Spring is the perfect time to start thinking about ordering summer bulbs. You can purchase bulbs online, from garden centers, and from catalogs. When you receive your bulbs, be sure you follow the planting and care instructions that come with them. Bulbs are underground organs that store nutrients to supply the energy for the bulb to grow and eventually bloom. They can be planted outside in your garden or started indoors in a container and then transplanted into your garden. When planted in the spring, these plants will bloom throughout the summer.


- Considered a true bulb because the plant grows from the center

- Also called the "Star of Bethlehem"

- Has long-lasting flowers


- Hard corms out of which roots grow from the bottom and stems from the top

- Tolerant of dry soil conditions

- Strappy grasslike foliage


- This rhizome is actually a thick underground stem

- Loves moist soil

- Huge four-foot leaves

Zantedeshia (Calla)

- Lumpy rhizome

- Loves wet soil

- Blooms all summer


- The root system has several tubers attached to a center point

- Enormous variety of sizes, shapes, and colors


- Tuberous type

- Great for containers

- Large colorful flowers brighten up any shady garden

Gloriosa Lily

- Tuber

- Vigorous climbing vine

- Spidery, brightly colored flowers that look like butterflies


Bare-root perennial

Called "Lily of the Nile"

- Blue, purple, or white flowers up to five feet tall

- Looks like fireworks

Bulb Care Tips

If you cannot tell where the top of the bulb is, plant it sideways; this way, it will definitely grow. These tropicals are tender and will die with the first frost. At that time, if you want to keep them for another year, dig them up, shake off the dirt, and store them in a cool, dark place, about 50 degrees. You should store them in slightly damp peat or wood shavings in a ventilated container like the bags that your bulbs came in or a wooden bin. Check the bulbs periodically throughout the winter to make sure that they do not dry out.

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