Allium - Garden Basics - Flower - Bulb

  • Botanical Name:
  • Planting Time: Fall
  • Height: varies, see varieties below
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Soil: fertile, well-drained
  • Hardiness: Zones 3 to 9
  • Bloom Time: spring, after daffodils
  • Uses: beds, borders, cutflowers
    attract butterflies & hummingbirds and resist deer, mice and chipmunks


  • Mix a good bulb fertilizer or bone meal into the soil before planting or apply fertilizer as soon a new growth appears
  • Alliums will need at least 6 hours of sunlight a day
  • Plant 4 inches deep in groups of 3-5 bulbs for the best show
  • Mulch generously in areas that receive frost and snow
  • Plant tall varieties in an area protected from wind to prevent them from falling over
  • Allium foliage begins to wither when the flowers begin to bloom, but this is easily concealed by interplanting with dense foliage plants
  • Some good companion plants for alliums are ranunculus, anemone, peony and petunia

Popular Varieties

  • A. caeruleum
    True blue flower heads, about an inch in diameter, sit atop 12-18 inch stems. Grow them among lower growing perennials such as candytuft.
  • A. christophii
    Amethyst flowerheads are up to a foot in diameter and are striking in a cut arrangement. Try growing them among foliage plants such as hostas and lamb's ear.
  • A. giganteum
    Large, tightly formed flower heads top stems that grow to 40 inches or more. Purple fowerheads can be up to six inches across. Grow them among perennials that will hide the foliage, which begins to brown just as the plant blooms.
  • A. hollandicum 'Purple Sensation'
    Four inch round flowerheads sit atop 20 to 30 inch stems. The violet-purple blooms appear in late spring.
  • A. moly
    These 10-12 inch plants sport yellow, star-like flowers in late spring and early summer.

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