Garden Club of Cape Coral | Spring Bulbs | News, sports, jobs
Here in subtropical Florida, we have many beautiful bulbs. They are my favorite display plants because of their colorful, reliable flowers and ease of care. Now is the right time to plant them.
Many people start their bulb collection by receiving one as a gift which then continues for decades in their garden.
Gardeners often trick amaryllis, a South American plant, into flowering at Christmas.
After it blooms, plant it in a larger pot or in the ground and you will have reliable blooms every March and April. You can cut the flower stem and enjoy the fragrant flowers inside for about a week!
They make wonderful bouquets. Each year, the mother bulb will produce more bulbs, giving you a nice collection of them in a few years. With so many colors to choose from, you may want to order some varieties for yourself. Some varieties are short while larger varieties can reach 3 feet or more tall with flowers.
Easter lilies are often purchased for their beautiful scent at Easter. It can grow in a pot in full sun, but I have it in the ground with some compost added to the soil and a layer of mulch. My flowers seem to bloom in May, well after Easter. They go dormant by the end of summer and disappear, but are now starting to emerge with new leaves. It’s time to fertilize it with compost or slow-release fertilizer. Try them!
Agapanthus, or lily of the Nile, from South Africa. Its rhizomes produce an evergreen mass of leaves about a foot high all year long. It acts as a low filler plant in front of my tall shrubs until June. Then comes a tall spike with a ball of blue flowers nearly three feet tall. The blue peaks sway in the breeze all summer long. It is also available in white and purple.
Daylilies are originally from China but have been hybridized extensively to come in many colors and flowering shapes. We are somewhat south of their range, so they seem to appreciate afternoon shade, as long as they have 5 hours of morning sun to stimulate flowering. Choose evergreen varieties that don’t need winter chilling. For many years, I had a patch of daylilies.
The 18-inch-long green leaves look like grass all year long. They look droopy in winter, but are still green, which prevents weeds from growing underneath them. Long stalks of flowers appear in late spring and again later in summer. After flowering, simply remove the brown stems and brown lower leaves to make it look fresh again.
Florida has some beautiful native bulbs as well. The thread lily, Crinum americanum, has a large 4-inch bulb and likes to grow in moist to damp areas. The petals are white, have long, thin threads, and have a fragrant scent. Leaves are 2-4 feet long. One asset is that they grow freely in our native soil, without requiring any nutrients. They form a beautiful rim around a pool of water.
Crinum lilies have been hybridized to produce many colors and sizes. Because of its beauty and ease of growth, it is common throughout the South. The smaller varieties, about 3 feet tall, seem to fit into our landscape easier than the larger 6-foot varieties, although larger varieties can add drama.
The many bulbs that bloom in summer will be a topic for another time. Meanwhile, enjoy our seasonal beauty! Watch for spring bulbs to appear in many Cape Coral yards.
Save the date, Saturday, March 9, for a giant garden sale featuring more than 40 booths of plants and garden-related items at Jaycee Park, sponsored by the Garden Club of Cape Coral.
Sherie Bleiler is a member of the Garden Club of Cape Coral and helps maintain the CC Library’s Butterfly Garden. Visit Gardenclubofcapecoral.com and on Facebook.
(tags for translation) Local Columns