About Alliums

Allium sphaerocephalon - "Drumstick" in my garden

A few years ago, I started experimenting with alliums. They’re perfect plants for that period when the spring bulbs have gone by but the summer plants aren’t blooming yet.

They come in so many variations of color size and form that I would venture to say there must be an allium for just about every garden.

As most gardeners know, alliums are members of the onion family. That’s why deer won’t touch them.  They range from a few inches to five feet tall. All like full sun and good drainage. Plant them in the fall, and here in Rhode Island, most cultivars will be blooming in June.

I like how they poke through the developing foliage in my perennial bed, and make it so much more interesting. Pollinators seem to like them, too. The only cultivar I planted that didn’t make it was the low, yellow-flowered moly “Jeannine.” Maybe the spot where I planted them was too wet. Who knows?

The “Drumstick” allium or sphaerocephalon is a reliable performer, and, because I think they’re weird and funny, I also grow pulchellum or “Hair.”

Allium pulchellum - "Hair" in my garden

I think alliums are often forgotten, or at least overlooked when gardeners plant their bulbs in the fall. Whether you’re looking for something big and showy, something whimsical, or a plant that rises to the occasion before your garden gets going in the early summer, maybe you should check them out.

Here’s a  source for allium bulbs. By the way, they’re pretty cheap, too.


About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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