I always caution gardeners in California and other hot, dry summer areas not to plant in summer. Plants just don’t adapt very well when it is so hot. Instead, it is better to plan in summer and plant in winter.

That said, there are a few groups of plants are best planted now, one of which is the South African bulbs. These plants adapt to their hot, dry native habitats by dropping their leaves and sleeping through summer. That means, that summer is the best time for bulb growers to dig them and ship them, whether to the store or to your door.
In fact, mid-July to September is the only time you’ll find South African bulbs for sale on a large scale. (Read more)

Gladiolus byzantius (sword lily) from South Africa is a parent of the hybrid glads you find in the nursery.  It is beautiful, easy to grow, and low water

Gladiolus byzantius (sword lily) from South Africa is a parent of the hybrid glads you find in the nursery. It is beautiful, easy to grow, and low water

2 Comments

  1. RG Turner on July 28, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    That Gladiolus byzantinus is actually from Southern Europe, not South Africa. And it’s actually G. communis subsp. byzantinus; I have several thriving with no summer water at all. Otherwise your message is a good one. I’m planting a bunch of S African bulbs, which I’ve had in pots for over a year, into there proper places in the garden this weekend.



    • Nan on August 7, 2010 at 12:16 am

      “Glad” I have you covering my backside, RG. Thanks for the correction!