097b289b214b94566681f7b716ab601a

Continue the parade of color once daffodils, tulips, crocuses and hyacinths have put on their show.

There are still hardy bulbs to extend the season from May through frost. Now is the time to buy them at your local garden center or nursery. I checked this week-end and dahlias, caladiums, glads and calla lilies were still on the shelves at some of my nearby garden centers in southwestern Pennsylvania. The folks there said the bulbs won’t last too much longer in the store.

carolemccraysm.jpg

Here are some to try that you may never have thought of to keep your garden in a progression of bloom.

callalilies.png

Allium (Allium giganteum) is actually related to the onion. It is lovely in a flower arrangement and equally so in the garden. Allium bulbs can be planted in the spring or fall. This giant onion has a spectacular globular flower head about four to six inches across of tightly covered pinkish-lavender flowers. It likes to be in a sunny, well-drained spot planted eight inches deep and six inches apart. Hardy to zone 4.

Autumn crocus (Crocus sp.) has colorful egg-shaped flowers opening wide in the sun; orange-scarlet, bright red, white, blue and lavender are popular shades. They will go dormant in the heat of summer and again in the cold of winter. Blooming in mid to late fall, they resemble the crocuses associated as spring bloomers. Hardy to zone 4.

Caladiums are known for their leaves of splashy color—leaf markings can be crimson, rose, pink, cool greens and a nearly translucent white. The tubers need to be wintered over in cold climates, but the tropical looking caladium can be enjoyed in a planter outdoors on the patio deck or as an attractive and interesting plant in a shaded area of the garden. They prefer frequent watering, and will have stronger color if planted in a little sun. For a showy effect, plant several plants of the same color together. 

Colchicum (Colchicum autumnale) has petals with a glistening appearance and bursts forth in the fall with a palette in white, rose, hot pink and lavender. Their look says, “spring” but their biological clock reads, “fall”. They look prettiest in flowerbeds or rock gardens and under shrubs. For a natural look, plant them under trees in a woodland setting. Ideally, too, they are nice planted in small pockets of bloom tucked along paths or walkways. No special planting needs; simply dig a hole and cover corms with fine soil. They do their best planted in a cool, moist location shaded from direct sunlight. Hardy to zone 4. 

dahlias_.png

For certainty of color from midsummer to frost, dazzle your garden with dahlias (Dahlia Pinnata) In a rainbow colors, dahlias will vary in size from a few inches across to a dinner-plate size. There are dwarf varieties great for edging to larger varieties like water lily and pompon types. They make a beautiful cut flower. Plant the dahlia tubers in a sunny, well-drained fertile soil once the weather has warmed. In colder zones, dig dahlias after a light frost and let the tubers dry in the shade for a week before storing them. Place in ordinary cartons with dry sawdust or dry sand at 35 to 45 degrees F.

In shady gardens, tuberous begonia (Begonia x Tuberhybrida) is a delight in the shady garden with spectacular flowers, both singles and doubles. Lovely shapes resembling a rosebud, a camellia or ruffled like a carnation make the tuberous begonia a beguiling plant in hanging baskets or in massed plantings in the shade. In colder climates, tuberous begonias need to be wintered over in a similar manner as you would with dahlias.

Try some of these bulbs and continue a parade of bulbs more uncommon but just as beautiful as those in your spring garden. 

Know the Difference:

True bulbs have a flower bud within them surrounded by layers of food supply; examples—daffodils and tulips.

Corms are a solid mass of stored food, with roots growing from a baseplate and with small buds on top; examples--crocus and gladiolus.

gladioli.png

Tubers are a round food-storing part of the stem, and the flower develops within them after planting; examples--dahlia and tuberous begonia.

Rhizomes are like tubers but are long and sometimes form a “V.” Example: canna lily and calla lily.

Tender bulbs need to be wintered over where winters are severe.

Hardy bulbs can remain in the ground through the winter.  

