Tips for Gardening in Warmer Zones

Gardening Recommendations for Bulbs to Grow in Warmer Zones

Fundraising groups and supporters in warmer zones often ask us which spring-planted bulbs will grow in their area. If you are gardening in southwest Arizona, southern Texas, or central and southern Florida, that’s you! Read on for gardening tips and recommendations for bulbs to grow in warmer zones.

Bulbs for zones 9 and 10 in our Spring 2021 program

Customers in warmer zones have several choices of bulbs in our Spring 2021 Bulb Fundraising program. Dahlias are a good choice, and we are offering four different varieties this season. Other recommended varieties include Gladiolus, Daylily, and Globe Thistle.

Gardening with Dahlias in warmer zones

Dahlias are considered perennials in zones 8 through 10, so they’re generally a good choice for warmer climates. One thing to remember, though, is they thrive best with warm days and cool nights. With this in mind, plant Dahlias in an area that gets some afternoon shade. Beneath a shade tree is a great spot to plant dahlias in warmer zones. You can also protect the roots with a layer of mulch during the hottest months of the summer.

It is also important to keep the soil moist, but not wet. So you should plant in a location that drains well. Water them deeply once a week if there hasn’t been enough rainfall.

Due to the heat and humidity in southern Florida, Dahlias grow better there in fall. Floridians can try growing Dahlias as a container plant indoors in a sunny spot during the summer, then bring the pots outdoors when things cool off in late summer or early fall. Shorter-growing Dahlias such as Unwin’s Mix Dahlia or Yellow Mignon Dahlia are generally a better choice for warmer climates since they will not have to grow as long before blooming.

Caring for Gladiolus in warmer zones

Gladiolus, often called Glads or Sword Lilies, love the sun but in the warmest climates will benefit from a little afternoon shade. Although they are winter hardy perennials in zones 8 through 11, it’s best to insulate the bulbs with a layer of hay or straw on top of the soil through winter.

Plant your Gladiolus in moist but not soggy soil, so choose a location that drains well. In dry areas like the desert southwest, water regularly throughout the summer.

Within 80 to 90 days after planting, the Gladiolus flowers should begin to bloom. So even in warmer zones, planting in mid-May is not too late to enjoy plentiful blooms in mid to late summer.

Image of Globe Thistle flower bulbs

Easy-care Daylilies and Globe Thistle

Both the Stella D’Oro Daylily and Globe Thistle grow in a wide variety of soil types as long as the soil is well-drained. These summer-flowering perennials can even tolerate a bit of drought, making both good choices for dry climates like the southwest.

Although Daylilies and Globe Thistle thrive in full sun, in the hottest climates they will benefit from a little afternoon shade. We normally suggest zones 3 through 8 for Globe Thistle, but it can also grow well in zone 9. However, we do not recommend the Stella D’Oro Daylily and Globe Thistle for zone 10.

Stella D'Oro Daylily for gardening in warmer zones up to 9

General tips for warmer zones

  • Even sun-loving plants enjoy some afternoon shade in hot and dry climates. Try planting under a large tree, in an east-facing flowerbed, or in containers that can be moved around.
  • Most plants will appreciate a good watering, but take care not to over-water. In especially humid climates, excessive moisture can cause mildew problems and attract pests.
  • Insulate soil with a layer of mulch. This helps to keep roots from overheating.
  • Seek out your local cooperative extension office for gardening advice specific to your area. Find the cooperative extension for your state in this list.

Sign up today!

Are you ready to get started? To sign up for spring fundraising, please fill out a registration form. We’ll be setting up landing pages from mid-February through early April and will email you all the details you need to manage your fundraiser as soon as it’s been set up.

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