Utah Style and Design

How To: Get the Most out of Summer Bulbs

· GROW ·

May 13, 2019

Bury summer-blooming bulbs now for fabulous flowers and foliage throughout the season.

Raise your hand if you don’t like robust, colorful summer gardens. Anyone? We didn’t think so. And burying summer-flowering bulbs (as well as tubers and corms) is one of the easiest ways to get them started. Top picks include spring-planted dahlias, gladiolas and cannas. Once the threat of frost is gone, plant them among your perennials to make your gardens look more lush, bury them in rows to create spectacular cutting beds, or place them in pots for magnificent displays. When autumn’s frosts arrive, simply dig them up and store for next spring, when they’ll be ready to support another colorful summer season.

GLADIOLAS (corm)

 

Sword-shaped leaves with tall spikes of flowers in a wide range of colors. Bloom early summer to early fall. For cut flowers, cut stalks when one or two flowers are open. The remaining buds will open after you put them in a vase.

Prefer full sun and well-drained fertile soil 

Plant 3 to 6 inches deep, 4 to 9 inches apart

Once the flowers on a stalk are gone, cut the stalk to about two inches and leave the remaining plant so that it can nourish the corm. 

Tip: For a continuous supply of cut flowers, plant corms intermittently­—every two weeks from spring into early summer. 

CANNA (tuber)

close up canna flower growing in a garden

Thirsty, lush plants with showy paddle-shaped leaves that produce stalks of ruffled blooms and buds in a wide assortment of vivid colors. 

Prefer full to part sun and fertile, moist soil 

Plant 4 to 6 inches deep, 12 to 18 inches apart

Once a flower stem has finished producing blooms, cut it to the ground to allow the adjacent cannas more light that will foster their flowering. 

Tip: Remove faded blooms to promote continued flowering. 

DAHLIAS (tuber)

Dahlia close-up on a blurry very beautiful background

Large bushy plants producing abundant showy flowers in a range of sizes, shapes and colors. Bloom mid-summer to early frost. Dahlias are spectacular cutting flowers, and the more you cut them, the more they will bloom.  

Prefer full sun and well-drained fertile soil 

Plant 4 to 6 inches deep, 24 to 36 inches apart

Stake plants for additional support. Add stake while planting the tuber to avoid piercing it. 

Tip: For larger flowers, snip off smaller buds in a cluster to allow plant to put energy into remaining buds and flowers. 

 

Brad Mee
Editor-In-Chief

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