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Please ell me what to do with my summer bulbs!!!

Hello, I am a new gardner so this will probably be the first of many questions...

I have several bags of summer bulbs, which helpfully say 'plant January to June'. That is all. I now realise that it's not that simple and I was hoping that someone might be able to tell me when to plant outside, whether it's worth starting them off indoors and anything else I should do. The bulbs (actually some may be corms) are:




Lily (Oriental I think)

Should I be planting these now or do I need to wait a bit?? Thanks in advance for your help! image



  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    All those can be planted now-in the garden-the smaller "bulbs"-might do better in containers so they don't get lost

    They are hardy in the UK-the things to be careful of at the moment are dahlias etc -too early for those- but they can be started off under cover.

  • jo4eyesjo4eyes Posts: 2,058

    Ok here goes-

    Gladiolus- plant 10+cm/4-5ins deep between March/May. They should flower July-Oct. The corms then should be lifted in Oct & stored dry/frost free until the next Spring. If you live in a very warm part of UK you could possibly risk well mulching them in the Autumn & leaving in situ- but I'm not sure about that.

    Ranulculus- plant claw-side downwards 2.5cm/1in deep in well drained sunny site, again march/April. Some however prefer moister soil, part shade, so it depends on variety. Again those in sun apparently need storing dry over winter.

    Freesia- grow in sheltered, sunny garden spot. 5cm/2ins deep late April/May. No point in trying to keep- discard once flowers finished.

    Lily- a well-drained spot, but enriched compost. Sun best or part shade possible. If pot grown, plant now. March usually the start time for them. Plant deep 6-8ins/15-20cms. Pot grown ones can be overwintered next to a wall/behind a shed & repotted/restarted next Spring. Lily beetles love them so watch out for signs of attack.

    Hope that helps, J.

  • Brilliant, thank you both for your advice. Thanks also for tips about overwintering - I thought they could simply be left in the ground like daffodils...

    I'm now very excited about planting some of my my bulbs this weekend!


  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267

    All good advise. I'd been wondering when to plant my gladiolus, nice to know they can be planted anytime now. There are about 40 to 50 bulbs saved from last year, dwarf and tall varieties but all mixed up now, should have labelled them.

    Jo/Geoff. Am I right in thinking the smaller bulbs are dwarf gladiolus or can't you tell at this stage. Some are only the size of cherry tomatoes where others are as big as golf balls.  

  • Bunny ...Bunny ... Posts: 3,471
    Do gladioulus (sp?) come up again having been in pots ?
  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    Zooms a bit difficult to tell-but chances are the smaller corms are the dwarf onesimage

    Yes Bunnyimage

  • Bunny ...Bunny ... Posts: 3,471
    Whhhhooooooop , shall I feed them yet ?
  • i dont feed my gladiolus till theyre in flower and they have come up lovely for 9 yrs now


  • best company for lillies to buy and for advice is harts nursery

  • So if I put my gliadiolus in pots, can they be left outside in the pots over winter? If not, how about in the garage? There's no light in there whatsoever, but I guess that doesn't matter for dormant bulbs.....?

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