Most bulbs are known for growing into breathtaking and beautiful flowers. In South Africa, we have some extraordinary plant species that can’t wait to show off their attractive array of colours. Which bulbs bloom in summer is a big question that is often asked by many. We provide some tips and info in our article below.

Where do bulbs come from?

Bulbs are created when certain plant species disperse their nutrients and energy into the ground at the end of their growing seasons.  Most bulbs lie dormant during the winter months, storing their energy, waiting quietly for the warmer months before sprouting above the ground.

How to plant bulbs

Bulbs like loose soil that has a good drainage system. Sandy loam is a big favourite for getting the best out of your bulbs, as it provides the perfect soil. Planting bulbs is as easy as sticking your thumb in the ground creating a hole and gently covering the bulb with soil.  At the end of the flowering season, you can leave the bulbs in the ground, cutting back everything visible above the ground. The following year the bulbs will start growing all by themselves just as nature intended.

There are a huge variety of bulbs that bloom in summer, and that are easy to grow in a South African climate, below we take a peek at a few of them.

Bulbs that are easy to grow in a South African Summer



You should plant Gladiolus bulbs in early Spring and in full sun. The beautiful string of flowers that erupt in the summer months will bring colour and beauty to your garden beds. Just like most bulbs Gladiolus come back every year if the bulbs are left in the ground after flowering.


Belladonna Lillies

Belladonna Lilies produce quite large flowers, resembling lilies, hence the name.  The flower stems grow straight out of the bulb, surrounded by the green leaves that the bulb first produces. At the end of each stem, you can expect to have on average 8 beautifully fragrant flowers. Soft shades of pink and white will offer your garden a gentle feel.

belladonna lillies


Coming back every year just like most bulbs, Dahlia’s will give your garden a fun colourful look due to their pom pom like flowers. Available in a variety of different colours, including reds, yellows, pinks.  Sometimes if you are lucky enough to get your hands on the right bulbs, you can find two colours mixed together known as bi-colours.



Coming in beautiful shades of bright red, pink, yellow, orange and more.  Begonias are a wonderous bulb growing in shady garden areas, or even in a pot. Needing only a bit of sunlight daily, they are happy to grow in partial shady areas. Be sure to plant your bulbs in Spring just before the cold weather moves on. 


Calla Lily 

Calla Lily bulbs are quite hardy, and can generally be left in the ground throughout winter, provided there is no frost. South African weather will allow you to do just this, as long as the climate doesn’t change too much.  Loving full sun, your lilies are happiest outside in a sunny area. Typically coming in soft shades of white, you can also find pink, red and yellow Calla Lilies. 

calla lilly

Pineapple Lilies 

Lilies are a popular bulb blooming in summer.  Pineapple lilies have incredibly unusual flowers. Just as their name says, when these lilies bloom they resemble little pineapples.  Not a fan of frost or cold weather, it is important to only plant these bulbs after the last cool weather of Spring. 

Pineapple Lilies

Come and visit us at Stanler Farms and pick out your favourite bulbs today!