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Summer Garden Collection

At-A-Glance:

  • Suitable Zones: 3-10
  • Hardy Zones: 7-9
  • Spacing: Varies by flower
  • Height: 10-48"
  • Blooms: Early to late summer
  • Full Sun Full Sun
  • Partial Shade Partial Shade
  • Good for cutting Good for cutting
  • Deer resistant Deer resistant

Summer Garden Collection

Harlequin Flowers

Sparaxis tricolor

About:

Harlequin Flowers are also known as Sparaxis or Wand Flowers. They are in the Iris, or Iridaceae, family and native to South Africa. They are grown for their showy, brightly colored flowers, with contrasting centers. Ours is a mix of plants that bloom in shades of red, pink, orange or white.

Planting:

Plant 2” deep and 2-3” apart in fertile, well-drained soil after the chance of frost has passed. Harlequin bulbs prefer full sun and protection from cold winds, and a sheltered spot with southern exposure is ideal. Like other plants from South Africa, they prefer dry soil conditions during dormancy. Plant with pointy end up; there is often evidence of dried roots on the ‘down’ side. Harlequin flowers may also be planted in containers, using good quality potting soil.

Maintenance:

Water carefully until plants begin to flower. The soil should be barely moist, but never wet or completely dry. Feed annually with a well-balanced fertilizer. If grown in containers, feed every other week. Water regularly during the growing season.

Over-wintering:

Harlequin flowers are only hardy in USDA zones 8-10. In zone 8, apply a layer of mulch in late fall to provide further winter protection. The plants are usually treated as annuals in colder zones, but may be lifted in the fall for next year. Dig up the bulbs in the autumn. Leave everything intact and allow to dry in a warm area for a few days. When dry, cut off the foliage, leaving about an inch of top growth. Wipe off any soil and remove the old withered corm at the base, as it will not bloom again. Store the new corms over the winter in a dry, cool place (40-55°F) in a paper or netted bag. Plant again the following spring, once soil is warm and workable. If planted in containers, gradually stop watering as the leaves yellow. Store in a dry place with good circulation between 60 and 75°F.

Peacock Orchids

Gladiolus callianthus

About:

Peacock orchids are in the Iris family and are native to the mountains of East Africa. They are easy to grow and produce deliciously scented, long-lasting flowers.

Planting:

Choose a sunny spot and plant the bulbs tapered end up, 4-5” deep and 6-8” apart in rich, moist, well-drained soil.

Maintenance:

No maintenance required. An annual application of a well-balanced fertilizer is recommended.

Over-wintering:

Peacock orchids are hardy only in USDA zones 7 and warmer. In zone 7, apply a few inches of mulch in late autumn to increase the hardiness of the bulbs. In zones 6 and colder, you may treat as annuals or lift the bulbs if you want to plant them again next year. Dig up the bulbs 6 weeks after blooming or when the foliage yellows. You will see an old withered corm, with a new one on top; there may be smaller ‘cormels' in between. Leave everything intact and allow to dry in a warm area for a few days. When dry, cut off the foliage, leaving about an inch of top growth. Wipe off any soil and remove the old withered corm at the base, as it will not bloom again. Store the new corms over the winter in a dark, cool room (55-60°F) in a paper bag, netting or an open box. The bulbs need exposure to air.

Purple Liatris

Liatris spicata

About:

Liatris are also known as Blazing Stars or Gayfeathers. They are in the daisy, or Asteraceae, family and are native to Eastern and Central regions of North America. They are very hardy and low maintenance plants whose tall, feathery purple flower spikes attract bees, butterflies and birds.

Planting:

Although Liatris can withstand some shade, they bloom more profusely in full sun. Choose a sunny spot with average to rich, well-drained soil. Liatris are fairly drought tolerant once established, but will not tolerate soggy soil in winter. Plant bulbs 2” deep and 6-8” apart. The top of the bulb usually has evidence of pointed growth tips and the bottom tends to have remains of last year’s roots. Water well.

Maintenance:

Liatris are extremely low maintenance. Water when soil conditions are dry. Dig and divide large clumps every 3 to 4 years.

Over-wintering:

Liatris are very hardy plants and should survive the winter in all locations. Apply a 2” layer of mulch in late fall in USDA zones 3 and 4 for added winter protection.

Gladiolus Mixture

About:

Gladiolus, or glads, are in the Iris family. They have sword-shaped leaves and funnel-shaped flowers that grow on tall spikes. They make excellent cut flowers.

Planting:

Plant bulbs in a sunny location, 4-5” deep and 5-6” apart in rich, well-drained soil. Plant the tapered end pointing up, and the flatter side down. There are often dried roots on the “down” side. To prolong the bloom season, plant a small group of bulbs every couple weeks from spring to late June.

Maintenance:

Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer every ten days from the time the flower buds appear until they begin to bloom. Flowers will open at the bottom of the flower stalk first. Use plant supports to keep the stalks straight and protect from wind damage.

Over-wintering:

Gladiolus are hardy only in USDA zones 7-10. In zone 7, apply a few inches of mulch in late autumn to increase the hardiness of the bulbs. In zones 6 and colder, you must lift the bulbs if you want to plant them again next year. Dig up the bulbs 6 weeks after blooming or when the foliage yellows. You will see an on old withered corm, with a new one on top and smaller ‘cormels' in between. Leave everything intact and allow to dry in a warm area for a few days. When dry, cut off the foliage, leaving about an inch of top growth. Wipe off any soil and remove the old withered corm at the base, as it will not bloom again. Store the new corms over the winter in a dry, cool place (40-55°F) in a paper or netted bag. Dust the bulbs with sulfur or another fungicide to prevent fungal diseases. Plant again the following spring, once soil is warm and workable.

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