Every garden looks better with alliums. Their globe-like flowers are big attention-getters that add structure, motion and personality wherever they are planted. These fall-planted bulbs will grow almost anywhere. They’re not bothered by deer, rabbits and other garden pests, yet they are magnets for bees and butterflies!
Many gardeners don’t realize there are many types of alliums. With a little planning, you can put them to work in all sorts of creative ways. Our newly expanded Planning Guide for Alliums makes it easy to visualize how these plants will look in your perennial gardens and other landscaped areas. You can see heights, flower shapes and flower sizes, plus the bloom time sequence from spring through summer.
One of the most challenging things about perennial gardening is coordinating bloom times. Though it’s impossible to predict exactly when a plant will flower, this visual guide makes it easy to see relative bloom times. By selecting a number of different species, you can have alliums in flower for as long as possible.
Choosing Your Favorites
Start your allium parade with Purple Sensation. These blossoms begin opening along with the very last daffodils and late tulips — and just before peonies. The bulbs are small and inexpensive, so it’s easy to plant them liberally!
The starry blooms of Allium christophii begin opening at peony time. The 8″ globes are displayed on sturdy, 12-18″ stems, which makes them a perfect size for the front or middle of a border.
Drumstick alliums bloom in early summer. Their egg-sized flowers look best planted in large groups and are ideal companions for ornamental grasses. Try them with iris and lavender, too.
Big-headed varieties like Gladiator, deserve to be treated as individuals. Give them a prominent place and plenty of room so you can admire their impressive size.
For something completely different, grow Allium bulgaricum, also known as Sicilian honey garlic. Each stem displays a cluster of dangling bells that are an unusual blend of maroon, cream and olive green. Once the flowers are pollinated, they close and gradually rise until they are pointing straight up.
Allium bulbs are planted in the fall — any time from mid-September to late November. Most species have relatively small bulbs, so it’s easy to tuck them between existing perennials. Those with extra-large flowers (such as Globemaster) have golfball-size or even baseball-size bulbs, so they deserve a little extra care with placement and planting.
Shop our complete selection of alliums HERE.