Summer flowering bulbs are the ultimate show-offs in the garden. They provide beauty and enjoyment during the summer and early fall with their dramatic leaf forms and vibrant colours. This spring Floral Acres is carrying a selection of summer flowering bulbs that can be planted in the landscape or in large containers. Start them early indoors to get a jump on the season. Treat them as annuals or lift them in the fall for overwintering inside in a cool, dark location. Here are five summer flowering bulbs that you MUST try this season. We think you will be duly impressed!
Dahlia tubers bloom midsummer into fall. They come in all sizes from miniature to dinner plate with a 15 in. bloom size. The medium to miniature sizes do well in containers. Dahlia ‘Summer Fiesta’ is a new mix of yellow and red colours producing 7 in. blooms on 36 in. tall plants. Dahlias love full sun with a rich, well-drained, slightly acidic soil. Plant 6-8 in. deep with the ‘eyes’ pointing upwards. Provide a wooden support stake for larger varieties at time of planting. Do not water right after planting as this may cause bulb rot. Wait until you see the first shoots appear. Fertilize every three weeks with an all purpose flowering plant fertilizer or add slow release pellets to the backfill soil as you plant.
Lift dahlia tubers after the first frost has blackened the leaves. Cut the plant back to 2-4 in. above ground. As you lift the tuber with a spade or fork take a generous amount of soil as well around the tuber. Clean this soil off and leave the tuber in the sun to dry for a day or two. Store each tuber in a paper bag with some vermiculite. Label the paper bag with the plant name and bloom colour. Next spring, you will be glad you did! Store in a cool, dark location for the winter.
In addition to Dahlia ‘Summer Fiesta’ we will be carrying Dahlia ‘PomPon Mix’, Dinnerplate ‘Encore’, Dinnerplate ‘Mystery Day’, ‘Dec. Ginger Snap’, and ‘Marble Ball’.
Counter Balance is a combination of trumpet and oriental lilies. Their blooms are yellow and ruby red with a wonderful fragrance! They require full to part sun and staking as they reach 54 in. in height. Plant two or three together for a gorgeous display in summer. They will truly make a statement in your garden!
Lilies should be planted in an organically rich soil. Plant this variety about six inches deep and water well. Add some slow release pelleted fertilizer to the backfill soil to provide nutrients all summer long.
After first frost cut back to 3 in. above the ground. Carefully clean the soil away from the bulb, wash off remaining soil and check for rot or disease. Do not compost rotted or diseased bulbs. Allow the bulbs to dry for a few days in a well ventilated garage or shed. After drying, dust the bulbs with a fungicidal powder and store individually in paper bags with dry vermiculite. Label the bags with the plant name and colour. Store in a cool, dark location in your home.
Oriental Lilies and Asiatic Lilies have a few differences but the basic difference is that the Asiatic Lily is hardy and blooms early in the spring. They do not need to be lifted in the fall for winter storage and do not have a fragrance. Oriental lilies have a strong fragrance and begin to bloom about the time Asiatic lily flowers are fading. Orientals are usually tall and in our climate require lifting in the fall and winter storage.
Lilies available this spring at Floral Acres will be:
Secret Kiss and Pot Tiny Epic
Oriental Mixed, Oriental Roselily Corolla, Oriental Stargazer and the Oriental hybrid African Lady.
Calla lilies are the elegant royalty of the gardening world. They are not true lilies, but belong to the Arum family. Tuxedo Time is a striking mix of black and white blooms. At maturity this plant will reach a height of 18 in. A grouping of these in a container is a true show-stopper.
You can start these rhizomes indoors about a month before the last frost date. Do not put the pots in full sun. They like an organically rich soil with good drainage. Plant each rhizome with the ‘eyes’ upwards and about 3 in. deep.
Fertilize every three weeks with an all-purpose flowering plant fertilizer. Keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy.
An added bonus is that the calla is a deer and rabbit resistant plant! They make wonderful cut flowers but do not cut the stems with a knife. Gently pull the flower stem out of the plant instead.
Unfortunately, the calla lily is not winter hardy in our area. After the leaves have withered in fall, cut them back to just above the soil line. Prepare the rhizomes for winter as you would Dahlia ‘Summer Fiesta’.
What would a Saskatchewan garden be without gladioli! Absolutely beautiful spikes of brightly coloured purple, red, yellow and white blooms that have an incredibly long vase life as a cut flower. Blooming occurs in July and August. Glamini Mix Glads are half the height of regular glads with full size blooms. They do not need staking. Height: 24-26 in. with a 4-6 in spread. They are container friendly and deer resistant. Plant 3-5 in. deep with the pointy side up in full sun in well-drained, fertile soil. After new growth appears, fertilize with an all purpose flowering plant fertilizer at half strength every three weeks. Keep soil moist but not soggy.
After the first frost, dig up the corms and cut back the yellow brown leaves. Clean off the corms and let them dry for a few days in a dark, cool spot. Store in paper bags with vermiculite in a cool, dark location in your home
Gladiolus available at Floral Acres this year are Jumbo Dutch Traderhorn, Nov. Passos, and Nov. Velvet Eye.
Canna ‘Durban’ is an absolutely gorgeous tropical- looking plant with large burgundy, purple, orange and yellow striped leaves. The scarlet red flowers are an added bonus that bloom from midsummer to fall on top of a 4 ft. tall stem. Durban is particularly striking in large containers.
Plant Canna rhizomes 3-4 in. deep in a rich, loamy soil with good drainage. As Cannas are heavy feeders, it is best to mix some compost and slow release flowering plant fertilizer into your soil mix. Place in full sun to part shade in a location sheltered somewhat from the wind. Keep the soil moist but not soggy.
After the first frost cut the mushy leaves back to ground level. Lift the rhizome mass carefully and hose down, removing the soil. If the clump is large, carefully inspect it for black rhizomes and remove them. Snap the remaining clump into smaller rhizomes and layer them in dry peat moss. Do not let them touch as this may promote rot. Cover the container in newspaper and store in a cool, dark location –preferably a cold room.