Growing Summer Flowering Bulbs

CONVALLARIA ‘Lily of the Valley’ – Convallaria majalis Plant 5 cm deep in a moist, humus rich but well drained soil in a partially shaded position. Always plant these plants a.s.a.p. after arrival. The plants prefer to be left undisturbed for many years. Convallaria can also be grown in pots. Plant in Winter, leave pots in the ground and lift pots when due to flower. Place pots back in garden after flowering.

DAHLIAS Dahlia tubers should be planted in Spring after the frosts. They prefer a sunny position protected from strong winds. Plant the tubers about 5-10 cm deep and about 60 cm apart in a rich, well-drained soil using plenty of well decayed manure, compost and/or blood and bone. Make sure that the ‘buds’ or ‘eyes’of the tubers are placed upwards. Always ensure that the soil is nice and moist during the growing period. Removing old flowers will promote further flowering. Dahlias can be harvested and divided every 2-3 years during Winter, by cutting the stems to 15 cm, then allow to dry before digging. Store the tubers in a cool, dark and well ventilated place.

GLADIOLIGladiolus grandifloras Because Gladioli grow in excess of 1 meter in height, they should be planted in a sheltered part of the garden where they receive full sun. The corms can be planted from August-December in a well-drained soil. However, it is important to plant the corms after the last frost. Light, sandy soils, with added manure or compost, are best, but heavier soils can be improved somewhat by including peat and compost. It is important to keep the soil moist at all times during the growing period. When the leaves start to yellow and die off (4-6 weeks after flowering) irrigating should cease. The corms should be dug, peeled, cleaned and dried properly before storing them in a cool, dark, dry and ventilated place. Dust with an insecticide to control thrips.

LILIUMS need to be planted immediately after arrival and should not be allowed to dry out. Plant the bulbs in Winter or early Spring, 20-30 cm apart, in a well fertilized and drained soil. Add some mulch to provide cool growing conditions for the root system. They prefer a sunny or semi shaded (filtered sunlight) position. Excellent cutflowers. It is best to remove old flower heads. Bulbs can be left in the ground and should be fertilized during late Winter. Transplant the bulbs (if needed) during Winter taking care not to let them dry out. They grow to approximately 1 metre or taller.
Asiatic Liliums Grown for their colours, these liliums are hardy and can be left in the ground when planted in a well-drained soil. Also suitable for pots but should be planted in the garden the following year. Water regularly when growing liliums in pots. Lilium Longiflorum The Christmas lily prefers a partial shaded position. These are also good for potculture. Lilium Regale This lilium prefers the full sun and can grow up from 70cm to 1.5m. It prefers a moist well drained soil and does not tolerate very alkaline soils. Oriental Liliums Oriental liliums are known for their strong fragrance. They can be grown in full sun or partial shade. They grow to approiximately 1 metre or taller. If planted in pots, these do better in dappled shade. Tiger Lilies Lilium lancifolium (syn. tigrinum) These lilies prefer moist acidic soils.

NERINES Nerine bowdenii, Nerine flexuosa, Nerine sarniensis & Nerine x hybridus These bulbs also require a moist, but well-drained soil. A good layer of mulch containing compost is beneficial. A sunny or semi shaded position is best. The cultivar N. splendens is only suitable for the warmer parts of Australia. Plant Nerines in summer with the top of the bulb level with the surface and provide a deep Winter mulch in cold areas.

Herbaceous Paeonies - Paeony rhizomes are planted during the Winter months in a rich, well fertilized, well-drained and slightly alkaline soil. Plenty of compost or well decayed manure with blood and bone is recommended with a little lime added beforehand. Plant the rhizomes in a sunny or semi shaded position 60 cm apart with the eyes just below the surface. Remove the old flowers. Try not to harvest too many cut flowers when the plant is young and trying to establish itself. It is best to wait 1-2 years. Paeony roses are best left in the ground for many years, although the rhizomes can be divided/transplanted after a few years.
Tree paeonies - These prefer a well-drained, moderately fertilized, alkaline soil. Plant these in the full sun, but in a cold position. The first year the plant will develop a good root system. In the first year, the plant will develop a good root system. In the following years, more shoots and flowers will appear. Use plenty of well-rotted manure, compost and lime.

SPREKELIA ‘Jacobean Lily’ – Sprekelia formosissima Plant the bulbs with the neck and shoulder above soil level. Excellent for pot-culture; use a loam based potting compost. In the garden, these bulbs should be grown in a moderate fertile, well-drained soil in the full sun and protected from frosts.