FAQ

Here is a collection of frequently asked questions that other gardeners have asked us as both beginning and more advanced flower bulb gardeners We hope that our solutions help you to experience the world of flower bulbs! Can’t find the answer to your specific question? Please do not hesitate to contact us.

Which summer-flowering bulbs are suitable for container gardening?

Summer containers can be started from bulbs, or many may be purchased as bedding or container plants at garden centers. Pineapple lilies: with their fabulous pineapple look-a-like tuft atop a 16-inch spire of tiny greenish-white flowers and base of broad green strappy leaves, make Eucomis bicolor a tropical plant extraordinaire. For the most outrageous effect, plant an odd number of bulbs in a large pot or barrel. The plants bloom in July and August and retain an interesting look after flowering. Place in full sun or light shade. Canna lilies: for non-stop flowers from July until frost, try canna lilies with their distinctive tropical foliage of large bronze or green leaves and gigantic red, orange, pink or yellow flowers. Canna lilies grow wild along country roads throughout the Mediterranean region but find life in a pot (or summer garden) in the US enjoyable too! To plant the Canna lily root, turn it on its side and bury it one-inch beneath the soil surface. Canna lilies love full sun and hot weather. And there are so many great lilies! Elegant lily cultivars make wonderful pot plants! Most perform perfectly in containers, the larger the pot the better. No other flower is so divinely showy and impressive. For a container 10 inches in diameter, plant three lilies, positioning each about four-inches below the soil surface. Asiatic lilies that flower from early to mid-summer will do well in containers, as will the later-flowering Oriental lilies in full sun or partial shade. Lilies of the Nile: The Agapanthus produces brilliant blue flowers and can be found along the Nile. It's definitely exotic -- definitely a must for a container garden! The flowers cluster atop three-foot stems towering above a whorl of bright green blade-like leaves. Best in a large container (one to three bulbs per container). In colder areas, protect the container during the winter and the Agapanthus will produce even more flowers next year. Peak bloom: mid-summer to early fall. Full sun to partial shade. 

 

Are summer flowering bulbs winter hardy?

Summer-flowering bulbs originate from sub-tropical regions such as South Africa and South America. They like warm temperatures and humid conditions and are not usually winter hardy. In general, summer-flowering bulbs fall into the category of tender bulbs which do not perennialize in areas that have below-freezing temperatures in winter. 

Is it possible to store them over the winter?

Temperatures and moisture conditions for storing bulbs vary per bulb species. For some flower bulbs, the precise storage conditions are known while for others these are unknown. Whenever the climate is mild enough for a certain kind of bulb, it is advisable to leave them undisturbed and mulch them well before the winter starts. In many cases, these plants, which include Agapanthus, Amaryllis belladonna, Crinum, Canna lily and Lilium (lilies), will produce a better flowering display the next year. When grown in containers, it is usually best to keep these bulbs in the pot and provide it with the right conditions in the home or in storage (where the bulbs will not freeze). 

I notice lots of tiny insects coming out of my summer bulb flower bouquet. What can I do about this?

When tiny insects emerge from a bouquet composed of summer bulb flowers, this does no harm to the flowers but it’s certainly not pleasant for you. These insects have emerged from eggs that were laid there earlier and will usually have disappeared within a couple of days. One way to deal with this problem is to spray the bouquet with a mixture of dishwashing detergent, water and a dash of methylated spirits; another way is to place the bouquet outside on your garden table until the insects have flown away.

Should summer bulb flowers be placed in a generously sized vase?

It is always a good idea to place flowers in a generously sized vase. The water stays fresher this way and the bouquet will not run the chance of drying out so quickly. Using a generously sized vase is particularly advisable for summer bulb flowers because they absorb a lot of water.

Should a bouquet of summer bulb flowers be taken inside in the evening because the cool night air might harm them?

A bouquet of summer bulb flowers need not be brought inside in the evening. Such a bouquet will actually benefit from being outside in the cool night air. Only in cases where rain or heavy winds are forecast would it be advisable to bring such a bouquet inside. Otherwise, it might be damaged by these weather conditions.

Do summer bulb flowers require nutrients in the vase?

It is advisable to add nutrients to a vase holding summer bulb flowers since this prolongs their vase life.

Can gladioli, zantedeschias, dahlias and lilies be arranged in a single vase?

These bulb flowers can all be arranged in the same vase since none of them exude any harmful substances that could negatively affect the vase life of the other flowers.

Why are cut flowers produced from summer bulbs sold only during the summer months?

Cut flowers produced from summer-flowering bulbous plants are generally sold only during the summer because it is difficult to “mislead” the bulbs by shifting the seasons artificially. Spring-flowering bulbous plants such as tulips, hyacinths and daffodils develop leaves and flowers after a cold (winter) period due to a chemical process that takes place in these bulbs. Since summer-flowering bulbs do not go through this process, they cannot be “tricked” into flowering by subjecting them to cold or warm periods. The flowering of these bulbs depends on many other factors such as the local temperature, daylight hours, and the condition and temperature of the soil.