Dahlias are native to Central America and Mexico and love the heat. Nuit D'Ete Cactus Dahlia shown here. Dahlias are native to Central America and Mexico and love the heat. Nuit D'Ete Cactus Dahlia shown here.
Dahlias are native to Central America and Mexico and love the heat. Nuit D'Ete Cactus Dahlia shown here.

Summer Blooming Bulbs For Beautiful Flowers The First Summer

Summer blooming bulbs are a great way to color up your garden. Most bloom their first growing season, many can be used as annuals (in colder climates) and as perennials in mild-winter climates and many are heat lovers, excellent for use in regions with hot, humid summers. In general, these are a versatile group of bulbs where many years of breeding improvements (done primarily in Europe) have created a kaleidoscope of colors and flower forms.

Learn more about our Most Popular Spring-Planted, Summer Blooming Bulbs:

Dahlia

Originally native to Mexico and Central America, these showy flowers love the heat. Dahlias make outstanding cut flowers and I recommend finding a spot in your garden where you can cultivate a number of different varieties for an unending supply of late summer cuts. Dahlia Dark Angel® Dracula is a compact single-flowered variety that is excellent for container gardens and will bloom all summer with its nectar-rich purple-red flowers. Engage and amaze with Dinnerplate varieties; their huge flowers can be 8 inches across! Many gardeners are unaware that Dahlias can be successfully overwintered in mild winter areas in zones 8 to 10. In cooler zones, they can be dug up and overwintered indoors. Shop All Dahlias

  1. Twyning's Smartie Dahlia, Dahlia Twyning's Smartie

    Fun, versatile, and in no need of staking, ‘Twyning’s Smartie’ Dahlia is a bi-colored single Dahlia that will delight you from summer until first frost with gorgeous blooms. Cu...

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    Twyning's Smartie Dahlia Twyning's Smartie Dahlia Dahlia Twyning's Smartie
    Sale Price I Save 20%
    $17.99 Sale $14.39
    Per Bag of 3
    Fun, versatile, and in no need of staking, ‘Twyning’s Smartie’ Dahlia is a bi-colored single Dahlia that will delight you from summer until first frost with gorgeous blooms. Cupped petals surround a daisy-like yellow center, playfully alternating between magenta, bright white, and the occasional brushstrokes of both colors. Blooms break differently – no two are exactly the same! With deep green foliage and a relatively compact form, there is room for these smart flowers in any garden. Single Dahlias make it easy for pollinators to find a meal, and make for attractive cut flowers.
  2. Café au Lait Dinnerplate Dahlia Flower Close Up

    Café Au Lait Dinnerplate Dahlia is so breathtakingly beautiful that it’s a favorite for special occasions everywhere. Big 6-10" sumptuous flowers are creamy white blushed with sha...

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    Cafe au Lait Dinnerplate Dahlia Café au Lait Dinnerplate Dahlia Dinnerplate Dahlia Cafe au Lait
    Sale Price I Save 20%
    $18.99 Sale $15.19
    Per Bag of 3
    Café Au Lait Dinnerplate Dahlia is so breathtakingly beautiful that it’s a favorite for special occasions everywhere. Big 6-10" sumptuous flowers are creamy white blushed with shades of pink, peach, and mocha. No two flowers are the same. Cut some of these beautiful blooms, and you’ll have a stunning bouquet.
  3. Emory Paul Dinnerplate Dahlia Flower

    Emory Paul Dinnerplate Dahlia is the largest flowering Dahlia we know of, with whopping 12-14" flowers in brilliant deep pink with light pink edges. Standing tall, they are a dramati...

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    Emory Paul Dinnerplate Dahlia Emory Paul Dinnerplate Dahlia Dinnerplate Dahlia Emory Paul
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    $18.99 Sale $15.19
    Per Bag of 3
    Emory Paul Dinnerplate Dahlia is the largest flowering Dahlia we know of, with whopping 12-14" flowers in brilliant deep pink with light pink edges. Standing tall, they are a dramatic, colorful addition to the summer garden.
  4. Dahlia Blue Boy

    A show-stopping lilac-blue semi-dinnerplate variety brings a unique color to the world of Dahlias. These well-formed flowers provide dramatic color in the border for many months from...

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    Blue Boy Dahlia Blue Boy Dahlia Dahlia Blue Boy
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    $18.99 Sale $15.19
    Per Bag of 3
    A show-stopping lilac-blue semi-dinnerplate variety brings a unique color to the world of Dahlias. These well-formed flowers provide dramatic color in the border for many months from midsummer.

