Spring is usually the most popular time for planting out summer flowering bulbs. However! February is a great time to begin planting some of the hardier varieties, or for putting them out into pots and containers for a fabulous display. Generally, bulbs prefer a light, well-draining soil – so try to avoid wet and heavy soils. But don’t worry if your garden soil isn’t well-drained, as all the bulbs below are suitable for pots and containers.
Lily bulbs can be planted any time from autumn to spring in a sunny spot, in rich well-drained soil, around 15-20cm deep. If your soil is heavy, wet or badly drained then you could plant in pots or containers for a lovely patio display.
This bright and attractive mixture will produce upright flowers that will add a splash of colour to your garden in the summer. This selection is perfect for exotic-looking pots, containers and borders.
Eucomis bulbs are usually planted in spring, however February is not too early to plant them into pots and containers. If planted in well-drained soil the bulbs should be hardy to around -6 °C . Plant the bulbs 15cm deep in pots for a summer display, or out in the border once actively growing – but only after the last frosts.
Liatris are tough herbaceous perennials originating from North America, and are great for attracting wildlife such as bees and butterflies. They produce large blooms which eventually form a clump and can be later divided in spring. Plant in light, well-draining soil around 5cm deep.
As spring approaches, it’s time to head outdoors and prepare your garden for summer blooms. Flowers categorised as ‘summer bulbs’ are flowering bulbs which grow and bloom during the summer, and so they are planted at the start of spring. Summer bulbs need warm weather and warm soil; a rule of thumb to remember is if it’s time for your tomatoes to go outdoors, it is also time to plant your summer bulb.
J.Parker’s Spring 2020 Collection is available to browse and purchase online NOW! So why not take a look our selection below of some beautiful summer bulbs, and kick-start the inspiration for your summer garden.
How to plant: Begonias planted in beds which are enriched with well rotted or leaf mould will make a fine show. They should be started in shallow boxes in light soil; the saucer like tubers should be planted very shallow with the hollow side up. As soon as any danger of frost is passed then they can be transferred to their position in the garden at least 30cm apart.
How to plant: Dahlia tubers can be planted 10cm deep in fertile well drained soil, outdoors in spring when the frost has disappeared. They prefer to be in a sunny location and spaced at approximately 45cm apart. In areas where there is extreme cold, dig up dahlias and store in a cool peat over the winter. Apply a high potash fertiliser every few weeks in summer and dead head when necessary.
How to plant: each lily bulb should be surrounded with a little sharp sand both under and above the bulb to keep slugs away and to ward off excessive wetness. As most liliums are stem rooting we strongly recommend you plant at 15cm deep. They give a much better display when planted in clumps of 3, 6 or 12 bulbs (45cm apart). Planting time is October through to April.
How to plant: plant gladioli corms about 10-15cm deep and about 10-15cm apart, in fertile/well drained soil. When planting in a heavy soil, place some sand underneath each corm to help with drainage. At Parkers we recommend planting Gladioli in groups at monthly intervals, starting early spring, to extend the flowering season for a display which lasts all summer long.
With the new year approaching we can look forward to warmer weather and new growth appearing in our gardens, and now is the perfect time to be thinking of your summer display. Summer-flowering bulbs add an injection of colour to any garden and make for eye-catching borders and displays. Whilst often planted out in spring, many bulbs are suited to being planted as early as February. Be one step ahead and take inspiration from our selection below of Must-Have Flowers for 2020!
Summer Flower Top-Picks:
Lilies add a touch of the exotic to the garden, and their large, brightly coloured heads are bound to attract the eye. These flowers are a striking addition to pots and borders and provide a beautiful scent. Planting time is December to April.
Begonias are extremely popular for their versatility and reliability. From hanging baskets and window boxes to borders and pots, these colourful favourites are a centerpiece in the garden. Planting time is from February onwards.
Gladioli are a classic flower which have added excitement to summer displays for generations. Available in an array of bright and bold colours, they are often referred to as the ‘sword lily’ for their blade-shaped foliage. Planting time is early March to May.
Eucomis descend from South Africa and have an unusual pineapple shape. Their long-lasting flowers and attractive foliage are an exotic feature point of borders, pots and flowerbeds. Planting time is from February, if into pots and containers.
The general rule for planting bulbs is to dig deeper than the obvious. The usual guide is two to three times the depth of the bulb itself, however you will do less harm by planting too deep than too shallow. The other general rule is that bulbs need good drainage. The best way to achieve this is to mix grit into the general area or container of planting.
