async defer src="//" My Enchanting Cottage Garden: January 2017

About Me

My photo

Gardening is my middle name. I have been an avid gardener for 50 years.  My goal is to help anyone who wants to start a Cottage Garden, be able to do so without the expense and frustration of beginning gardeners. I hope to encourage readers to share their thoughts and experience and help make this blog a knowledgeable and fun read.

Friday, January 6, 2017

6 Rare and Spectacular Bulbs for Summer Bloom

Gloriosa Lily Planting: Nothing quite compares to the beauty found in a Gloriosa Lily (Gloriosa superba), and growing a climbing lily plant in the garden is an easy endeavor. Gloriosa Climbing Lilies Gloriosa climbing lilies, also known as flame lilies and glory lilies, thrive in fertile, well-drained soil in full to partial sun. Hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 10 and 11, they can be overwintered successfully in zone 9 with winter mulch. In colder areas, climbing lilies can be grown successfully during the summer and lifted and stored for the winter. These exotic-looking lilies produce an abundance of yellow and red flowers with petals that curl backward to resemble a flash of brilliant flames. Prepare the soil by tilling to a depth of 8 inches and amending with generous amounts of organic matter such as peat moss, compost or well-rotted manure. The ideal time for Gloriosa lily planting is in the spring after the soil has warmed and all danger of frost has passed. Plant the Gloriosa lily tubers approximately 3 to 4 inches from the trellis. Dig a hole to the depth of 2 to 4 inches and lay the tuber on its side in the hole. Space the tubers 6 to 8 inches apart to allow room for the mature plants to grow. Cover the tubers and gently firm the soil down to remove air pockets and secure the tubers. Gloriosa Climbing Lily Care Water the newly planted tuber to saturate the soil to a depth of 2 to 3 inches to give your Gloriosa climbing lily a good start. Keep the ground evenly moist until shoots appear in two to three weeks. Reduce water to once or twice a week or whenever the soil feels dry an inch below the surface. Fertilize climbing lilies every two weeks with a water-soluble fertilizer designed for flowering plants. This provides the nutrients needed to promote healthy blooming. Cut the vines back in the fall after they are killed by the frost. Tubers can be lifted and stored in moist peat moss in a cool, dark place for the winter and replanted in the spring.

2. Pineapple Lily
Pineapple lilies are in the genus Eucomis and include a wide range of tropical plants native to warm moist regions of the world. A little-known fact about pineapple lilies is that they are actually related to asparagus. Both plants are in the Lily family. Pineapple lily plants grow from bulbs. These interesting bulbs start out as a rosette and do not usually start blooming for a year. Then annually, the plants produce the pineapple-shaped flowers from July to August. Some varieties carry a faint, unpleasant scent. The bulb is actually comprised of many tiny little flowers clustered together in a cone shape. The colors vary but are usually white, cream or flecked with violet. The pineapple lily has pointed spear-like leaves and a flowering stem that rises above the plant.

How to Grow a Pineapple Lily Flower Growing pineapple lilies is easy. In zones of 9 or below, start them in pots and then transplant them outdoors after the danger of frost has passed. Plant the bulbs in well-prepared soil with excellent drainage. Work in a few inches of compost or leaf litter to increase the tilth and nutrient content of the planting bed. Dig holes 6 to 12 inches deep, every 6 inches. Place the bulbs in full sun in spring once soils have warmed to 60 F. (16 C.). Growing pineapple lilies in a deep container will help you save the bulbs. Move the containers indoors when temperatures drop in fall.

3. Golden Lycoris
The Lycoris bulb will indeed surprise you if you are not familiar with her ways. Lycoris first presents a lush display of draping foliage, similar to that of the daffodil. A closer look reveals rounded leaf tips on attractive arching leaves. Just when you expect buds to develop, the foliage dies back, and the unaware gardener can feel robbed. The Lycoris flower that will bloom from July to August. Lycoris squamigera appears quickly atop a sturdy stem called a scape. Scapes rise suddenly from the soil and bear clusters of six to eight of the showy, pink Lycoris flower. Scapes reach 1 to 2 feet, and fragrant blooms of the Lycoris flower last for several weeks. Tips for Growing Lycoris Plant Lycoris bulbs in a full sun location for fullest bloom. Plant Lycoris bulbs with the tip just below soil level, more deeply in colder areas. From the Amaryllis family, the Lycoris squamigera bulb is the coldest hardy of the family and grows in USDA gardening zones 5-10. Plan long-term placement of the Lycoris bulb, as it does not like to be disturbed once planted. The Lycoris flower is not a drought-resistant specimen and will benefit from regular watering unless dormant. Dormancy occurs in winter and between foliage die back to bloom time in spring to summer. Do not fertilize Lycoris bulb soon after planting; wait for a month or so to avoid burning the newly forming roots. Two different fertilizers benefit the Lycoris flower and foliage; one which is high in potassium in late autumn followed by a nitrogen-rich fertilizer in early spring. This encourages growth in foliage, thereby encouraging bigger blooms of the Lycoris flower.

