Autumn Crocus – Colchicum
It is common knowledge that you can plant bulbs in the fall that will bloom the following spring. These are known as ‘hardy bulbs’ because they can withstand and often need the cold weather to produce their flowers. But not every gardener knows that there are bulbs that can be planted during April and May (after the danger of frost) that will bloom during summer and fall. These are referred to as ‘tender bulbs’ as they do not withstand winter and must be dug up in the fall before frost to be stored indoors.
These tender bulbs are not all referred to as bulbs. Some are called tubers or rhizomes, others corms. But to simplify things, I will refer to them as bulbs. Bulbs are typically for sale at garden centers just before the correct planting time for that zone. Be sure to plant the bulbs as soon as possible after purchasing them; following planting instructions.
Flowering bulbs to plant in early spring are Ranunculus, Anemone Coronaria, and Dahlias. The flowering bulbs Gladiolus, Freesias, Alstroemerias, Calla lilies,Canna Lilies, Agapanthus, and Begonias, plus foliage producing Caladium and Elephant Ears, should be planted before the end of May. Plant Autumn Crocus, also called Colchicum bulbs (the blooms resemble spring crocus, but are much bigger) in the summer (early August is fine) as they flower in the fall.