The summer flowering bulbs add just as much beauty to your garden landscape as the spring bulbs. Many flowering bulbs for summer have smaller flowers so that you can group them in flower beds to show them off. Sometimes the taller and larger flowers will need to be staked for a better display. These summer bulbs, corms, rhizomes, and tubers will not only give you beautiful colors but also a sense of a tropical garden. If you live in the warmer climate zones you can leave these bulbs in the ground year round. If you live in the cool climate areas you can grow them as annuals by digging them out of the ground in fall and store them away for the winter to replant in the spring. These summer blooming bulbs bring more color to your garden just as the flowering bulbs of spring are starting to die off.
Tuberous begonias - Even though there are many types of begonias we usually think of the camellia flowered version that is available with various color combinations. The enormity of color that is offered quickly brightens a shady corner of your garden. The leaves are very succulent looking and the longevity of flowers makes them a good choice for containers. Begonias will differ in size and shape and their flowers vary from white to pink or red. Tuberous begonias are ideal plants in containers, as borders in a flower bed or in hanging baskets.
Canna - These flower bulbs will grow bright leaves which have cream, pink, orange, and red flowers and have a new interest in a dwarf form. Generally speaking canna rhizomes develop into plants that range from 3 to 8 feet. They are so colorful and exotic looking that they have become quite popular. The cannas give us a tropical look and look vibrant in the back section of a flower border.
Caladium - These are basically grown because of their colorful bold leaf and do well in a shady or sunny section of your garden but would prefer the shade. The arrow-shaped leaves are wide and are available in color combinations of greens, reds, pinks, whites, and bi-colors. These flowers are generally grown for their leaves and many gardeners will remove the flowers when they are first seen. Some gardeners plant them as annual plants.
Dahlia - These flowering bulbs develop plants that range from 2 to 8 feet tall with flowers ranging from eight to twelve inches wide during the months of July through October. The flowers have an assortment of colors except for the color blue. The smaller version of this flower is usually used as bedding plants. They generally bloom in late summer and into the fall. They do their best if you plant them in groups and are excellent as cut flowers; they also work well in containers. If you deadhead the blooms that have faded you can have a steady period of blooms. A serious gardener will always be on the look-out for spider mites, leafhoppers, stalk borers, virus and wilts because they can become a problem for the dahlia.
Gladiolus - This beautiful flowering bulb is available in a vast array of colors and sometimes grows to five feet tall. They make a wonderful background plant because it only produces one stalk per corm, which contains several blossoms, is produced. You can start planting these bulbs in early May and continue to plant them for the next two months; this will extend your bloom time. The spiked blooms on these stalks appear a couple of months after you have planted them. They also have a variety of colors and make beautiful cut flowers for your dining room table. It is difficult to find a cut flower that is more popular than the gladiolus. The trumpet shaped flowers on those tall stalks definitely let us know that it is summer.
Lily - These bulbs have a flower that is shaped like a trumpet. They come in just about every color and can grow from two feet to over six feet in height. Once they have established themselves, they will become very hardy and do not require much maintenance. The varieties of lily give us a wide range of color and beautiful aromas as we. The calla lily is a tropical looking cup shaped flower that is very hardy which also makes a beautiful cut flower. Most calla lily flowers are white but also come in red, pink, and yellow.