Lilies

These long-lived bulbs can be grown across much of the country, but are at their best in cooler climates. Like peonies, the colder the winters the longer they live. Many of them are quite fragrant, too! We recommend that taller Lilies be planted among other shorter perennials, or plant with lush foliage, to fill in around the base of their tall, thin stems. A beautiful way to add pops of color in the garden. Shop All Lilies 

  1. Evening Sunset Lily Bulb Collection

    Our Evening Sunset Lily Collection brings radiant color to gardens all summer long. Star-shaped blooms in deep burgundy red, glowing orange, dusky plum, and sunset pink. These easy-t...

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    Evening Sunset Lily Bulb Collection Evening Sunset Lily Bulb Collection
    Sale Price I Save 20%
    $30.97 Sale $24.77
    Per Bag of 9
    Our Evening Sunset Lily Collection brings radiant color to gardens all summer long. Star-shaped blooms in deep burgundy red, glowing orange, dusky plum, and sunset pink. These easy-to-grow lilies boast upward-facing blooms that make magnificent cut flowers and attract butterflies and other pollinators to the garden. Richly fragrant blooms perform beautifully in the garden or containers. Collection of 9 bulbs.
  2. Asiatic Lily 'Forever Susan'

    ‘Forever Susan’ Asiatic Lily has vivid, deep burgundy flowers highlighted with bright gold and orange. Enriching the summer garden with a profusion of blooms, ‘Forever Susan’...

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    Forever Susan Asiatic Lily Forever Susan Asiatic Lily Lilium Forever Susan
    Sale Price I Save 20%
    $11.99 Sale $9.59
    Per Bag of 3
    ‘Forever Susan’ Asiatic Lily has vivid, deep burgundy flowers highlighted with bright gold and orange. Enriching the summer garden with a profusion of blooms, ‘Forever Susan’ will bridge the season between spring-blooming bulbs and summer’s blossoms. Lilies are excellent cut flowers and will attract pollinators to your garden.
  3. Allergy Friendly Flower Bulb Collection

    Breathe deep and smile with our colorful Allergy Friendly Bulb Collection of pollen-free flowering perennials. Our set of bulbs includes mix of Harlequin Flower Mix (Sparaxis), Nerin...

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    Allergy Friendly Flower Bulb Collection Allergy Friendly Flower Bulb Collection
    Sale Price I Save 20%
    $33.97 Sale $27.17
    Per Collection of 31
    Breathe deep and smile with our colorful Allergy Friendly Bulb Collection of pollen-free flowering perennials. Our set of bulbs includes mix of Harlequin Flower Mix (Sparaxis), Nerine Lily and Myrtle's Folly Dahlia to show off summer’s hues in a rainbow of colors sure to bring a smile. Perfect for creating pollen-free bouquets. Total of 21 bulbs.
  4. Red Asiatic Lily Black Out, Lilium, Asiatic Lily

    Asiatic Lily 'Black Out' has large deep red flowers that bring an exotic glow to the garden and make superb bouquets....

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    Black Out Asiatic Lily Black Out Asiatic Lily Lilium Black Out
    Sale Price I Save 20%
    $9.99 Sale $7.99
    Per Bag of 3
    Asiatic Lily 'Black Out' has large deep red flowers that bring an exotic glow to the garden and make superb bouquets.

Gladiolus

These South African wildflowers have been breed for generations to increase their flower size and color range. While most Gladiolus are perennial in zones 8 to 10, the dwarf hardy Glads are suitable for zones 5, 6, and 7 making a gorgeous display mixed into perennial beds. The taller, less cold-hardy varieties make superb, long-lasting cut flowers. Plant some future bouquets this spring with a nice mix of tall, large-flowered varieties. Shop All Gladiolus

  1. Youth Dew Gladiolus, Gladiolus Youth Dew

    Green blossoms are prized by gardeners who love to use unusual accents, and the chartreuse color of ‘Youth Dew’ Gladiolus are tops the list. With a strong vertical shape and an a...

