Zone 9 gardens experience warm temperatures most of the year, but some freezing can occur. Bulbs can be susceptible to freezes, which can crack and damage them. Additionally, each type of flowering bulb has a different temperature requirement. Some are frost tender while others need a cold period to force blooming, like tulips (treated as annuals in warmer climates). There are many bulbs that grow in zone 9 that can stand a bit of cold and bloom in a hot summer. Many of the common zone 9 bulbs are old favorites in the region and reflect a time gone by when life was slow and simple.
Growing Bulbs in Zone 9
Lilies, amaryllis, callas, and gladiolus…these are but a few common zone 9 bulbs, but there are also some truly unique and crazy plants that will thrive in those regions. Try a voodoo lily or a spider-like Ismene (Peruvian daffodil). Or perhaps a pineapple lily will make you wonder at the world. There are more bulbs for zone 9 than we have space for here, but a few of the most outstanding ones deserve mention.
Partial Shade Bulbs for Zone 9
Growing bulbs in zone 9 shade is one of the trickier regions of the garden to grow plants. Alstroemeria is an excellent shade-loving plant. It has long-lasting blooms that are perfect for cut flower arrangements. Caladium is a foliage plant but its brightly colored, often variegated, huge leaves bring color and texture to the shady areas of the landscape.
Lily of the valley and begonia are other important flowering plants for a shadier location. Any of these would pair well with hosta and other foliage plants and are easy selections.
Fun Bulbs That Grow in Zone 9
There are Asiatic, Oriental, and Tiger lilies, but the entrancing Aztec lily and sweet Oxblood lily are fun plants too. Moving away from lilies, you might try the strange three petaled Tigridia or the brightly colored tropical cannas.
Both culinary ginger and ornamental ginger produce unique flowers in a host of hues and beautiful foliage. Daylilies may only have each flower for a day, but they are profuse in their blooms and the large clump of strappy leaves is a great space filler and sets off other flowering plants nicely.
Unusual Zone 9 Bulbs
If the aforementioned Voodoo lily isn’t strange enough for you, there are plenty of other unusual bulbs for zone 9. Sometimes, it is nice to have a plant that no one has. Try African blood lily. It produces a bloom that is best described as a burst of color.
Although it doesn’t really flower, Sea Onion is a frothy mass of foliage, perfect to set off other zone 9 flowering bulbs. Kniphofia, or red hot poker, produces a large clump over time of the reddish orange graduating to yellow candle-like blooms.
The options for zone 9 bulbs are almost limitless due to the warm regional temps and long growing season.