6 Best Bulbs for Southern Gardens (Zones 7-10)

My Garden Life
August 6, 2016
Table of Contents

These perennial bulbs survive and thrive in the heat and humidity of southern gardens. If you live where the temperature and the heat index aren’t as high as the Deep South, then plant these bulbs in containers and enjoy them as annuals.

1. Byzantine Gladiolus (Gladiolus byzantinus)

This is the best perennial gladiolus for gardeners in the Deep South and should be planted in autumn. The graceful 24-36″ tall flowers bloom in early summer year after year and never require staking. The underground corms (underground plant stems) multiply and the beautiful clump will become larger every year, so long as it’s planted in a sunny location.


2. Hardy Amaryllis (Hippeastrum x johnsonii)

This tried-and-true beauty was introduced around 1800 and has been enjoyed in southern gardens ever since! Plant the bulbs in a sunny to party sunny, well-drained location. The dramatic red spring flowers have a wonderfully spicy scent and stand 12-24″ tall.


3. Sun Star (Ornithogalum dubium)

The happy flowers of this 12″ tall plant are ideal for planting in the front to middle of a flower bed or rock garden. Bury the bulbs in a well-drained, sunny to partly sunny setting. Originally from Africa, this plant is no stranger to hot, humid growing conditions.


4. Crinum (Crinum jagus rattrayi)

A relative of the Amaryllis family, this beauty displays an upright stalk of white flowers in summer, which have a delightful fragrance. When not flowering, the wide leaves provide an attractive texture to the garden. Crinum is an ideal plant for partly to heavily shaded areas with rich, organic soil and grows 24-36″ tall.


5. Peruvian Lily (Scilla peruviana)

Peruvian lilies flower for 3 weeks, no kidding! Named for the ship that brought the first bulbs to England, The Peru, this blue-flowering, evergreen plant is originally from Spain. Plant these bulbs in a bright sunny area with sandy, well-drained soil in late summer to autumn.


. Rain Lily (Zephyranthes candida)

This is an extremely easy-to-grow selection with white flowers that bloom after late-summer rains. The bulbs grow well in a sunny or shady location with dry or slightly moist, organic soil. You can plant many bulbs in a large mass or as a border, which creates a striking and dramatic effect, or plant a handful of bulbs as a grouping to enjoy near a walkway.



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