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    Youth Dew Gladiolus Youth Dew Gladiolus Gladiolus Youth Dew
    Sale Price I Save 20%
    $13.99 Sale $11.19
    Per Bag of 15
    Green blossoms are prized by gardeners who love to use unusual accents, and the chartreuse color of ‘Youth Dew’ Gladiolus are tops the list. With a strong vertical shape and an abundance of lemon-lime blossoms, tall ‘Youth Dew’ will contrast shades of violet, harmonize with whites and greens, and add a bright note of citrus to your garden. Heat tolerant, deer-resistant blooms attract pollinators and hummingbirds throughout the summer.
  2. White Polar Bear Gladiolus, close up of white petals

    Snowy white ‘Polar Bear’ Gladiolus brings a cool contrast to the heat of summer in the garden. Perfect for monochromatic or moonlight gardens, these large flowers offer a strikin...

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    Polar Bear Gladiolus Polar Bear Gladiolus Gladiolus Polar Bear
    Sale Price I Save 20%
    $12.99 Sale $10.39
    Per Bag of 15
    Snowy white ‘Polar Bear’ Gladiolus brings a cool contrast to the heat of summer in the garden. Perfect for monochromatic or moonlight gardens, these large flowers offer a striking vertical accent with sword-shaped foliage. Hummingbirds and pollinators will stand out against the ruffled bright white blooms.
  3. Hardy Gladiolus Nanus Mix, Gladiolus nanus, Hardy Gladiolus

    These smaller growing Gladiolus are cold hardy to zone 5 (when well mulched for winter). The mixture of pink, white and bi-colored flowers are wonderful at the front of your perennia...

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    Hardy Gladiolus Mix Hardy Gladiolus Mix Gladiolus nanus Mix
    As low as $14.99 Sale $11.99
    Per Bag of 25
    These smaller growing Gladiolus are cold hardy to zone 5 (when well mulched for winter). The mixture of pink, white and bi-colored flowers are wonderful at the front of your perennial border.
  4. Black Beauty Gladiolus Flowers

    Black Beauty Gladiolus (Gladiolus x hortulanus ‘Black Beauty’) rules the summer garden like a queen with its deep red, velvety spikes of flowers. Appearing almost black, they shi...

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    Black Beauty Gladiolus Black Beauty Gladiolus Gladiolus Black Beauty
    Sale Price I Save 20%
    $13.99 Sale $11.19
    Per Bag of 15
    Black Beauty Gladiolus (Gladiolus x hortulanus ‘Black Beauty’) rules the summer garden like a queen with its deep red, velvety spikes of flowers. Appearing almost black, they shimmer in the summer sun, lending a vertical elegance to a garden bed. Plant with white Gladiolus for a dramatic effect.

Canna Lilies

The hotter the better for these sub-tropical beauties, which are native to the southeastern US and Central America. In areas of the country where mid-summer heat and humidity is too much for many flowers, Cannas will thrive. Fast-growing, with vibrant blooms and lush, tropical-looking foliage, by planting Canna Lily bulbs, you’ll quickly get a handsome addition to your garden. Canna Lilies will deliver a summer-long show, with huge, spectacular iris-like flowers. Plant them where you want to draw They can be grown in regular flower beds or large containers with enriched soil and regular irrigation. Or they are excellent bog plants for those of you with ponds and areas with damp, boggy soil. Water often, as Canna Lilies enjoy moist ground, though constant wetness isn’t necessary. Plant them where you want to draw attention, or use their large size to your advantage and create a dramatic Canna Lily screen. Shop All Cannas

  1. Cannasol™ Happy Carmen® Canna Lily

    Cannasol™ Happy Carmen® Canna Lily has eye-popping hot red, long-lasting, big flowers on a compact plant with lush green foliage. Flowering from May to September, they are easy-ca...

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    CannaSol™ Happy Carmen® Canna Lily CannaSol™ Happy Carmen® Canny Lily Canna indica Happy Carmen®
    Sale Price I Save 20%
    $15.99 Sale $12.79
    Per Bag of 2
    Cannasol™ Happy Carmen® Canna Lily has eye-popping hot red, long-lasting, big flowers on a compact plant with lush green foliage. Flowering from May to September, they are easy-care solutions for big summer color. What’s not to love?
  2. Cannasol™ Happy Cleo® Canna Lily

    Cannasol™ Happy Cleo® Canna Lily, with its colorful orange flowers will keep you in tropical color from May to September. Golden throats open to speckled orange petals and the flo...

