FAQ

Here is a collection of frequently asked questions, that other gardeners have asked us during their first and advanced experience with flower bulb planting. We hope that our solutions help you to experience the world of flower bulbs! Can’t find the answer to your specific question? Please do not hesitate to contact us.

What are suitable summer flowering bulbs for containers?

Summer containers can be started from bulbs, or many may be purchased as bedding or container plants at garden centres. Pineapple lilies: with its fabulous pineapple look-a-like tuft a top a 40 cm spire of tiny greenish-white flowers and base of broad green strappy leaves, the eucomis bicolor is a tropical plant extraordinaire. For the most outrageous effect, plant an odd number of bulbs in a large pot or barrel. The plants bloom in july and august, retaining an interesting look after flowering. Place in full sun or light shade. Cannas: for non-stop flowers from july till frost, try canna with its distinctive tropical foliage of large brown or green leaves and gigantic red, orange, pink or yellow flowers. Cannas grow wild along country roads throughout the mediterranean region -- but find life in a pot (or summer garden) in america enjoyable too! To plant the canna root, lay it on its side, bury one-inch deep in the soil. Cannas love full sun and hot weather. All those lilies: what a surprise! Elegant cultured lilies love to get potted! Most perform to their utmost in containers, the larger the better. No other flower is so divinely showy and impressive. For a container 25 cm wide, plant three lilies, positioning each about four-inches below the soil surface. The early- to mid-summer blooming asiatic lilies do well, as do the later-blooming orientals. Full sun or partial shade. Lilies of the nile: agapanthus is a brilliant blue flowering plant found along the nile. It's definitely exotic -- definitely a must for a container garden! The flowers cluster atop three-foot stems, towering above a whorl of bright green blade-like leaves. Best in a large container (one to three bulbs per container). In colder areas, protect the container over winter, the agapanthus will return to bloom even more next year. Peak bloom: mid-summer to early fall. Full sun to partial shade. 

Are summer flowering bulbs winter hardy?

Summer-flowering bulbs originate from sub-tropical regions such as south africa and south america. They like warm temperatures and humid conditions, and usually are not winter hardy. In general summer bulbs fall into the category of tender bulbs, which do not perennialise in areas that experience frost in winter. 

Is it possible to store them over the winter?

For storage, temperatures and moisture conditions vary for each bulb species. For some flower bulbs, the precise storage conditions are known, while for others the precise conditions are unknown. Whenever the climate is tender enough for the particular bulbs, it is advisable to keep the bulbs in the garden and cover them well before the winter starts. In many cases the plant will bloom better the next year, e.g. Agapanthus, amaryllis belladonna, crinum, canna and lily. In addition, when grown in containers, it is usually best to keep the bulbs in the pot and place it under proper growing/storage conditions in the home or in storage. 

I notice lots of tiny insects coming out of my summer bulb flower bouquet. What can I do about this?

When tiny insects emerge from a bouquet composed of summer bulb flowers, this does no harm to the flowers but it’s certainly not pleasant for you. These insects have emerged from eggs that were laid there earlier and will usually have disappeared within a couple of days. One way to deal with this problem is to spray the bouquet with a mixture of dishwashing detergent, water and a dash of methylated spirits; another way is to place the bouquet outside on your garden table until the insects have flown away.

Should summer bulb flowers be placed in a generously sized vase?

It is always a good idea to place flowers in a generously sized vase. The water stays fresher this way and the bouquet will not run the chance of drying out so quickly. Using a generously sized vase is particularly advisable for summer bulb flowers because they absorb a lot of water.

Should a bouquet of summer bulb flowers be taken inside in the evening because the cool night air might harm them?

A bouquet of summer bulb flowers need not be brought inside in the evening. Such a bouquet will actually benefit from being outside in the cool night air. Only in cases where rain or heavy winds are forecast would it be advisable to bring such a bouquet inside. Otherwise, it might be damaged by these weather conditions.

Do summer bulb flowers require nutrients in the vase?

It is advisable to add nutrients to a vase holding summer bulb flowers since this prolongs their vase life.

Can gladioli, zantedeschias, dahlias and lilies be arranged in a single vase?

These bulb flowers can all be arranged in the same vase since none of them exude any harmful substances that could negatively affect the vase life of the other flowers.

Why are cut flowers produced from summer bulbs only sold during the summer months?

Cut flowers produced from summer-flowering bulbous plants are generally sold only during the summer because it is difficult to “mislead” the bulbs by shifting the seasons artificially. Spring-flowering bulbous plants such as tulips, hyacinths and narcissi develop leaves and flowers after a cold (winter) period due to a chemical process that takes place in these bulbs. Since summer-flowering bulbs do not go through this process, they cannot be “tricked” into flowering by subjecting them to cold or warm periods. The flowering of these bulbs depends on many other factors such as the local temperature, daylight hours, and the condition and temperature of the soil.

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