combination.
  • Gladiolus – Long stems with many flower spikes bursting forth in colors that range from pink to red or light purple with white.
  • Dahlias – One bulb produces dozens of flowers in one bulb. This is sure to create a colorful commotion in your garden.

9 Groundbreaking Tips

  1. Selecting Bulbs: When you buy new bulbs, make sure they’re firm and heavy-not squishy, lightweight or crunchy.
  2. Give them a warm reception: Plant bulbs when you would plant tomatoes-make sure the soil is not too moist and make sure it has warmed up to about 60 degrees.
  3. Step out of the shadows: Plant bulbs in well-drained soil that gets good sunlight. A little shade is O.K. Damp, dark spots will rot bulbs before they grow.
  4. Point them in the right direction: Most summer bulbs are planted 1 to 2 inches below the soil surface, pointy end up. Add some high quality organic plant food, such as Espoma Bulb-tone. For container gardening, choose a high quality potting mix, like the one from Espoma.
  5. A drink – but don’t drown them: Water bulbs well, but allow them to dry before watering again.
  6. A growing appetite: Feed established bulbs (when plants reach 6″) monthly with Espoma Bulb-tone.
  7. Don’t leave them out in the cold: Many Summer Bulbs will not survive the cold of winter. If you live where bulbs could freeze, dig them up and store them. Do this when the bulb plant’s leaves turn yellow in the fall.
  8. Skip the bath: Dust off – don’t wash – the excavated bulbs and put them in a bucket of peat moss, sand or vermiculite. Store them in a cool (50–70 degrees), dry place.
  9. Know when to split: Don’t divide bulbs before storing. Divide in the Spring before planting.

Spring for something different in your garden this year: Summer Bulbs. They’re bright, colorful, and the hottest thing to come along – besides summer.