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    CannaSol™ Happy Cleo® Canna Lily CannaSol™ Happy Cleo® Canna Lily Canna indica Happy Cleo®
    Sale Price I Save 20%
    $15.99 Sale $12.79
    Per Bag of 2
    Cannasol™ Happy Cleo® Canna Lily, with its colorful orange flowers will keep you in tropical color from May to September. Golden throats open to speckled orange petals and the flowers just keep on coming. Pollinator favorite and it repels deer too.
  3. Cannasol™ Happy Emily® Canna Lily

    Cannasol™ Happy Emily® Canna Lily has exotic golden yellow flowers speckled with bright orange are a mesmerizing focal point in the summer garden. Plant Happy Emily in groups alon...

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    CannaSol™ Happy Emily® Canna Lily CannaSol™ Happy Emily® Canna Lily Canna indica Happy Emily®
    Sale Price I Save 20%
    $15.99 Sale $12.79
    Per Bag of 2
    Cannasol™ Happy Emily® Canna Lily has exotic golden yellow flowers speckled with bright orange are a mesmerizing focal point in the summer garden. Plant Happy Emily in groups along a border or anywhere you want to draw the eye. It’s a show stealer!
  4. Cannasol™ Happy Isabel® Canna Lily

    Cannasol™ Happy Isabel® Canna Lily’s cheerful hot pink to salmon petals add the perfect touch of tropical to the summer garden. Easy care, self-cleaning, and long blooming, thes...

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    CannaSol™ Happy Isabel® Canna Lily CannaSol™ Happy Isabel® Canna Lily Canna indica Happy Isabel®
    Sale Price I Save 20%
    $15.99 Sale $12.79
    Per Bag of 2
    Cannasol™ Happy Isabel® Canna Lily’s cheerful hot pink to salmon petals add the perfect touch of tropical to the summer garden. Easy care, self-cleaning, and long blooming, these compact cannas are at the top of our list for colorful non-stop flowers.

Calla Lilies

Not to be confused with Cannas, these South African native plants are unusual and exotically colored. I like to use Calla Lilies in container gardens where their unique flowers contrast vividly with petunias and other common annuals. In the garden, these are vigorous perennials for mild-winter areas (zones 8 to 10) of the southern states where the rainfall is more regular. Best grown in pots in the drier intermountain West and colder climates, but in coastal areas of California, they are a great "no-brainer" perennial. Shop All Calla Lilies

  1.  Captain Safari® Calla Lily, close up of orange petals

    ‘Captain Safari®’ Calla Lily (Zantedeschia) glows with gold and orange blooms, stylishly contrasted by arching blue-green leaves. Long lasting flowers and speckled leaves make a...

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    Captain Safari® Calla Lily Captain Safari® Calla Lily Zantedeschia Captain Safari®
    Sale Price I Save 20%
    $9.99 Sale $7.99
    Per Bag of 1
    ‘Captain Safari®’ Calla Lily (Zantedeschia) glows with gold and orange blooms, stylishly contrasted by arching blue-green leaves. Long lasting flowers and speckled leaves make a bold statement in the garden, perfect for a tropical touch along water features. Callas are striking in both flower beds and container gardens, and long-lasting flowers are prized as elegant and cut flowers.
  2. Yellow Calla Lily Best Gold, Zantedeschia, Calla Lily

    'Best Gold' is a deep golden yellow Calla Lily that blooms in mid-summer....

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    Best Gold Calla Lily Best Gold Calla Lily Zantedeschia Best Gold
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    $9.99 Sale $7.99
    Per Bag of 1
    'Best Gold' is a deep golden yellow Calla Lily that blooms in mid-summer.
  3. White Calla Lily Albomaculata, Zantedeschia, Calla Lily

    Calla Lily Albomaculata is a classic, creamy white Calla Lily and looks stunning in the garden or a bouquet. Sometimes called the Florist's Calla Lily, this variety reaches a height ...

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    Florist's White Calla Lily Florist's White Calla Lily Zantedeschia albomaculata
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    $9.99 Sale $7.99
    Per Bag of 1
    Calla Lily Albomaculata is a classic, creamy white Calla Lily and looks stunning in the garden or a bouquet. Sometimes called the Florist's Calla Lily, this variety reaches a height of only 12-14” and has deep green leaves flecked with small white spots.
  4. Calla Lily Mango

    Add drama to your garden with Calla Lily Mango's large, trumpet-shaped mango-orange blooms. Calla Lilies are easy-to-grow, make great cutting flowers and are deer resistant....