Carole McCray is an award-winning garden and lifestyle writer and artist who lives, writes gardens and paints in the scenic Laurel Highlands in southwestern Pennsylvania. She won the 2003 Garden Writers Award of Achievement for her article on Native Seeds published in The Christian Science Monitor Newspaper.

All Plant Photos courtesy The Netherlands Bulb Information Center North America. 


Plant Care Reminders

Ceanothus Monthly Plant Care
Shrubs Julie Bawden-Davis

Ceanothus spp (California Lilac) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
Spinach Monthly Plant Care
Edibles Steve Brigham

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Plant Care Recommendations - Perennials…

23578 Mr. Mitch
Plant Care for Perennials in Zone 24
Do you live In coastal southern California? Do you grow any of these plants?

Iris sibirica - (Siberian Iris) -…

3752 Julie Bawden-Davis
Siberian Iris
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

The Queen Palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana)…

207152 Phil Bergman
Queen Palm Care & Use
Jungle Music Palms and Cycads is a family owned and operated business established in 1977

Gardening Articles

Frank & Vicky Giannengelo
Expert Bios Vicky Giannangelo

Frank and Vicky Giannangelo - Southwest

Region: Southwest
Weeds are evil!
Weeds & Invasive Ron Vanderhoff

Weed Terrorism

Weeds are evil.

Lizards are Good Garden Neighbors

44382
Western Fence Lizard Fremont
I have a neighbor that I see almost every morning. He’s a fitness buff and spends most of…

What’s the Name of that Plant? Is this an African Daisy, a Torch Daisy, a Sun Spot Daisy, a Flame Daisy or just a” daisy”?

32701
African Daisy
If you are a backyard gardener, your introduction to plant names probably came from plant…

Jason Kubrock - Southwest

18233
Jason Kubrock
Region: Southern California - Coastal, Inland

Plant Recommendations

Kashmir Cypress

Weeping Trees - Southern California

Don Walker's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Weeping Trees for Southern California.
Graham Thomas Rose
Plant Recommendations evelyn alemanni

Roses - Southern California

Evelyn Alemanni's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Roses for Southern California. 

Grasses - South East England

5399 Linsey Evans
Linsey Evans
Linsey Evans' Top Plant Recommendations: Favorite Grasses for South East England.

Trees for Southern California by Walter…

16666 walter andersen
Cassia leptophylla
Walter Andersen's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Trees for Southern California. 

Shrubs - Southern California by Brenda…

19517 Brenda Gousha
Eden Climbing Rose
Brenda Gousha's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Shrubs for Southern California.

Featured Plant Care

Loropetalum chinense Monthly Plant Care

Chinese Fringe Flower (Loropetalum chinense) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

in Shrubs
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
Epiphyllum Monthly Plant Care

Epiphyllum spp. (Orchid Cactus) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
Apricot Monthly Plant Care

Apricot (Prunus armeniaca) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

in Edibles
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
Rose Plant Care

Organic Rose Care

in Roses
Roses prefer a full day of sun. Give roses at least 6 hours of sun a day when possible.

Latest Articles

Jungle Music Palms and Cycads

Jungle Music Palms, Cycads & Tropical Plants Fall Newsletter

Rare and Exotic Palms, Cycads and Tropical Plants junglemusic.net Hello! You may already…

Popular Articles

Baseball Field Maintenance

Baseball Field Maintenance - A General Guide for Fields of All Levels

in Lawn
More great baseball field resources can be found here (including a pdf version of this…
Queen Palm Care & Use

The Queen Palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana) Care & Use

in Trees
Jungle Music Palms and Cycads is a family owned and operated business established in 1977
Microgreens

What are Microgreens and How to Grow Them

in Edibles
Microgreens are tiny leafed vegetables that are grown from seed and require very little…
Kahili Ginger Plant Care

Hedychium gardnerianum (Kahili Ginger) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

User Guides (Slide)

Popular Recommendations (Slide)