Allium, exceptional bulbs

Allium is a superb flower, famous for its surprising ornamental floral scapes.

Key Allium flower facts

NameAllium giganteum
Family – Liliaceae (lily family)
Type – perennial

Height – 8 to 40 inches (20 to 100 cm)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – ordinary

Flowering – May to July

Easy to grow, it is perfect in flower beds or in pots and garden boxes to decorate your terrace or balcony.

Planting allium

Allium giganteum is planted in fall more or less 4 to 5 inches (10 to 12 cm) deep in light soil.

  • Allium loves high sun exposure.
  • Soil must be light and drain well, and even poor soil is fine.

A good tip to know how deep to plant it is to multiply the height of the bulb by 3. If it is 2 inches (5 cm) tall, plant 6 inches (15 cm) deep.

Pruning and caring for allium

Caring for allium is extremely easy, since the needs of this perennial bulb plant are not complicated.

In both pots and in the ground, they will bear nice flowers without asking you to care for them.

  • Cut wilted flower scapes as they die off, cutting the stem off as short as you can.
  • Only cut leaves back when they have already turned yellow because that is when the bulb is stocking up on nutrients for the next blooming cycle.
  • No need to add fertilizer.

Note that allium leaves tend to turn yellow before or after the blooming of the large umbels, and so it helps to plant ground-covering perennials around the giant onion plants, to cover the wilted leaves and only let the flower stem stick out.

As for pot-growing allium, remember to water regularly because water needs are higher due to the fact that potted plants tend to dry off faster.

All there is to know about allium

A half-dozen blooming allium floral scapes in a field.Allium is a perennial that grows quite easily which will produce very beautiful purple blue flowers that can be up to 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) across.

Native to Europe and Asia, this ornamental onion belongs to the same genus as the following species: edible garlic, onion, shallot, chives and belongs to the same family as leek.

The different Allium varieties all boast superb flowers bunched up in balls and the size and color of this ball depends on the variety.

In flower beds or along edges, and also along a wall or simply plunked in the middle of the yard, the ornamental impact of this plant is guaranteed!

  • Allium giganteum, thanks to its tall bearing, is perfect to line the back of a flower bed.

It is also used in flower bouquets, because the foliage and the flowers both can be used to make appealing bouquets.

Smart tip about allium

For the taller species you can stake the stem to keep it from folding under the wind. Nice for this is to use bamboo, it is perfectly suited and actually enhances the visual impact of the plant.


Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Allium blooming close-up shared by terimakasih0 under © CC0 1.0
Field of allium shared by merica under © CC0 1.0

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