When both the temperature and leaves begin to drop, we know that it’s time to start getting those fall-planted bulbs in the ground. And certainly one of our all-time favorites that bridges spring and summer together has got to be Alliums. Offering bright color, unique form, and fantastic pest-resistance, they’re undoubtedly one bulb you won’t want to forget in your fall planting!
Why You Should Grow Alliums
Of course, one of the most apparent benefits of Alliums is their beautiful appearance. Like something straight out of a Dr. Suess book, these plants sport pretty, pom-pom-shaped clusters of tiny florets that sit high atop tall, sturdy stems. Alliums stems can grow anywhere from a few inches to 3 feet tall. Available in shades of purple, pink, blue, and even yellow, they are a great way to bring unique color and texture to the landscape from early spring right up until fall.
Not just a pretty face, Allium bulbs are also very hardy and incredibly easy to grow. Plus, they are entirely critter-resistant! Also known as ornamental onions, these beautiful blooms have a not-so-tasty onion flavor that deer, rabbits, and rodents tend to avoid. But while they may keep the pests away, they’re also a favorite of bees and butterflies alike, so you won’t have any shortage of pollinators in your landscape!
How to Plant Allium Bulbs
When planting Allium bulbs, the main thing to remember is to plant them in well-drained soil during the fall. Drainage is essential for these plants, as they can’t stand wet soil. So, if you’re working with less-than-ideal conditions, try mixing in a couple of inches of compost into the soil. The compost will improve soil texture and nutrient density.
Pick a spot with full sun and plant them about 2 - 3 times the bulb height deep, and 2 - 3 times the bulb width apart with the pointy end up. Water your bulbs well to settle them in and watch the magic happen as they pop out of the earth in the spring!
Ornamental onions are also a fantastic choice for growing in containers, too. This way, they can be moved around to dazzle anywhere in your landscape that needs a little extra decoration. Choose a large pot filled with well-drained soil, and plant Alliums at the same depth you would in the ground. Plant larger ones in the middle, while the smallest of the Alliums should be around the edges
If planted correctly from the get-go with proper soil and light, growing and caring for Alliums is actually quite simple. With average rainfall, your ornamental onions should only need occasional watering when the top few inches of soil are dry. If you planted with a soil rich in organic matter, like compost, you should also only need to fertilize your Alliums a couple of times throughout the season.
Regularly deadhead spent blooms and when the foliage begins to yellow and fade, trim them right down to the ground. If you need to divide them, this is also the best time to do so.
This fall, quit filling your landscape with the same old spring classics and start punctuating it with something different and exciting, like Alliums! You’ll love the burst of color and texture they add to the landscape, all while keeping the pests at bay and attracting pollinators. So what are you waiting for? Browse our superb selection of Allium bulbs on our online store today and get your spring garden growing!
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