Container Gardens: Summer Flowering Bulbs
Whether you’re enhancing the patio and deck or creating a stunning focal point for the mixed border, check out these go-together blends by Florissa.
Dahlia Canadian Celebration
Dahlia Canadian Celebration starts this party and keeps it going all summer long with fun and vibrant semi-double blooms in true red and white. Dahlias are great cutting flowers, so snip a few for bouquets. The more you cut, the more they’ll bloom. Canadian Celebration is a compact variety, growing to 40 cm (16”).
Calla Lily Red Alert
The brightest red of all, Calla Lily Red Alert is an exceptional showstopper. Numerous scarlet red blooms arise from a lush clump of medium green, white-speckled foliage and seem to last forever. Plant rhizomes in early spring, blooming begins within 8-10 weeks and continues through October. The flowers are long-lasting in the vase, for up to a month. Cut them, enjoy them, and encourage more blooms. Grows to 40 cm (16”).
Gladiolus Traderhorn takes this container to new heights with spectacular effect. A tall and stately garden classic with large brilliant scarlet red flowers and crisp white contrasting centers. Each sword-like stem bears 16-24 blooms. When planting, set corms close together in clusters so that they can hold each other up and require less staking. Protect them from the wind. Grows to 100 cm (40”).
Anemone The Bride
A popular wedding flower, Anemone The Bride is a prolific bloomer of single white poppy-like flowers, each with a greenish buff center. Blooming from mid-summer to early fall. Soak corms in lukewarm water for 2-4 hours or overnight before planting. This encourages them to sprout faster. Cutting flowers inspires the corms to pump out even more blooms. Grows to 30 cm (12”).
Oxalis triangularis, also known as Purple Shamrock, is a fabulous container addition with rich deep purple rose foliage and dainty flowers. The triangular-shaped tri-leaflets open during the day and close at night offering movement and incredible contrast with “The Bride.” These small odd looking bulbs produce foliage in just a few weeks and bloom 6-8 weeks later. Never trim foliage as the leaves create food through photosynthesis which strengthens the bulb. Grows to 20 cm (8”).
Lilies are easy to grow and need little elbow room, which is why it’s great to plant them among other summer bulbs. Patio Oriental Lily “Starlight Express” bears large deep rose star-shaped blooms with slightly ruffled crisp white edges. Wonderfully fragrant, a single stem can produce up to 15 flowers and easily lasts 3-4 weeks in mid to late summer. Oriental lilies are perennials, coming back year after year and increasing in number with each growing season. Grows to 55 cm (22”).
Gladiolus Shaka Zulu
Gladiolus Shaka Zulu reflects the night sky in deep maroon with a pure white comet streaking from the flower’s centre. Each sword-like flower stem counts up to 10 blossoms. A multitude of blooms for little effort, gladiolus are easy so to grow. Grows to 100 cm (40”).
Calla Lily Picasso
A unique bicolor cultivar, Calla Lily Picasso delivers numerous creamy white blooms which gradually open to reveal a dark purple heart. This gorgeous and robust grower is not fussy, forming a neat clump of large white speckled arrow leaf foliage. Move this container to a sheltered location that doesn’t freeze when the summer ends. Next spring, when the weather warms, pull it out and it’ll start growing again. Grows to 40 cm (16”).
Summer bulbs are frost sensitive, so if you start them early, place them in a sunny and protected spot such as a sunroom, enclosed porch, or greenhouse. When overnight temperatures become warmer and more settled move containers outdoors.
When planting these combinations choose deep containers that are 40-50 cm (16-20”) across. They should have good drainage holes in the bottom to let the excess water drain away. Use a soil-less planter growing mix; a blend of peat moss, vermiculite, and/or perlite. Top dress with a slow-release fertilizer.
Sun-loving, summer bulbs perform best in all-day sunshine, although on extremely hot days your plants will appreciate some afternoon shade. In hot weather, water containers every day. Every two or three days, water thoroughly, ensuring everything gets a good drink. Fertilize every two weeks throughout the growing season with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer to sustain growth and a bounty of flowers.