fa145f8398b50fb5a7f039bf06f6c89e

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

Baby Those Spring Bulbs

Ahhh, the time is near. Those bulbs you planted last fall are about to emerge in full Spring color.
Carrot Monthly Plant Care - photo by Burpee
Edibles Julie Bawden-Davis

Carrot (Daucus carota var. sativus) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

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

Broccoli - Rapini (Brassica ruvo) -…

2362 San Diego Seed Company
Rapini Broccoli Plant Care
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Callicarpa spp. (Beautyberry) - Monthly…

9231 Julie Bawden-Davis
Beautyberry Monthly Plant Care
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

The King Palm (Archontophoenix) Care &…

46985 Phil Bergman
King Palm Plant Care
Jungle Music Palms and Cycads is a family owned and operated business established in 1977

Gardening Articles

Default Image

Water Conservation & Cycads

Jungle Music Palms and Cycads is a family owned and operated business established in 1977 to provide the most rare and beautiful palm trees, cycads and other tropical plants from around the world. Their palm and cycad selection is one of the most…
Plants & Such Crossword
Crossword Puzzles Garry Shirts

Puzzle #3 - Think Purple

Print this and take a few minutes and have some fun trying to figure this crossword puzzle out. Let us know if you have any suggestions for new puzzles. Be sure not to peek!

Sudden Oak Death Found in Presidio National Park

6323
Healthy Coastal Live Oak
SAN FRANCISCO — A coast live oak tree in Presidio National Park has been found infected…

Peonies in our local Southern California gardens? And the Verdict is . . .

37998
Peonies
Serious gardeners love a challenge, especially when it comes to zones, frost,…

Lizards are Good Garden Neighbors

44401
Western Fence Lizard Fremont
I have a neighbor that I see almost every morning. He’s a fitness buff and spends most of…

Plant Recommendations

Anna Apple
Plant Recommendations Clea Danaan

Trees - Colorado

Clea Danaan's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Trees for Colorado and Western Mountains and Plains.
Eriogonum spp
Plant Recommendations Dave Ehrlinger

California Native Plants - Southern California

Dave Ehrlinger's Top Plant Recommendations: Favorite California Native Plants for Southern California.

Succulents with Blue or Gray Leaves -…

9819 Debra Lee Baldwin
Crassula arborescens
Debra Lee Baldwin's Top Plant Recommendations: Favorite Succulents with Blue or Gray…

Trees - Southern California by Taylor…

16365 Taylor Murphy
Cassia - Gold Medallion
Taylor Murphy's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Trees for Southern California.

Bamboos for Small Gardens - Southern…

6414 Jason Kubrock
Chusquea coronalis
Jason Kubrock's Top Plant Recommendation: Best Bamboos for Small Gardens in Southern…

Featured Plant Care

Dahlia spp

How to Save Dahlias in Northern Gardens

Dahlia plants are perennials that have a limited range of hardiness, from zones 8 – 10.
Cauliflower Plant Care

Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea Botrytis Group) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

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

Gardenia (Gardenia spp) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

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

Potato Mini Tuber Growing Guide

in Edibles
At Renee's Garden, I offer only the varieties that are very special for home gardeners,…

Latest Articles

Join the Mulch and get a bunch of Walking onion bulblets!

Join the Mulch & Get a Free Bunch of Walking Onion Bulblets!

We'd like you to join theMulch and start using all of the great tools we've created to…
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)