Alliums are among the best and easiest bulbs to grow in the gardening world, but frequently overlooked. Beautiful, show stopping blooms, easy “how to grow” requirements, and remarkable architectural shape make these perfect for any garden enthusiast, newbie or experienced veteran. The big round or oval flowers are borne on single stalks that tower over the garden from 1-4 feet, typically in mid spring to early summer, however there are varieties that flower even in the fall. Flowers can be small little worlds, or big 6 inch giants. Among the best qualities of the allium over other spring and summertime bulbs is that many animals will prevent consuming them. Obviously, people aren’t the only ones who want to avoid onion breath! That’s right, fantastic alliums are just ornamental, or flowering onions.
Do not let images of big foul-smelling onions growing in your garden discourage you, these plants are nothing of the sort, with a beautiful, sweet fragrance. Stunning as cut flowers too, alliums come in whites, blues, purples, pinks and even yellow. Your tulips and daffodils might still get top billing in the spring, however make sure you tuck some alliums into your flower beds too. Here is how to grow alliums!
How to Grow Alliums
HOW TO GROW ALLIUMS
Buy allium bulbs from a great nursery or online resource. You desire healthy bulbs with no cuts or soft spots. Research ranges to include several ranges of various bloom times to keep the show going!
Many ranges are durable zones 3-9.
Like the majority of bulbs, these look finest planted in groups.
Plant the bulbs in the fall, before the ground freezes. Plant them to a depth of 3 times their size in a sunny or mostly warm position. Typically, 6-8 inches.
Fertilize at planting and annual in spring with bone meal or a bulb food.
Water well, then leave till they burst out in flower in spring and summer season! After flowering, allium foliage will wither, brown, and go inactive.
Plant them under, behind, and around other perennial plants whose growing foliage will cover the allium foliage later in the summer season when it browns.
Do not cut down the browning allium leaves until fall, that is how they store energy for flowers the next season. (This is why planting foliage plants around them is important.).
OUR FAVORITE ALLIUM VARIETIES.
Gladiator– A huge range. 3-4 feet tall, this showstopper flowers with 6 inch flowers in May-June. It prefers sun however will tolerate partial shade, and has a sweet fragrance. From ‘Eden Brothers’. If you are seeking to grow alliums that make a declaration in your garden, this is it.
Globe Master– This one is the biggest giant we understand of, with flowers topping out at a foot throughout! 36-40 inches high, it’s a gorgeous pick for any spring to early summer garden. Blossoms are a little more blue than Gladiator. From ‘American Meadows’.
Allium obliquum– This uncommon shade of yellow in a little flowered allium is a best selection for a naturalized planting. Growing to simply 24 inches high, it’s fragrant and blossoms late spring to early summertime. From ‘Dutch Bulbs’.
Mount Everest/ Purple Sensation– Long the standard for garden alliums, “Purple Feeling” has 4-5 inch globes and grows to 24-30 inches high. It’s white partner here is “Mount Everest”, perfect in mix because they grow to similar sizes and have similar late spring– early summer bloom times. From ‘Longfield Gardens’.
Shimmering Stars– This giant pink variety has 5-6 inch flowers and 3 1/2– 4 foot stems, making it best for the back of the border. Flowers in May– June. From ‘Breck’s Bulbs’.
Pink Gem– A later on blooming allium, starting in June into July. This light pink choice grows to 24 inches high, and has 3 inch flowers. From ‘White Flower Farm’.
Drumstick Allium– Our last choice is the drumstick allium, an oval shaped reddish flower that grows to 24 inches high. This allium can actually be grown down to zone 2! Blooms early spring to early summertime. Another range great for naturalizing. From ‘American Meadows’. So which is your favorite?
Now that you have actually learned how to grow alliums, jump on over to our post on How to Grow Lavender like the French!