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    Mango Calla Lily Mango Calla Lily Zantedeschia Mango
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    $9.99 Sale $7.99
    Per Bag of 1
    Add drama to your garden with Calla Lily Mango's large, trumpet-shaped mango-orange blooms. Calla Lilies are easy-to-grow, make great cutting flowers and are deer resistant.

Unique Summer Blooming Bulbs

If you want something you won't find in everyone else's garden, choose wonderful spring-planted bulbs from our 'Unique Bulbs' selection. Easily grown, these flower bulbs will add interest to your garden beds with their unique blooms and rich, vibrant colors. Try Crocosmia, Freesia, Foxtail Lilies, Tiger Floweres, Anemone and more! Shop All Unique Bulbs

Triteleia (Starflowers)

This genus of native bulbs comes to us from the Pacific Northwest. Not well known, these early summer bloomers are easy, long-lived and color-up the garden with their starry flowers in white and shades of blue. Starflowers are a good addition to the xeric (waterwise) garden as they grow well in drier conditions and poorer soils. I've even seen them mixed into beds of cacti!

Stretch your horticultural wings this year and plant some unique summer blooming bulbs. Mixed into container gardens, planted to fill in newly planted perennial beds, or as part of your cut flower garden, these flowers are a great way to enjoy quick-to-bloom summer color.

Starflowers grow well in dry conditions and poorer soils.Starflowers grow well in dry conditions and poorer soils.
Starflowers grow well in dry conditions and poorer soils.
  1. Double Tuberose, Polianthes The Pearl

    Double Tuberose (Polianthes) is a double-flowered cultivar, also known as The Pearl, and has fragrant, creamy-white flowers on tall stems above clumps of grass-like foliage. Double T...

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    The Pearl Double Tuberose (Polianthes) The Pearl Double Tuberose Polianthes tuberosa The Pearl
    Sale Price I Save 20%
    $12.99 Sale $10.39
    Per Bag of 3
    Double Tuberose (Polianthes) is a double-flowered cultivar, also known as The Pearl, and has fragrant, creamy-white flowers on tall stems above clumps of grass-like foliage. Double Tuberose is a wonderful cut flower for long-lasting flower arrangements. Perfect for patio pots. 24-36" tall.
  2. Gloriosa Lily, Gloriosa rothschildiana

    Like a flash of firelight, Gloriosa Lily (Gloriosa rothschildiana or commonly, Flame Lily or Fire Lily) is an eye-catching climbing tender perennial that bears unusual rich-toned red...

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    Gloriosa Lily Gloriosa Lily, Fire Lily Gloriosa rothschildiana
    Sale Price I Save 20%
    $24.99 Sale $19.99
    Per Bag of 3
    Like a flash of firelight, Gloriosa Lily (Gloriosa rothschildiana or commonly, Flame Lily or Fire Lily) is an eye-catching climbing tender perennial that bears unusual rich-toned red flowers, with penciled yellow edges and swept back petals. Spice up a boring wall or trellis with Gloriosa! (Note: All parts of the plant are poisonous.)
  3. Crocosmia Lucifer Courtesy of Walter's Gardens Inc.

    Crocosmia Lucifer blooms in summer with brilliant, hummingbird attracting scarlet-red flowers on arching stems. Plant Crocosmia Lucifer bulbs (corms) in spring for very showy blooms ...

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    Lucifer Crocosmia Lucifer Montbretia Crocosmia Lucifer
    Sale Price I Save 20%
    $11.99 Sale $9.59
    Per Bag of 10
    Crocosmia Lucifer blooms in summer with brilliant, hummingbird attracting scarlet-red flowers on arching stems. Plant Crocosmia Lucifer bulbs (corms) in spring for very showy blooms and excellent cut flowers.
  4. Pink Zephyranthes Pink, Zephyranthus, Rain Lilies or Fairy Lilies

    Zephyranthes Pink Rain Lilies (sometimes known as Fairy Lilies) are some of our finest native bulbs ranging from Texas down into Central America. Pink Rain Lily naturalizes to form c...

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    Pink Rain Lily Pink Rain Lily Zephyranthes Pink
    Sale Price I Save 20%
    $12.99 Sale $10.39
    Per Bag of 25
    Zephyranthes Pink Rain Lilies (sometimes known as Fairy Lilies) are some of our finest native bulbs ranging from Texas down into Central America. Pink Rain Lily naturalizes to form colorful colonies that bloom after summer rains.


Text and Photos by David Salman.

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