4. Royal Robe Giant Calla Lily 
How to Grow Giant Calla Lillies A native of South Africa, giant calla lilies are often called white giant calla lilies or even Hercules calla lilies, but they are not, in fact, a member of the lily family. There are 28 different species of the calla lily, including the wedding favorite, the giant calla lily. The giant calla lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica. Select a cooler environment, preferably one where the plant can live below 70 degrees. Giant white calla lilies thrive in cooler, well-lit environments.

To plant by seed, sow seeds in the spring in a seeding flat in the well-draining potting soil. Insert seeds to a depth of 0.5 inches and cover with potting soil. Keep the seeding flat in a warm location (80 degrees) and the soil moist. Transfer to larger containers after seedlings sprout.
To plant rhizomes, fill a container with standard well-draining potting soil, which will contain enough nutrients to feed the growing plant. Use a pH soil tester and amend as necessary to ensure the potting mix contains a pH of 5.5 to 6.5.
Bury rhizomes 4 to 6 inches deep, gently firming potting material. Water well, then apply a small amount of fungicide.
Keep soil moist at all times but ensure adequate drainage. Giant calla lilies do well in a semi-aquatic environment, but standing water can lead to fungal and bacterial infections. Fertilize weekly after sprouts appear.

5. Emily McKenzie Crocosmia
Growing crocosmia flowers in the landscape produce masses of sword-shaped foliage and brightly colored blooms. Crocosmias are members of the Iris family. Originally from South Africa, the name comes from the Greek words for “saffron” and “smell.” Learning how to plant crocosmia bulbs can give your garden dimension and sunrise colors of red, orange and yellow, and the funnel-shaped blooms have a subtle scent that increases when they are dried. Crocosmia Plants Crocosmia blooms are produced on slender stems of 2 feet or more in length. The flowers appear in May or June and the plant will keep producing all summer. Crocosmia flowers make excellent cut flowers for indoor arrangements. These plants are hardy in USDA Zones 5 to 9. Corms differ from bulbs by the lack of rings on the interior but otherwise function in a similar manner. Crocosmias prefer slightly acidic soil. Make sure the garden bed is nutrient rich and well-drained, but lightly moist. Plant the corms in spring about 6 to 8 inches apart at a depth of 3 to 5 inches. Plant them in clusters for maximum effect. The corms will naturalize, or produce offsets, over time. Plant crocosmias in full to part sun for best results. Crocosmia Bulb Care Once planted, little is needed in the way of crocosmia bulb care. The corms are hardy and rarely need to be lifted for winter except in areas below USDA Zone 5. In these areas, plant them in pots and then move the pots to a sheltered location for winter storage. You can also dig them up, dry the bulb and store where temperatures are moderate over the freezing period. 

6. Orange Candle Flower

Arum can be grown year round but is ideal during the winter and early spring months. Arrow-shaped leaves arrive in spring, then later in early summer, you'll see spikes of bright orange berries. Foliage then appears to finish out the season. With its speckled arrow-shaped leaves and orange "seed pod" flowers, you will definitely have a unique plant in your gardens and containers. The Orange Candleflower grow from root-like bulbs, called tubers. They produce the largest leaves in partially shaded sites. They will become 10 to 15 inches tall. The plants produce a jack in the pulpit, like flower in early spring. They then produce orange / red berries into the summer. The majority of the foliage will appear in the fall. In warmer areas, zone 6 south, the foliage should die back in the spring when the plant's flower. In colder zones 4 & 5, the foliage will die back in the winter, but the roots should shoot new flowers in the spring. It helps to winter mulch the plants in colder climates. The plants will multiply every year and have a slow growth rate. The Orange Candleflower can also multiply

by seed. Perennial in Zones 5 - 9. Arum italicum