How To Grow Allium Flowers

by | Nov 21, 2022 | Outdoor

When you think of big, colourful, eye-catching flowers to add some extra vibrancy to your garden, you may not automatically envision growing ornamental onions. However, the truth is these stunning perennials are the perfect way to brighten up any flower bed with their large ball-shaped flowers.

Making a particularly impressive show when planted en masse, allium flowers most often appear in a rich shade of purple but can also be found in sweet-shop hues of white, pink, yellow and blue. You can also find alliums in a range of sizes, so it won’t be difficult to find the perfect variety to suit your garden.

Keen to introduce some enchanting alliums to your pots, beds and borders? Read on for some top tips on how to grow these low-maintenance perennials.

Where To Plant Them

Alliums can flourish in most soil types, as long as it is well-drained, and they prefer to be in full sun, so choose a nice bright spot that receives sunlight for most of the day.

When choosing the right alliums for your garden, you may want to opt for a mix of taller and shorter varieties. The taller plants, such as ‘Mount Everest’ or ‘Giganteum’ or ‘Ambassador’, will make a stately feature for the back of your beds and borders with their long stems and large round flower heads. Meanwhile, more dainty varieties such as ‘Graceful Beauty’, ‘Lady’s Leek’ and ‘Yellow-Flowered Garlic’ will look exquisite at the front of the bed or in pots on your patio.  

Planting Alliums Made Easy

When it comes to introducing alliums to your garden, you can either opt to buy bulbs and plant them in early to mid-autumn, or you can purchase a selection of flowering plants in spring or at the beginning of summer.

Allium bulbs can be planted either directly into the soil or in pots and containers. If you are planting directly into your flower bed, you should prepare the soil first by digging it over and removing weeds. Don’t plant in very damp soil as the bulbs may rot and avoid planting in areas which are likely to be disturbed, as the bulbs could be damaged and fail to thrive. The bulbs should be planted at a depth of four times their diameter, with taller varieties being spaced at least eight inches apart. Smaller specimens are placed no less than three or four inches apart.

Caring For Your Alliums

As well as providing stunning cut flowers for your home and serving as a welcome source of nourishment for pollinators, alliums have another benefit – they are easy to care for. Because they are drought-tolerant and don’t like soggy conditions, alliums grown in flower beds and borders won’t usually require watering, although alliums in pots will require a regular drink. You also won’t need to worry much about feeding; a sprinkling of fertiliser in the spring will provide the nutrients they require.

If grown in the ground, your stately new alliums won’t even need much TLC during the winter months, unless the weather turns particularly harsh. However, any alliums grown in pots may find it a little harder to survive the cold temperatures and winter storms. IWt might be best to transfer them to a sheltered corner of your garden or even place them in the greenhouse if you have one.

Come spring and summer, they will reward your care with a stunning show of brightly coloured flowers that will enliven your garden and your home.

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