Allium Complete Planting Guide – 2022

By the late 1800s such a diverse collection of plants began to attract the attention of plant admirers.

Russian botanists began gathering beautiful alliums from Central Asia and offering them to horticulturists through the Imperial Botanical Garden in St. Petersburg.

What is Allium?

AlliumAlliums are plants with long branches and big flower heads. Alliums bloom in purple, white, and, on rare occasions, blue and yellow. The best part is that Alliums are simple to cultivate and are perennials that return season after season.

Even though Alliums are classified as spring flowers, the bulk of them bloom throughout the spring and summer. There are also some kinds that bloom in the late summer.

Alliums are bulbs that are practically maintenance free. The only care necessary for Alliums is anchoring the taller varieties to avoid the flower stem from being destroyed, unless planted in a protected area away from wind.

If there really is a disadvantage to growing Alliums, it is that the leaves at the base of the plant might be damaged quickly in the growing season. This implies that it’s a fine decision to hide the base growth with low-growing plants like Alchemilla mollis and Geraniums, which all look great with Alliums.

Did you know? Alliums are members of the onion family.  


  • Flowers with six petals and aromatic straight leaves.
  • Alliums come in white, pink, lavender, yellow, and blue varieties.
  • Bees, pollinators and insects adore alliums, and they will also attract butterflies and provide a plentiful supply of nectar.
  • They have circular heads that range in size from a few to many inches (7.5 to 15 cm.)
  • Many grow from bulbs, and the majority are perennial.
  • Often seen in spherical flower groups.
  • Black seeds are produced in dry capsule fruits.
  • Sexual reproduction in certain plants via bulbils in the flower head.

How To Plant Alliums?

Allium bulbs are best planted in the fall, as bulbs are considerably cheaper than mature plants in the spring. Planting period is in September, however if you are late, you can plant Allium bulbs until the third week of October.

Fully prepared container plants are available beginning in early spring, although they are typically more costly. Purchasing and planting Alliums as bulbs is much less expensive.

Don’t Forget: Alliums enjoy a sunny location in well-drained soil and are resistant to drought. Alliums are totally robust and can withstand harsh winters.

Did you know? Nectaroscordum, along with some of the smaller alliums, such as Allium moly, can take a bit more shade or dampness.

Don’t have dry soil? Nevertheless, if your garden has dense soil or damp ground, it will be beneficial to incorporate horticultural grit into the planting area to improve drainage.


  • This should keep the bulb from decaying throughout the winter, which can be an issue in damp locations.
  • A poor drainage system creates stagnant pools that serve as breeding grounds for viruses and bacteria.

When planting Alliums, like with several other bulbs, plant to three times the depth of the bulb and with the pointy bit upright.

Note: Smaller kinds should be planted 15-20 cm apart, larger kinds 25-30 cm apart (for example, the purple ones) , and extremely big kinds 35cm or higher apart.

After flowering, like with other bulbs, do not kill or remove away the old leaves; this is required for photosynthesis and feeding the bulb for the following year.

Alliums do not require feeding or deadheading; in fact, many of the flower heads appear beautiful as they decay.

Note: Alliums are strong in zone 4.

How To Plant Allium From Bulb

  • Distribute them with lily, crocus, and other spring flowering bulbs for bright colors across your garden this year or next.
  • Plant the seeds of the flower and other shorter perennial flowers once the soil has heated to cover the leaves of the developing alliums.
  • Put the allium bulb in a sunny area nearly twice its height deeply in well-draining soil. Alliums prevent rabbits, peach borers, and even the deadly Japanese beetle.

Just like other bulbs, you should let the foliage to fade and fall back to allow the bulbs to refill underground. However, the foliage of alliums is rather massive, and the effect might be untidy, so prepare to cover it with adjacent plants.

If clumps become too big and crowded, lift and split them after flowering and the leaves have fallen off. Regrow the largest plants and grow on any offsets for later planting.

Tip #01: Aphids, which frequently feed on fragile new growth of other spring blossoms, may be prevented by growing alliums in the plant pot.

Tip #02: No need to apply fertilizer or manure because the bulbs carry all of the nutrients required for growth.