Many summer bulbs are ideal for growing in patio containers, especially tender species. These can then be lifted in winter and stored.
Step by Step:
Planting in borders:
Dig a hole wide and deep enough for your bulbs. Most bulbs require planting in a hole two to three times their depth.
Place the bulbs in the hole with their shoot facing upwards. Space them at least twice the bulb’s own width apart.
Replace the soil and gently firm. Avoid treading on the soil as this can damage the bulbs.
Planting in containers:
Dig a hole three times the bub depth, and plant the bulbs one width apart.
Water bulbs once after planting then regularly when in active growth. Reduce watering once the leaves die down through the dormant season.
If you bring pots of hardy bulbs indoors for flowering, put them in a sheltered spot outside as soon as flowering is over.
Looking for more information on planting our bulbs? Below you can find a selection of videos from our resident plant expert Jeff Turner explaining how best to plant your Summer Bulbs.
Lilies are one of the truly great garden plants for their flower forms, diversity, extended season of bloom, graceful stature, and reliable disposition. Their bulbs can be planted in spring for bloom the same year, or in fall for bloom the following year. Lilium/Lilies are ideal for large, showy displays and many are fragrant varieties, and will naturalise each year for continued pleasure. Since summer flowering Lily bulbs have become a real British favourite for producing the best sights in the garden, keep reading to learn more about our different lily varieties and advice on how to plant them.
These lilies are very cold hardy and often the earliest bloomers. They are usually 3 to 4 feet tall and produce unscented flowers in almost every colour imaginable. Asiatic lilies are an excellent choice for borders or rockeries as they produce very strong stems and are available in several exciting colour combinations, these little garden beauties provide the earliest lily blooms of the year by appearing in June-July each year. Asiatic Lily bulbs produce sturdy and colourful flowers that make cut flowers. Supplied as top sized Lilium bulbs.
Asiatic lilies come in a variation of tall, dwarf, double and bi-colour varieties.
One of our favourite tall varieties is the stunning Lily Yellow County. This Asiatic lily produces beautiful yellow flowers and a lovely scent, which stand upon tall, strong stems and an added bonus of this plant is that they are usually pest free.
A favoured dwarf variety of ours is the Lily Foxtrot. A beautiful pale pink, Dwarf Asiatic lily. Ideal for growing in groups at the front of the border or in pots scattered around the patio.
A gorgeous Double Asiatic variety in our Lily collection is the Lily Red Twin. A stunning double flowering Asiatic Lily, it has deep orange-red flowers. It has a slight fragrance and is ideal for patio pots and containers. They grow to a height of 100-110cm and make wonderful cut flowers for indoor arrangements as they stand on strong sturdy stems.
These amazing Oriental Lilies can grow to 5 feet high, bloom in late summer, and have a strong, enchanting fragrance, flowering in summer (August-September). The colour and markings of Oriental Lilies are very unusual and unique, but still with an abundance of flowers per bulb. Fragrant Oriental Lily bulbs can be planted in late autumn through to spring.
The stunning giant flowers that are a staple feature of this plant are available in double and dwarf varieties.
Our top pick for the Double Oriental Lilies is the Lily Lotus Beauty. Lotus Beauty is from our new range of double flowering oriental lilies that produces large flowers that resemble a lotus in appearance. The ruffled white flowers are speckled with burgundy spots and flower from July throughout August.
One of our favourite dwarf varieties is the Lily Gold Band. This oriental lily is an excellent choice for adding beauty to your summer borders with their gorgeous fragrant flowers and eye catching white and gold banded petals.
Fragrant giant Goliath Lilies are a cross between Giant Oriental Lilies and Giant Trumpet Lilies. These Interspecific crosses between Oriental and Trumpet lilies have produced lily bulbs that easily weather late Midwestern frosts without bud kill but have the sweet fragrance and shape of Oriental lilies. They have large flowers with thick petals that open wide, are extremely fragrant, and tend to last a long time. These beautiful Lilies can be incorporated into the back of your garden borders where they can act as a wonderful backdrop for your display.
One of our top picks for Giant Oriental Lilies is Lily Debby. A stunning red and orange oriental trumpet lily variety that grows to roughly 2m tall and produces up to 30 giant flowers with a diameter of roughly 20cm; a perfect addition to borders and large pots for summer.
