The Best Summer Bulbs

The term "bulb" refers to plants grown from underground organs such as rhizomes, bulbs, corms and tubers. Summer-flowering bulbs begin producing their floral displays as spring-flowering plants begin to die out. Summer-blooming bulbs exhibit stunning, colorful flowers, however, many do not survive freezing winter temperatures if left in the ground. Many bulbs overwinter successfully when dug up and stored in a cool, dark place.


Cannas add a tropical interest to flower beds. These unique, colorful flowers come in shades of red, orange, pink or yellow framed by beautiful green or bronze foliage. Blooms will repeat through fall if old flowers are removed before going to seed. Plants range in size from 2 1/2 to 8 feet tall depending on the cultivar. Plant rhizomes in full sun after the last chance of frost has passed.


Dahlias demand attention with their huge, gorgeous flowers. Blooms of 8 to 12 inches open on 2- to 8-foot stalks. Plants frequently need to be staked for support due to their size. With the exception of blue, dahlias come in almost every color. Plants bloom repeatedly from midsummer until frost. Plant dahlias in full sun and well-drained soil.


Available in a variety of solid and bi-color flowers, lilies add interest to flower beds and cut arrangements alike. The produce blooms through most of the summer. With over 80 species available, ornamental and Easter lilies emit the strongest fragrance. Plants tolerate full sun or partial shade, reaching heights of 2 to 8 feet depending on the cultivar. Keep plants keep cool and moist with mulching.

Summer Hyacinths

Summer hyacinths produce fragrant, bell-shaped white blooms on tall 36- to 46-inch stalks. Blooms will repeat from July until September. Plant summer hyacinth in full sun and well-drained soil. Overwintering is not necessary if winter temperatures stay above 28 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tuberous Begonias

Tuberous begonias' rose-shaped flowers bloom from June through October. Blossom colors range from soft pastels to bold hues. Plants remain smaller in size than some other bulbs, reaching heights of only 12 to 24 inches. Plants tubers in partial shade for the most colorful blooms.

Keywords: best summer bulbs, summer-blooming bulbs, bulbs for summer

About this Author

Angela Nelson is a virtual assistant and freelance writer. She has been publishing online articles since 2008 for GardenGuides, eHow and Answerbag. Nelson has a passion for small business and flower gardening, which is portrayed in her writing.