Summer bulbs

Summer bulbous plants

Most of the most common bulbous plants, which are usually found in gardens, produce most of their flowers in late winter or early spring; for this reason bulbous plants are often considered only as fillers of flowerbeds or pots for the months of March-April, when the climate is still fresh, and it is not possible to plant small summer-flowering plants. In fact the most popular bulbs, such as crocus, tulips, daffodils, bloom between the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
Actually the plants bulbous they are very numerous, and many produce their flowers in summer or autumn. Some are very common, others a little less.
The greatest success in the garden of bulbous spring-flowering is due to the fact that most of them are very resistant to cold, and therefore allow us to leave them in the garden, without having to worry about them; on the other hand, some summer-flowering bulbous plants are quite delicate, and therefore must be planted in spring, and then unearthed, or at least repaired, during the winter months. This "defect", which is particularly problematic in areas with decidedly cold winters, takes a back seat when observing the flowers of summer bulbous plants, true masterpieces of nature.

Some summer bulbous plantsAgapanthus

Of South African origin, the agapanto is a medium or large bulb; from the large rhizomatous roots a thick head of ribbon-like leaves develops, of a bright green color, among which stands a tall stem, which bears a large umbrella of bell-shaped flowers of a superb blue, blue or white color. With time the rhizomes, if well cultivated, tend to widen, giving rise each year to a greater number of inflorescences, which bloom in summer.
Plant of easy cultivation, it simply needs a little sun, a fertile and soft soil, and some watering, especially if the climate is particularly hot and dry.
Although it is possible to find fairly rustic varieties on the market, agapanthus do not always survive the harshest winters, so in areas of northern Italy there is a tendency to cultivate it in large capacious pots, so that it can be moved to a protected place during the winter months.


The common name calla refers to the zantedeschia, also in this case bulbous of South African origin; the large white calla lilies are well adapted to the Mediterranean and continental climate, and can remain in the garden all year round: simply by lowering the temperature the foliage dries up, until the following spring. Also in this case they are medium or large bulbous plants, which over time form large clumps of green leaves, sometimes covered with small translucent dots. They prefer semi-shady locations and a rich, well-drained and fresh soil, with regular watering from spring to late summer.
Over time, various species of zantedeschia have been bred, all originating from Africa; often the colored flower varieties tend to be slightly more demanding and less rustic than the white cousins, they are then grown in a cold greenhouse during the winter, or even in the apartment.

Canna indica

Large rhizomatous plant, native to Central and South America, long since infested also in other tropical climate regions. It produces large tufts of lance-shaped leaves, rigid, slightly arched, dark green, or purple, very decorative. In the summer between the leaves, which can reach 100-120 cm in height, develop tall cylindrical stems, which bring the splendid flowers, large and showy. These plants need sunny, or even partially shady, positions, possibly not excessively exposed to the wind, which could break the floral stems; they prefer fresh, moist and very humus-rich soils; in order to have always blooming and luxuriant reeds it is necessary to provide, starting from May until the autumn, regular watering, and a good fertilization, preferably using slow release granular fertilizers.
The canes fear frost, so in the central northern areas it is necessary to extract the large rhizomes from the ground, if you want to keep them; they are eradicated when the first autumn colds cause the leaves to dry out, then they are left to dry in the air, they are covered with powder fungicide and remain in a cool, dark and dry place until the end of winter; they settle down when every possible risk of frost is now a distant memory. These plants develop very quickly, and over a few weeks produce a large head of leaves, which should not be underestimated at the time of laying, to avoid placing the rhizomes where the developed plant will not find space.


Cultivated for centuries in Europe, there are endemic species in Italy, with summer flowering, but in the garden there are generally hybrids, derived from the crossing of European species and Asian or North American species. They prefer semi-shady locations, as the intense sun of July and August quickly spoils the large flowers. There are species that prefer a humid climate, others that better tolerate drought, it is good to inquire at the time of purchase, to better understand the needs of our plants. There are very many hybrids of lily, some bloom in spring, others in full summer, others still at the beginning of autumn.


Plant native to the Americas, it is a large underground corm, which allows the plant to survive the winter, even if it is rigid. They prefer sunny positions, and a good rich and fresh soil, they fear enough the drought; they produce long leaves and thin spikes of pink flowers, erect, up to 60-70 cm high. Even the liatris fear the winter frost a little, so it is advisable to cover the area where the corms are buried with dry leaves or straw, to prevent them from suffering excessively intense frosts.


Perennial rhizomatous root plants, originating in Asia; hemerocallis has been cultivated for many years, and has led to the creation of hundreds of hybrid varieties and cultivars; in Italy they are not yet cultivated like other bulbous plants, although for some years now they have been spreading like garden plants.
Hemerocallids produce small clumps of ribbon-like leaves, bright green, glossy and slightly leathery; in summer they produce thin stems on which numerous bell-shaped flowers bloom, of large dimensions, with the most varied colors, from pink to red, from yellow to purple.
They prefer sunny positions, and find their place even in the common garden land, where they can be left undisturbed for years; in fact hemerocallis do not fear the cold, and can withstand intense frosts, drought and very high summer heat without problems. They are often used also in road beds.

Summer Bulbose: Alstroemeria

Also known as Peruvian lily, it is a perennial plant, with a rhizomatous root, originating precisely from the PerŅ‰ and other countries of Central and South America; they develop large crowns of rhizomes, from which small rather dense and branching bushes develop, which carry some large trumpet-shaped flowers, of various colors, usually covered by streaks and pitting. They are also widely used to produce cut flowers.
They are grown in a good rich and fresh soil, they fear the drought, and they prefer semi-shady or slightly sunny places for a few hours a day.
They fear the cold enough, so they are often grown in pots; in reality there are quite rustic varieties, which can withstand Italian winters, provided they are grown in a place that is fairly protected from the wind.
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