Plant fall flowering bulbs in the summertime to enjoy late summer and fall color in your landscape. A flowering bulb is a modified stem, consisting of layers of thick leaves responsible for food storage. People usually think of spring bulbs, like tulips and hyacinths, but a variety of bulbs exist to introduce color into a sometimes drab fall landscape when other flowers begin to fade with the end of summer.
Colchicum species are actually classified as corms; they bloom in six-petaled flowers in shades of white, lilac-pink and pinkish purple. Colchicum are very similar to crocuses in appearance and habit, but not related. Grow colchicum species in hardiness zones 5 through 9, in full or partial sun and on a wide range of nutrient-rich, well-drained soils.
Crocus serotinus and Crocus speciosus are both fall flowering crocuses (like Colchicum, they are technically called corms). C. serotinus has a pale to deep purple color and is hardy in zones 5 through 9, and C. speciosus is violet-blue with deep-blue veining and is hardy in zones 3 through 8. Crocuses have 6-petaled, goblet shaped heads with up to four blooms per head. Grow crocus in cool, moist, rich soils in areas where they will receive sun when flowering.
Fall or Winter Daffodil
Fall (or winter) daffodil (Sternbergia lutea) is a fall-flowering bulb growing 6 to 8 inches tall, with a yellow, crocus-like appearance. Grow fall daffodils in full afternoon sun, on moist, yet well-drained soil. Fall daffodil needs wind protection.
Cyclamens, also known as persian or alpine violets, are tuberous perennials with downward-facing flowers of white, pink, purple or red. Their blooms look as if they've been turned inside out and have blue-green heart-shaped leaves, often with silver-gray patterns. Grow cyclamens in very well-drained soils in shady locations. Cyclamen hardiness varies by cultivar. Fall-blooming cyclamens include C. cilicium and C. hederifolium.
Rain lily (Zephyranthes spp.), also known as zephyr lily, is a small perennial bulb with species blooming in spring, summer or fall. Rain lily has 2-foot-long grassy leaves and funnel-shaped flowers of yellow, white, rose, pink, red or orange. Grow rain lily in full sun to partial shade, on various soils. Rain lily is hardy in zones 7 through 11.