Outdoor Plants, SPRING
March 6, 2023
Do you want a garden full of big, beautiful colourful blooms this summer?
Then you may want to consider getting started with summer flowering bulbs. They can easily be started in containers indoors to give them a head start for glorious blooms this summer. Once the risk of frost has passed, your established plants can be moved to a sunny location outside in their existing containers or transplanted into your garden beds.
Summer blooming bulbs enhance the beauty of your landscape with bright colour and are perfect for fresh-cut bouquets.
Summer bulbs start blooming in late June and continue until autumn frost. To maximize bloom time in your garden, they should be started indoors in the late winter or early spring. Here are some of our favourite bulbs to get started right now.
Dahlias are one of the most gorgeous flowers, cherished by many for their natural beauty. They come in a stunning variety of shades and sizes including small, medium and large varieties to serve different purposes in your garden.
In the Canadian climate, Dahlias are annuals grown from tubers planted in the spring and then removed from the soil in the fall to overwinter for reuse the following season.
Dahlias tubers should be planted in a sunny location with well-draining soil and mulch to retain moisture. They should be watered regularly during the warm summer season and will benefit from monthly fertilizer applications.
Small Dahlias – will grow from 10 to 20 inches in height, and their long-lasting blooms are perfect for lining garden borders or brightening up your patio in a planter, pot or window box.
Medium Dahlias – will reach 1 to 2 feet and are perfect for planting as a border in a perennial garden or placed in a large mixed planter.
Large Dahlias – reach heights of 3 to 4 feet and are best suited at the back of a perennial garden. They have large flowers and may require staking to keep them from falling over.
Canna plants are often referred to as Canna Lilies. These large tropical-looking plants are primarily native to the United States, with lush-looking leaves and bright flamboyant flowers. They are a late summer blooming plant with vibrant flowers flourishing in July and August.
Canna ‘bulbs’ are not typical bulbs but are known as rhizomes. A mature plant will grow from 3 to 5 feet tall and is considered an excellent plant for mixed borders. You may consider using a stake to keep your Canna from toppling over if it needs support. They are also a perfect ‘thriller’ plant to include as a focal point in a mixed planter.
They should be planted in full sun with well-draining soil and placed in a relatively protected area away from potential harsh winds. They grow best when their soil is moist and should be watered regularly throughout the warmer summer.
If you have planted your Canna in a container, consider bringing it inside at the end of the season to enjoy it during the cold winter months.
Calla plants are also often referred to as Calla Lily. They have incredibly distinctive, elegant flowers that can be planted in your garden bed, used in containers for your patio, or even as an indoor houseplant.
They are planted from rhizomes and should be at least 4 inches from the surface when planted. Calla’s are easy to maintain and come in various beautiful colours. They will perform well in full or partial sun and like the soil to remain moist throughout summer with a monthly dose of fertilizer.
The rhizomes can be removed after the first frost in the fall and stored in a cool, dry and dark location over the winter. They are an excellent plant to start indoors in the late winter or early spring to then transplant after the final frost.
Lilies are grown from bulbs and are available in a myriad of colours. Many varieties of lilies are considered perennials and, once established, will spread from year to year. Different types of lilies bloom at different times, so if you plant them strategically, you can have your garden continuously bloom throughout the summer.
When planting bulbs directly into your garden beds, wait to plant until after the last frost. Lilies will do well in well-drained soil and are generally very easy-going plants requiring little care. While Lilies like the sun, they will do best in a spot with partial shade and not in continuous, direct sunlight. They need regular watering – but be careful not to overwater.
You do not have to remove the bulbs over the winter. When the season is coming to a close, and the stalks are withered and brown, you can cut them to a couple of inches just above the earth and cover them with mulch or brush to protect them over the winter.
Spring bulb planting is a great way to expand your garden and introduce new flowering plants to your yard. For more information on bulbs and spring bulb planting, visit one of our garden centre locations to speak to one of our gardening experts.
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