How to Grow Summer Flowering Bulbs
Summer flowering bulbs are a great and cost effective way to add colour to your garden. There is a wide range of different flowers to choose from offering different colours, heights and flowering periods. The great advantage about plant bulbs is that if you plant them once they will keep coming back year after year.
Where to Plant Summer Bulbs
This will depend on the bulbs you are planting, but generally speaking, Summer bulbs can be planted anywhere in the garden. Best to choose a sunny location, sheltered from wind for best results.
Bulbs work great when planted in groups such as blocks of the same plant or in long drifts. Because bulbs grow fast and reach maturity in one season they are great when used as infiller plants – using them to fill in gaps between slower growing shrubs.
What Bulbs to Plant
There is a huge range available so you can choose bulbs to suit a particular colour scheme or to work around existing plants in terms of texture, height and shape. Some great summer flowering bulbs include...
- Lily Stargazer – This wonderful pink ornamental lily grows 2–3ft tall and is great at the back of herbaceous borders
- Dahlia Bulbs – A wide range available offering colour into late September
- Canna Lilies – Tropical & vibrant foliage, Cannas offer great contrast in leaf shape & colour. Suitable for a fiery red Autumnal planting scheme, but are not very hardy
- Elephats Ears – Grown for their large bold foliage, elephants ear is happy in a shaded location
- Peonies – Peony trees are grown from rhizomes or roots and each year produce an array of vibrant blooms. Need full sun, shelter, support and fertile soil
- Echinacea – Also grown from roots, Echinacea stands head and shoulders above the rest. Not only is it tall but also has the most spectacular flowers of pink and purple
How to Plant Summer Flowering Bulbs
Planting again varies depending on the type of bulb. A general rule of thumb is to plant bulbs three times their size deep. If your soil is moist and poor draining, you should add sand or vermiculite to the base of the hole.
The best time to plant is between March and May once the frost has passed and ground conditions have improved.
If you are planting large numbers of bulbs, then you could invest in a bulb planter as this will save you time, but these work best on soft ground.
To give your bulbs the best start and provide them with nutrients, suitable drainage and the benefit of mycorhizal fungi (essential soil organisms). We can use Rootgrow’s Bulb starter pouch, adding a small handful to the base of each bulb’s planting hole.
Bulbs generally take care of themselves. Once they are well watered in until they establish, they should be fine. You can feed them once each Spring but if you add Rootgrow’s Bulb Starter you won't need to feed.
Lastly, once the flowers have faded and the foliage has turned yellow and faded, you can cut back the bulbs to neaten up your borders.