Don’t Forget:

  • If planted in the proper soil and sunshine, allium maintenance is effortless.
  • Watering, weeding, and fertilizing the allium plant are all OPTIONAL. This is because the  requirements can be met by rainfall and the addition of organic mulch after planting.
  • Weeding can be reduced by using an organic well before weed barrier or mulch.
  • There are numerous alliums that may be used as decorative plants. So these plants are similar to spring tulips and daffodils, originating from bulbs, although alliums bloom after than spring bulbs.

Tip #01: As they function better in fertile soil (they want nitrogen), incorporate lots of fertilizer into the soil.

Tip #2: Allow the leaves to fall back naturally after flowering, and try to hydrate the plants throughout this time.

Tip #3: Waterlogged bulbs are undesirable.

Interesting Facts:

  • The Allium genus has numerous species, such as the vegetables onions, chives, and leeks.
  • There are about 400 species, with a broad diversity of bloom sizes and bloom periods.
  • Flowers of the allium plant emerge well above leaves.
  • The tiny Allium Schoenoprasum, Chives, are edible and can form an attractive edging plant at the front of your garden, as well as being animal friendly.

The Best Alliums To Grow 

Alliums typically blend great with grasses and look great with Achillea. Alliums are mostly purple blooming, even though there is a blue variation, Careruleum, and a particularly lovely yellow variation, Allium moly (golden garlic), which produces umbel type blooms throughout the summer.

Alliums even look nice when the flower heads fall and also the seed heads develop unlike any other plants.

Don’t forget to check the kind to make sure the bloom periods match if you are pairing with other plants. To plant the grasses and Alliums pairing, it is necessary to grow a late blooming Allium, such as Allium Sphaerocephalon, such that it is at its finest when the grasses are in bloom and the Achillea is in bloom.

Below are a few types of Allium

1. Allium Christophii

  • Grows up to 15 to 60cm.
  • Grows from late spring to early summer.
  • Grows in moist but well-drained soil.
  • Needs an average amount of water.
  • Attracts butterflies.
  • Avoids deers.
  • Tolerant to droughts.
  • It looks lovely in gardens and borders, as well as pots and on the terrace.

Tip #1: Plant in clusters of 10 to 15 bulbs for the maximum artistic purposes.

2. Allium Hollandicum

  • Grows up to 60 to 90cm.
  • Grows from late spring to early summer.
  • Grows in moist but well-drained soil.
  • Requires an average amount of water.
  • Attracts butterflies.
  • Avoids deers and rabbits.
  • Drought tolerant.
  • It looks lovely in gardens and borders.

Tip #2: It is critical to plant the bulbs at the correct time to obtain the best flowering outcomes

3. Allium Globemaster 

  • Grows up to 60 to 90cm.
  • Grows from late spring to early summer.
  • Grows in moist but well-drained soil.
  • Needs and average amount of water.
  • Attracts butterflies.
  • Avoids deers and rabbits.
  • Tolerant to droughts.
  • May be decorated in gardens and cottages.

Tip #3: Some tiny plants are ideal for rock gardens, and some adapt themselves well to naturalization.

The alliums’ beauty is not in its foliage, which is thin and grass-like, but in the flower blooms that sit on top of branches.

Tip: The value of companion plants in the case of alliums extends past colors and patterns. Because the leaves of flowering onions become increasingly unappealing as the season progresses, it’s best to keep them hidden. When dealing with larger alliums, use larger companion plants to attain this goal.

Do Alliums Self-Seed?

Many alliums self-seed, so if you notice fields of alliums in various shades of mauve in addition to the purple classics, the mauve ones are generally seedlings. The result may be extremely attractive.

You may be more careful and harvest and preserve the ripe seed before planting it in rough compost trays. They are difficult to germinate, so it usually takes a few months, and they will need to be nurtured on for two or three years before they blossom.

Why should You plant Alliums? 

  • Allium bulbs provide the most beautiful early summer floral display.
  • As it is a deer and rabbit tolerant flower, they are simple to cultivate and will thrive in your garden for seasons with little care.
  • Alliums may be cultivated in a variety of soil types, including clay.
  • Learning how to cultivate alliums is a vital gardening skill which you will use in the future.

Daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and crocuses are common at garden centers, while alliums are not as common.

So, what can you do? The easiest way to ensure you have the bulbs in hand when it’s ready to plant is to order them by mail. That way, you’ll have them at your doorstep at the right planting period, and you won’t have to go another year without these lovely blooms in your yard.


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