The allium plant is related to the simple garden onion, but don’t let this deter you from planting it for its beautiful blooms. In fact, minimal allium care and a show of large, early to late season blooms are just a couple of the reasons to include the ornamental allium plant in the garden.
Learn how to grow alliums, which are also related to chives and garlic, for their large and showy flower heads and as a repellant for many insects and wildlife you may wish to keep out of the garden. More than 400 species exist and offer a wide range of bloom sizes and bloom times.
Flowers of the allium plant rise above the foliage, offering growing alliums in the colors of white, pink, purple, yellow and blue. Flowers of the allium plant have round heads too, which range from a few to several inches around. The cultivar ‘Star of Persia’ (A. christophii) is one of the shortest growing alliums and has a multi-colored flower head 6 to 8 inches across. A. unifolium has a single leaf from which numerous flower heads rise and bloom in pink, lavender and white.
Include several allium bulbs in your autumn bulb planting for height and color in the spring garden. Scatter them among bulbs of lilies, crocus and other of your favorite spring blooming bulbs for tall, sporadic color throughout your beds next year. When the soil has warmed, plant seeds of the candytuft flower and other short perennial flowers to cover foliage of the growing alliums as they wither away when the show is done.
Plant the allium bulb three times its height deep in well-draining soil in a sunny location. Growing alliums in the flower bed may deter aphids, which often like to suck on tender new growth of other spring blooms. Growing alliums in the garden deters rodents, the peach borer and even the destructive Japanese beetle.
Allium care is simple if planted in the right soil and sunlight. The allium plant needs only infrequent watering, weeding and fertilization. These needs may be taken care of by rainfall and by adding organic mulch after planting. An organic, pre-emergence weed block or mulch may cut down on weeding.
Learning how to plant allium bulb can be beneficial to many of your other growing specimens. Learning how to grow alliums is a useful garden trick that you will practice for years to come.