One of the great beauties of the Summer Mixed, Mixed Perennial, or Cottage Border is the spectacular group of bulbs known as Summer Bulbs.  The Summer Bulbs with their wide variety of colour and shape add a great deal of interest to our gardens throughout the summer.  Most of the summer bulbs will continue to bloom well into early autumn.  At this point many gardeners do not know how to properly treat these beauties for the winter.  This confusion on which bulbs that are lifted and Dinner Plate Dahlias can reach five to six feet in height and have flowers eight to ten inches in diameter stored for the winter and those that are not is enough to confuse most people.  Add to this confusion is when and how to treat them makes many gardeners use the tender summer bulbs as Horticultural annuals.  It really is not that difficult in fact some of the variables allow you to do them at different times spreading out your workload in the autumn.


Begonia NonStop Yellow Begonia
Begonia X tuberhybrida
Dig after one light frost touches the foliage and seals the stems. DO NOT ALLOW BULBS TO FREEZE.
Begonia Yellow Scarlet

Store in dry or barely moist vermiculite or Peat Moss at 45 to 55F.

Check often for rot.
Achimenes Violet Achimenes
Achimenes patens
Move in before frost. Rhizomes remain in the container and allowed to dry out. Store the dry Rhizomes in the container at 60 to 70F
Agapanthus Blue Blue African Lily
Agapanthus africanus
Move in before frost. Rhizomes remain in the container and allowed to remain slightly moist. Maintain a moist soil at 35 to 41F.
Naked Lady Naked Lady
Amaryllis belladonna
Move in before frost. Store the bulbs in the container. Store at 55 to 70F.
Calla Lily Calla Lilly
Zantedeschia aethiopica
Dig after one light frost touches the foliage.   DO NOT ALLOW BULBS TO FREEZE. Store in dry or barely moist vermiculite or Peat Moss at 45 to 55F. Check often for rot. Do not let medium dry or bulbs shrivel. Moisten if necessary.
Canna Border Canna Lily
Canna X generalis
Lift after the leaves have been turned black by the frost. You do not have to wash off the soil but I do gently wash off only excess soil and allow them to dry in the sun for the day. DO NOT LET THEM FREEZE Store in dry sand or peat at 40 to 45F. I like to store them upside down.
Crinum bulbispermum
Move in before frost. Store the bulbs slightly moist sand at 35 to 45F. or in the container in a very bright location at 55F.
Collarette Dalhia Dahlia
Dahlia Hybrids
After several good frosts dig them up and turn them upside down to allow the moisture to drain away and place in a warm area until the leaves and stems are dry. Do not remove any attached soil. Store them with it attached in dry peat but dry vermiculite is better at 40 to 55 F.  Check the bulbs for rot frequently.
Gladiolus Priscilla Gladiolus
Gladiolus X hortulanus
Lift in the autumn and cut off the stems about 4 inches above the corm. Allow drying in a warm area for several weeks. Then remove the old stems and a few loose outer husks. Separate the young bulbs from the mother and dust with a good soil and bulb dustStore the corms loose in a warm dry area at 40F to50F. I like to use old clean onion bags to store them in. Check for Thrips and dust again if necessary. THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO CONTROL THRIPS
Acidanthera Acidanthera
(Very lightly fragrant)
Acidanthera murieliae
Treat the same as gladiolus but they bloom later so start them early (in Peat Pots) to achieve good blooming before you have to lift them in the autumn. Treat the same as Gladiolus
Anemone coronaria Poppy Anemone
Anemone coronaria
Lift after a light frost. Dry off any remaining tops. Hardy to Canadian Zone 7. Store in dry peat moss or dry vermiculite at 45F to55F. Check for rot occasionally.
Schizostylis Crimson Flag
Lift before frost. Grow on in a greenhouse. After flowering store rhizomes in moist peat at 45F
Sparaxis Wand-Flower
Store the corms in dry at 68 to 77F
Sprekelia Aztec Lily
Store bulbs in dry peat moss or vermiculite at 41 to 55F.
Tigridia Mexican ShellFlower
Tigridia pavonia
Flowers are reminiscent of orchids. Dig in early autumn and dry off in a warm area. Store at 50F to 60F In dry vermiculite.
Tuberose Tuberose (Highly fragrant)
Polianthes tuberosa
These are very late blooming and should be grow here in pots. Lift pots before frost and place in a sunny spot indoors to achieve blooming. Treat as a houseplant for as long as possible. Then allow to go dormant.
Veltheimia Veltheimia
Veltheimia viridifolia
Bring in before frost. Grow on in containers at 50 to 60F. Will bloom in February. Store if necessary dry at 77F.
Zephyranthhes Zephyr-Lily
Zephyranthes grandiflora
Store the bulbs in peat moss or vermiculite at 50 to 60F.

It is always important to come as close as possible to these conditions to achieve success with your summer bulbs.  With care your summer bulbs will multiply providing you with more summer variety and colour in your garden.  You may even have enough to share with your very best friends.

Copyright 2003