Ten Bulbs to Plant in the Spring for Summer Garden Color {Container Bulb Choices}

As the spring weather grows warmer I am anxiously awaiting the frost free nights to begin planting some garden bulbs. Bulbs are incredibly easy to plant and care for – contrary to what I used to believe before actually taking a plunge and trying a few out. I have been hooked ever since.

I love putting an abundance of plants on our deck and usually end up purchasing annuals to fill our homemade patio paver planters each year. Even though the annuals are so colorful and pretty it gets a little expensive filling ten planters that only last until fall. So this year I am going to invest in some container bulbs. Many bulbs I have used in my gardens have gorgeous foliage and colorful blooms so I am anxious to add them to my planters as well. Once fall arrives the bulbs can simply be dug up {just like in the garden} and saved for the following spring. You can even leave them right in the pot as well, if it is easily movable.

So this weeks Tuesday {ten} highlights some of my favorite bulbs to plant in the spring that produce gorgeous summer color and foliage in the garden {and even in containers}.


{Clockwise: Dahila All in One Mix, Lady Darlene Dinnerplate Dahila, Dahlia Purple Rain Mix
Source: American Meadows}

{one} Dahilas

  • Inexpensive, easy and fairly quick to grow – great cutting flower
  • Vary in color and height – tall, medium and miniature
  • Plant in a sunny location
  • Prefers moist but well drained soil
  • Attracts hummingbirds & butterflies
  • Can be planted in containers
  • Tubers can be planted after the threat of spring frosts have past and through out the summer
  • Tall Varieties require staking
  • Blooms summer through fall
  • Deadheading is necessary to keep the plant producing more blooms.
  • Dahlias will come back each year with proper care of the tubers in the fall. During the winter, if the temperatures in your region dip below freezing – pull the roots from ground, trim off the foliage and store the tubers for the following spring.


{Clockwise: Ranunculus Buttercup Mix ~ Source: Holland Bulb Farms}
{two} Ranunculus

  • Not the easiest bulbs to grow – but a great cutting flower with straight stems & long vase life
  • Gorgeous rose like, multi-petal flowers produced all summer long
  • Plant in full sun
  • Prefers fast draining soil
  • Can be planted in containers
  • Bulbs best when planted in the early spring after the threat of spring frosts have past. Should be planted with 6-8 weeks of cool weather to sprout & grow – planting in temps above 80 degrees can cause the bulb to slip into dormancy.
  • Blooms early summer and provides flower after flower all season long.
  • Cut blooms just as the buds begin to open for arrangements or deadhead fading flowers to keep the plant producing more blooms.
  • Treated as an annual


{Clockwise: Golden Balcony Begonia, Everblooming Begonia Mixture, Sunburst Prima Donna™ Dinnerplate Begonia ~ Source: Brecks}
{three} Begonias

  • Striking blooms, easy to grow – love shade and are great for hanging baskets or patio pots
  • Rose like blooms vary in color
  • Plant in full shade – though will tolerate half shade / half sun
  • Prefers well drained soil
  • Attracts hummingbirds & butterflies
  • Can be planted in containers
  • Tubers can be planted after the threat of spring frosts have past and through out the summer
  • Plants with larger blooms may require some staking
  • Blooms throughout the summer
  • Deadhead as needed by removing flowers that have wilted or withered
  • Begonias will come back each year with proper care of the tubers in the fall. During the winter, if the temperatures in your region dip below freezing – pull the roots from ground, trim off the foliage and store the tubers for the following spring. The tubers can also be left right in containers if grown in pots – just bring the whole pot inside.


{Clockwise: Gladiolus Mixed, Glamini ® Gladiolus Tom, Gladiolus Blue Isle
Source: Van Bourgondien’s Dutch Bulbs}

{four} Gladiolus

  • Inexpensive, easy to grow – spectacular color with little work
  • Upright spikes provide a multitude of blooms – perfect for cutting
  • Plant in full sun
  • Prefers moist but well drained soil
  • Deer Resistant
  • Can be planted in containers
  • Bulbs can be planted after the threat of spring frosts have past and through out the summer
  • Stake to keep plants standing straight
  • Blooms mid-summer through frost
  • Deadhead when flowers become wilted
  • If your region is prone to frost – bulbs can be dug up at the end of season and stored during the winter months.


{Clockwise: Dwarf Asiatic Lily Bulbs Matrix, Oriental Lily Bulbs Mix, Asiatic Lily Bulbs Oklahoma City ~ Source: American Meadows}
{five} Lilies

  • Easy to grow – take very little ground space – fragrant and ideal for cutting
  • Large star shape flowers add lavish color to gardens from late spring into fall – many varieties available
  • Grow best in full sun but can tolerate some shade
  • Prefers well drained soil
  • Attracts hummingbirds & butterflies
  • Bulbs can be planted after the threat of spring frosts have past and through out the summer
  • Keep tall varieties straight by staking
  • Blooms spring through to fall
  • Deadhead by removing flowers as they fade or cut for arrangements
  • Perennials – these will come back each year


{Clockwise: White Florist Calla Lily, Calla Lily Bulb Black Forest, Calla Lily Bulbs Flame ~ Source: American Meadows}
{six} Calla Lilies

  • Easy to grow – Bulbs planted in spring yield flowers in about 65 days – Great Cutting Flower
  • Elegant flowers available in a wide range of colors with arrowhead shaped foliage
  • Plant in full sun
  • Prefers moist but well drained soil
  • Attracts hummingbirds & butterflies
  • Deer Resistant
  • Can be planted in containers
  • Tubers can be planted after the threat of spring frosts have past and through out the summer
  • Blooms mid-summer until frost
  • Deadheading is necessary to encourage re-blooming
  • Calla Lilies are ‘tender bulbs’ in most of the regions and should be lifted and stored in the fall. If grown in pots, simply bring the pot indoors before the first frost.