Our popular Trumpet Lily bulbs produce large scented, huge trumpet shaped blossoms on very sturdy stems, and these lilies can grow up to 5 feet high. Trumpet Lilies like the same suggests exhibit large trumpet shaped flowers, often with a combination and blend of colours. Fragrant and easy to grow. Flowering early summer from June onwards. Trumpet Lilies are supplied as top size bulbs.
One of our favourite Trumpet Lilies is Lily Anastasia. A new hybrid of oriental and trumpet lilies which reach heights of 2.5m with up to forty 20cm diameter flowers per bulb. Large pale pink flowers with a deep stripe of magenta at the centre of each petal and dappling at the throat giving the lily a bruised, blushing effect.
We have a selection of unusual yet beautiful Lilies in some breath-taking colours that are simply hard to ignore. This range of summer flowering Lilies flower all summer long, offering wonderful sights and fragrance. You can choose from Tiger Lily bulbs like our vibrant Lily Tiger Babies, which produce colourful, speckled brown blooms. The name Tiger refers to the spots inside the petals. Tiger Babies will produce delightful orange flowers, smothered in small spots that we come to expect from Tiger varieties.
Martagon Lilies are a species that varies very little in shape and form, but colours range from dark maroon to mauve and white, with different spotting on the petals, depending on where they’re growing. This was one of the first lilies to be grown in British gardens: Gerard described it in 1596. One of our top picks in this variety is the Lily Martagon Arabian Knight; a striking plant with a mix of gold, red and purple hues, which makes a fantastic choice for cut flowers or as a focal point in the summer garden.
Though lilies look like they’d be fussy plants, they are actually very easy to grow. All of our Lilies are supplied as bulbs, ready to plant on arrival. Lilies are best planted from October up until April/May. Lilies like a lot of sun but not direct sunlight. Therefore, you should place the flowerpot in partial shade. The soil in the plant pots should be loose and permeable. Ensure that the holes in which the lily bulbs are placed are twice as deep as the diameter of the bulb.
Looking for help on planting specific lily varieties? Here are some of our video planting guides to help give you more knowledge on lily planting and how you get the best results out of your Lilies for summer.
Make sure you know which plants are toxic for animals, so be sure to keep out your lily plants out of contact with your animals to avoid your dog or cat from harm!
After planting, they require little care. But you should not forget to water them. However, always avoid watering too much. Depending on the variety, the lily flowers themselves grow 60 to 140 cm tall. Lily varieties which grow tall are unsuitable for pots. For pot plants, you should choose lily varieties which do not grow taller than 60 70 cm. Popular, small tub varieties include Mona Lisa or Cordelia lilies. The flowering period of lilies is from June onwards. Always cut off withered petals immediately, so that no seeds form which would cost the plant unnecessary energy.
For a large, showy display you can’t go wrong with a beautiful Lily and this month we’re focusing on the OrientalandOriental Trumpet (OT) Lilies. Native to Japan, these highly fragrant beauties are often called stargazers as their flowers tend to be outward and upward facing, as if they are looking up.
With their unusual and unique colour and markings Oriental Lilies are truly exquisite specimens, producing an abundance of flowers per bulb. Hardy and easy to grow, they will reach heights of two to six feet tall, excellent additions to a beds or borders and they can even be grown in pots. Oriental lilies will bloom late in the summer season, July – September.
OT lilies are a cross between Oriental and Trumpet varieties producing very tall plants, up to 2.5m mature height, perfect for the back of you borders. These beautiful Lilies can be incorporated into the back of your garden borders where they can tower over other bulbs and plants and act as a wonderful backdrop for your display. They will reach their full height by their third year and will naturalise if left undisturbed.
Plant at least 15cm/6in deep. Liliums prefer fertile, well drained soils, they’re not keen on lime in the soil. Surround each bulb with a little sharp sand under and above to keep off slugs and excessive wet. They give a much better display when planted in clumps of 3, 6 or 12 bulbs, 45cm apart. They appreciate the shelter of low growing shrubs or other plants near their roots. Planting time is from October to April/May. You can also plant lilies in pots. As they can get quite tall use a large pot that will fully accommodate the roots and you may also need to stake the plants for a bit of extra support. Stake at the time of planting to avoid damaging the bulbs.
How-to Video Tutorials
Giant Goliath Lilies
Worse pest: The Red Lily Beatle. The adult bugs will eat away the foliage and flowers. Look out for orange-red eggs or black larvae under the leaves or late for full size (8mm) bright red adult Beatles. You can protect your lilies by spraying them or by hand you can remove and crush them but a large infestation could be very time consuming as you need to check daily!