Top Summer-Flowering Bulbs

Learn to grow beautiful summer-flowering bulbs such as canna, calla, gladiolus, and more.

Planting bulbs in spring might sound strange, but there are several kinds of summer bulbs that you plant this time of year. These include foliage plants like caladium and elephant ear, and flowering plants like dahlia, lilies, gladiolas, calla lilies and cannas. Most summer bulbs can??t tolerate freezes, so plant them after the last expected frost in your area. As with fall bulbs, correct planting depth is important, so be sure you follow package instructions. Also, pay attention to placing the bulbs upright. Look for roots to tell you which side is down. If you don??t see any, look for small pointy buds, which will become shoots. Plant bulbs so these are facing upward. Lily bulbs have scales and the scale tips should always point up. Canna bulbs may not have an obvious top and bottom, but shoots or buds are present, orient them upward. Last season stem should be visible on dahlia bulbs. Here you can see the buds emerging from one. Pieces of dahlia bulbs often break off and it??s okay to plant them as long as a bud or growing point is present. The bottom of a caladium bulb is often flat with no roots. So look for the buds, which form points on the top of the bulb. Gladiola bulbs normally have a distinct point on the top of the bulb and roots are usually present on the bottom. Calla bulbs usually don??t have any roots. So look for small pointed buds or growing points on the top of the bulb.