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Top 7 summer flowering bulbs to grow

Top 7 summer flowering bulbs to grow

These top 7 summer flowering bulbs to grow will brighten up any garden. You’ll have a colourful flowering garden for summer, from pots and containers to beds and borders. Bulbs are easy to grow and will help you create a colourful garden, often wildlife-friendly garden that attracts pollinators

When to plant summer-flowering bulbs?

Summer bulbs are usually planted in springtime, from March to May, once the weather is warmer and the soil has begun to get less cold. If you want to plant summer bulbs earlier, start them off in a pot in a sheltered outdoor space or a cool indoor spot.  Most summer-flowering bulbs will come back each year, stronger and even bigger although it's sometimes advisable to lift them after flowering and store in a dry place over winter.  Here's our top 7 favourites that we're sure you'll love:

Top-7 summer-flowering bulbs

  1. Gladioli 
    From bright, colourful blousy blooms to the more delicate variety, there are many Gladioli varieties to choose from. They grow to differing heights from miniatures that'll grow no more that about 30cm (1ft) high to the tallest which can reach to 120cm (4ft) or even more.  The tall varieties are ideal at the back of the border where they get some support from the wall or fence, although they may need additional support especially as they begin to flower.  Producing wonderful colourful flower spikes for the garden Gladioli also make excellent cut flowers. 
  2. Calla Lily
    The smooth foliage and elegant blooms bring a real touch of class into the garden. There are many colours from classic and calming whites to vibrant pinks, oranges and dark purples.  Easy to grow, they require little attention, prefer sun to partial shady locations and are happy in borders or pots.
  3. Canna Lily 
    These tall, plants with green or dark foliage and bright orange, yellow or red flowers are very tropical-looking . If you want an exotic look, the majestic Canna will provide a real talking point in your garden.  They're fairly tolerant of most soil types and even grow well in slightly boggy conditions.
  4. Allium
    These ball-shaped flower heads are mainly made up of tiny star-shaped flowers, and provide a stunning addition to your border in late spring/early summer.  More often sold in autumn as a spring-flowering bulbs, they are also available in pots in springtime ready for you to pop into the garden and enjoy the flowers.  Depending on the variety they can grow up to 120cm high and some of the prize varieties have flower heads up to 20cm (8") in diameter. There are various shades of lilac, blue, some green and even white. They bring charm and fun to a garden, grow well in pots and pollinators love them!
  5. Oxalis 
    Oxalis tends to be grown for its stunning butterfly-shaped foliage although the delicate white and pinkish flowers are also very attractive.  As a low-growing plant it's often planted amongst alpines, adding a dimension of colour and interest. They also grow beautifully in pots, and are perfect for container gardening. 
  6. Crocosmia 
    Sometimes known as Montbretia, these easy to grow corms produce long-lasting flowers in mid to late summer.  The flowers arch on the end of the stem, look slightly similar to Freesia flowers and come in fiery yellows, reds and oranges. The corms are generally happy to remain in the border all year round.  As the corms multiply rapidly they should be lifted and spaced out every 2-3 years, creating lots more clumps of stunning flowers for your garden.
  7. Dahlias
    The different shapes, sizes and colour combination amongst Dahlias are almost endless amongst these traditional summer-flowering bulbs.  Although colloquially called bulbs, technically they are actually tubers - although both bulbs and tubers perform the same function by storing what they need underground until they grow again next season. 
    From the geometrically arranged petals of the Pom-pom Dahlias to the showpiece Dinner-plate Dahlias there's a vast choice including Decorative, Fimbriata, Cactus, Ball, Collerette, Anemone Single or Pot Dahlias and they're available in almost any colour you can think of.  Foliage can be green to dark bronze. 
    The plant team generally recommend lifting the tubers once the foliage has died back, particularly if you have heavy soil.

This is just a taster of the great range of easy to grow summer flowering bulbs that will enhance your garden for very little effort. Bulbs are available from January onwards but if you miss them as bulbs you may be able to buy them as growing plants later in the season.

If you'd like more help with choosing the best summer-flowering bulbs, call in and have a chat with our plant team - they're always delighted to chat gardening!

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