Posted on: 14 April 2017
While you can't grow familiar cold-climate bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils, in Florida, you can grow many bulbs to brighten up your perennial garden. Plant these three bulbs in spring for a burst of color during the hot, sweltering Florida summers.
African Blood Lily
The African Blood Lily (Scadoxus) is a member of the Amaryllis family that produces striking 10-inch globes of red flowers. Plant scadoxus bulbs in April in humus-rich soil with the necks slightly above the soil surface. Water them regularly, but never let the soil become soggy. Feed once with a timed-release bulb fertilizer or twice with liquid or granular fertilizer during the growing season. Reduce water in late summer and allow the foliage to die back, then withhold water until next spring. The blooms are slightly toxic, so keep them away from pets and small children.
Caladium is a favorite southern passalong bulb that comes in myriad colors and leaf shapes. Their bright leaves add color to the Florida landscape in the summer when it is too hot for most blooming plants. Plant caladiums in well-drained soil after the ground has warmed, which is around April in North Florida and March in South Florida. If you plant them in cool soil, the bulbs will rot. Plant them pointed-side up around 1 to 1.5 inches deep. These bulbs multiply rapidly, so space them 8 to 14 inches apart. Never let your caladiums dry out, but don't keep them soggy. Feed them with a fertilizer with a slightly higher nitrogen content, such as a 19-6-12 or 12-4-8. In North Florida, dig your caladiums when the foliage dies back in the fall, dry well and store in a paper bag in a cool spot like your refrigerator crisper.
A Southern garden would not be complete without at least one canna plant. These flamboyant, easy-care plants are a colorful addition to the summer Florida landscape. Their large leaves and showy flowers come in a large variety of colors and sizes, from green to red, plain to striped, and dwarf to giant. Plant your canna bulbs in April in loose, organic soil. Set the bulbs in a hole eyes-up and 2 to 3 inches deep, spaced 1 to 4 feet apart, depending on the final size of the variety. Cannas love the Florida summer rains, but always water them during dry spells. A thin layer of mulch keeps them from drying out. Any good, all-purpose fertilizer is fine to use once a month during the growing season.
These are only three of the many showy summer bulbs you can grow in Florida. Contact a local nursery, such as Pace Inc, Landscape & Design, or landscape for recommendations of more suitable Florida landscape bulbs for your garden.Share