All About Summer Bulbs

04 Jul, 2022

Bulbs are packets of flower power that are planted months before emerging with magnificent blooms. They are so easy to grow and require little maintenance but planning ahead is important. Summer bulbs can be planted directly in the garden, in containers, or in pots, and when well-cared for, will keep flowering year after year. They come in different forms, including true bulbs, corms, rhizomes, and tubers.


Depending on the variety, summer bulbs are best planted in autumn and spring. The best indicator is when the bulbs are available instore. Summer bulbs prefer a sunny position whether planted in pots or in the ground. When growing bulbs in pots, plant in a free-draining mix without water storage crystals such as Tui Bulb Mix or Kings Potting Mix. Good drainage is key as the bulbs may rot if the soil is too damp.

Planting in the ground

When planting into the garden, improve drainage by planting in raised beds, forking the soil, and adding Gypsum ClayBreaker and Kings Potting Mix if needed to bulk up the soil. Plant in a slight mound if the area is known to get wet.

Planting in pots and containers

Select a pot large enough to plant the bulbs at the correct depth and spacing. Plant using bulb mix or potting mix for a free-draining soil option.



Water your bulbs well after you have planted them and until they start to sprout. Bulbs in shadier areas will have longer stems, which can be ideal when grown as cut flowers.

Over the dry summer months, when flowering, regular watering is essential. Potted bulbs can dry out very quickly and will need to be watered daily over the summer. Ensure that pots do not sit in water, as this will cause the bulbs to root.


Every three months, side-dress with Kings Bulb Food to assist with the development of flower buds. Ensure that the food does not come into direct contact with the bulbs. Monthly applications of Aquaticus Organic Garden Booster will ensure a strong healthy root system.


Sap-sucking insects such as thrips and aphids are around in summer and can be a problem in dry weather. Use Aquaticus Bugtrol to control these insects.


Dahlias are a real showstopper in the summer garden with their range of flowering colours including soft pastels, fiery reds, vivid yellows, (just to mention a few) not to mention the size and variations of flowers shapes. They make a great addition to garden beds or pots.

Available from: July/August

Plant: July/August/September

Position: full sun

Depth: 5-10cm

Spacing: 30-60cm

Asiatic Lily

Asiatic lilies come in a range of spectacular colours, shapes, and sizes, although not heavily fragrant. Fantastic in pots, and one of the best for floral work. Coming in a vast range of tropical colours they will add a splash of colour to the garden.

Plant: May/June/July

Position: Full sun

Depth: 10cm

Spacing: Plant at a distance 3 times the width of the bulb.

Oriental Lily

Known for their strong fragrance and tall stately flowers stems, usually flowering as the Asiatic lilies are starting to fade in mid/late summer.

Plant: June/July/August

Position: Full sun

Depth: 10cm

Spacing: Plant at a distance 3 times the width of the bulb.


Loved for generations this beautiful bulb produces flowers spikes up to 1m high. Coming in a large array of single to double or even speckled colours they look great in flower gardens, containers or anywhere you would like a pop of colour. Flowering approximately 100 days after flowering, if you stagger planting, you will a have a succession of flowers for months.

Available from: August

Plant: August-October

Position: full sun

Depth: 8–10cm

Spacing: 15cm


Vibrantly coloured single, double, or frilly flowers adorn these plants throughout the summer. Well suited for hanging baskets container or garden beds.

Available from: August/September

Plant: August/September/October

Position: full sun

Depth: 4-5cm

Spacing: 30cm

Calla Lillies

Also known as Zantedeschia they are easy to grow and make a stunning display of colour and elegance to the garden or pots, they also make a great cut flower.

Available from: early spring

Plant: September- December

Position: Full sun

Depth: 5–10cm

Spacing: 10cm

What you'll need to Grow Well

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