homepage logo

Garden Club of Cape Coral | Spring bulbs

By SHERIE BLEILER - | Feb 1, 2024

A colorful amaryllis blossom. PROVIDED

Here in sub-tropical Florida, we have many beautiful bulbs. They are my favorite show-off plants due their colorful, reliable blooms and easy care. Now is a great time to plant them.

Many people started their collection of bulbs by receiving one as a gift which then lasted for decades in their garden.

Amaryllis, a bulb from South America, is often tricked by growers into blooming at Christmas.

After it blooms, plant it in a larger pot or in the ground and you will have reliable blooms every March-April. You may cut the flower stem and enjoy fragrant flowers inside for about a week!

They make striking bouquets. Each year, the parent bulb will produce more bulbs giving you a nice group of them in a few years. With so many colors to choose from, you may want to order some varieties for yourself. Some varieties are short while large ones can be 3 feet or more with blooms.

Easter lilies are often bought for their lovely fragrance at Easter. They can grow in a pot in full sun, but I have mine in the ground with some compost added to the soil and a covering of mulch. Mine seem to bloom in May, well after Easter. They go dormant by the end of summer and disappear, but now are starting to emerge with new leaves. It’s time to fertilize them with compost or a slow release fertilizer. Try them!

Agapanthus, or lily-of-the-Nile, is from South Africa. Its rhizomes produce an evergreen clump of leaves about a foot high all year. They function as a low filler plant in front of my taller bushes until June. Then a tall spike comes up with a ball of blue flowers to about three feet. The blue tops sway in the breeze off and on all summer. They are also available in white and purple.

Daylilies are originally from China but have been highly hybridized to come in many color and bloom shapes. We are rather south of their range, so they seem to appreciate afternoon shade, as long as they have 5 hours of morning sun to trigger flowering. Select evergreen varieties, which do not need winter chilling. For many years, I have had a patch of daylilies.

The 18-inch tall green leaves look like grass all year. They look droopy in the winter, but are still green, preventing weeds from growing under them. Tall stems of blooms emerge late spring and again later in the summer. After blooming simply remove the brown stems and brown bottom leaves to make it look fresh again.

Florida has some beautiful native bulbs also. The string lily, Crinum americanum, has a large, 4-inch bulb and loves to grow in moist to wet spots. The petals are white, long thin strings and fragrant. Leaves are 2-4 feet long. One asset is that it grows freely in our native soil, without requiring any nutrients. It makes a beautiful edge around a pool of water.

Crinum lilies have been hybridized, producing many colors and sizes. For their beauty and ease of growing, they are common all over the south. The smaller varieties, about 3 feet tall, seem to fit into our landscapes easier than the large, 6-foot ones, although large ones can add drama.

Many more bulbs which flower in the summer will be a topic for another time. Meanwhile, enjoy our seasonal beauties! Watch for spring bulbs popping up in many Cape Coral yards.


Save the date, Saturday, March 9, for a giant garden sale with over 40 booths of plants and garden related items at Jaycee Park, sponsored by the Garden Club of Cape Coral.


Sherie Bleiler is a member of the Garden Club of Cape Coral and helps maintain the CC Library Butterfly Garden. Visit gardenclubofcapecoral.com and on Facebook.