{Clockwise: Oxalis Deppei, Purple Shamrock, Pink Buttercup ~ Source: American Meadows}
{seven} Oxalis

  • Easy to grow and perfect for containers
  • Mounding plant with shamrock shaped leaves & pink or white blooms
  • Plant in full sun
  • Prefers dry well drained soil
  • Can be planted in containers
  • Tubers can be planted after the threat of spring frosts have past and through out the summer
  • Blooms in early summer and does not stop until the first frost
  • Self cleaning – no dead heading necessary
  • Oxalis bulbs are tender and not winter hardy. During the winter, if you want the bulbs to come back – pull them from the ground and store the bulbs for the following spring.


{Clockwise: Tall Canna Mix, Canna Pink Beauty, Variegated Canna Pretoria
Source:
Van Bourgondien’s Dutch Bulbs}
{eight} Cannas

  • Easy to grow, low maintenance and resistant to many insects
  • Huge exotic blooms and colorful tropical like leaves – available in dwarf to tall bush-like varieties that can grow 10 feet or more
  • Plant in full sun
  • Prefers moist but well drained soil
  • Deer Resistant
  • Can be planted in containers
  • Blubs can be planted after the threat of spring frosts have past and through out the summer
  • Even though Cannas grow very tall, they have strong stems which rarely require staking
  • Blooms mid-summer through til the first frost
  • Prune off dead flowers throughout the summer to promote regrowth
  • If your region prone to frost – bulbs can be dug up at the end of season and stored during the winter months.


{Clockwise: Caladium Bulbs Fannie Munson, Caladium Bulbs Mixed, Caladium Bulbs Gingerland ~ Source: American Meadows}
{nine} Caladium

  • Easy to grow – great for providing season long color for shady areas
  • Large heart shaped leaves vary in brilliant colors and designs
  • Plant in full shade – though will tolerate half shade / half sun
  • Prefers moist but well drained soil
  • Can be planted in containers
  • Tubers can be planted after the threat of spring frosts have past and through out the summer
  • Foliage plant – Leaves stay colorful all season long
  • Caladium will come back each year with proper care of the tubers in the fall. During the winter, if the temperatures in your region dip below freezing – pull the roots from ground, trim off the foliage and store the tubers for the following spring. The tubers can also be left right in containers if grown in pots – just bring the whole pot inside.


{Clockwise: Upright Elephant Ear, Elephant Ear, Elephant Ear Black Magic ~ Source: Van Bourgondien’s Dutch Bulbs}
{ten} Elephant Ear

  • Easy to grow and care for – great for containers
  • Impressive & dramatic foliage producing leaves 2 to 5 ft in size depending on variety
  • Grow best in half shade / half sun but can tolerate full sun
  • Prefers moist but well drained soil
  • Deer Resistance
  • Can be planted in containers – one big bulb will produce a large leafy plant
  • Bulbs can be planted after the threat of spring frosts have past and through out the summer
  • Foliage plant – Leaves stay colorful all season long
  • Annual – though the plants can be brought indoors and used as houseplants during the winter months

Do you have any tried and true favorites to add to the list?

Enjoy.

                  

Comments

  1. What wonderful blooms! I was so impressed with how the bulbs have done this year I may be a little more adventurous and try a few of these, the Dahilas, Lilies and Oxalis are gorgeous.

    Thanks for sharing these.

  2. No idea why it said Anon for that comment, it was me!

  3. This is such a fantastic, GORGEOUS post Stephanie. So full of great info!!

  4. Oh, love this post! Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful pics and great ideas!

    -kendall
    songbirdsandbuttons.blogspot.com

  5. Wow! What beautiful flowers with the colors so vibrant. Your photos are wonderful.

  6. Great ideas! I am such a newbie in the garden – I kind of assumed that bulbs needed to be planted in the fall to get blooms in the spring (mostly because the only ones I have planted are tulips and daffodils). Good to know that I haven’t missed the train on the bulb-planting – and a lot of these flowers are just gorgeous!

  7. Thank you for this!!!

  8. A good tip for dahlias at a great price is to check out local dahlia clubs for their spring sales. Smoking deals and great advice from experts. Easy to find online.

  9. I had no idea elephant ears were bulbs! Live and learn :-)

  10. Thanks for the ideas and information, I will be planting new beds and containers this year and I like the idea of not having to buy all new flowers every year. I have never planted bulbs before and since we live in an area with ‘real’ winters I will need to dig up and store the bulbs for next year. What is the best way to store them? Do they need to stay at a certain or constant tempature?

    • prissymommy :

      Superb info. Lots of stuff I’ve been wondering about for my new landscaping. FYI, colladiums are not “Cat Resistant”. My 2 cats decided to begin using my beautiful colladium beds as their “Bathroom” in early fall & now that it is spring & very warm here in the heart of the south…….no colladiums!

  11. Thank you so much! This is incredibly helpful for a newbie like me!

  12. Thanks for all the Great!! information, we just purchased a new home and I must have one of best yards in the neighborhood!!!!

        

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