Flower bulbs offer some of the most spectacular displays in spring, summer, and fall. With their colorful palette that is often fragrant, there is something for everyone. Certain bulbs, such as tulips and hyacinths, require winter temperatures lower than southern states experience, but plenty more bulbs revel in the hot summers and mild winters of the South, returning year after year.
Flower Bulbs in Warm Regions
If tulips and hyacinths are high on your wish list, plant them anyway. Just treat them as annuals. They usually arrive pre-chilled from the bulb supplier. Check to make sure though. If you need to give them the cold treatment, store them in ventilated bags in the bottom of the refrigerator for 12 to 16 weeks before planting. (Avoid storing near fruit; the ethylene gas will reduce bloom.)
Daffodils also have some climate intricacies the further south you live. Large flowered and late blooming daffodils don’t perform well in southern gardens, but there are plenty of other daffodils to choose from.
Plant spring flowering bulbs in the fall, even into November and December. Summer and fall blooming bulbs should be planted in spring after the threat of frost. Well-drained soil is a necessity to avoid bulb rot.
Top Bulbs for Southern Gardens
If you want to add perennial flower bulbs for the South to your garden, here are some that will do you proud:
- Amaryllis (Hippeastrum)
- Fritillaria (Fritillaria imperialis or crown imperial)
- Iris (Iris spp.)
- Agapanthus (Agapanthus africanus or African lily plant)
- Blackberry lily (Iris domestica)
- Gladiolus (Gladiolus spp.) – try Byzantine Gladiolus byzantinus)
- Canna lily (Canna hybrids)
- Crinum lily (Crinum bulbispermum)
- Dahlia (Dahlia hybrids)
- Lily (Lilium spp.)
- Rain lily (Zephryanthes spp. and hybrids)
- Hardy cyclamen (Cyclamen spp.)
- Spider lily (Lycoris radiata)