How To Grow Allium Flowers

How To Grow Allium Flowers

Table of Contents

Who knew that a relative of onions, chives, and garlic could produce sensational flowers that are universally loved in flower beds, centerpiece bouquets and even dried flower arrangements?

Well, that is exactly what allium does. It proffers every kind of gardener, from novice to experienced, low-maintenance to eager, flowers of such exceptional beauty that work in almost any setting and even help to keep garden pests away (but importantly are great pollinator plants for friendly bees!)

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If you are looking for a perennial plant that will give you long-lasting blooms from spring well into summer and require very little maintenance from year-to-year, look no further than allium. Here’s everything you need to know about growing allium flowers in your garden and how to ensure you get the utmost from these pompom bobbleheads.

What do allium flowers look like?

Before we get stuck in, if you aren’t familiar with allium plants, here’s what to expect from their blooms. Allium flowers come in a variety of colors. Most allium flowers are a spectacular purplebut you can also get yellow, pink, white, and even blueblooms. 

Their flowers appear like purple globes of fireworks or sparkles – orbs of fluffy color not dissimilar to pompoms! While some varieties are smaller than others and only reaching one foot, allium flowers are always a statement in the garden with giant species growing up to a meter and a half in height, their big flowers bouncing joyfully atop tall stems.

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So how do you grow these mesmerizing flowers?

How to grow allium flowers

Allium’s growing conditions are pretty straightforward. Allium flowers love well-draining soil that remains moist but never wet. Though allium flowers aren’t fussy on any particular soil type, it is crucial to ensure you never plant allium in an area that can get waterlogged as this will severely inhibit and even stop your plant from sprouting.

Adding grit, bark or other materials into your soil that will aid with drainage is a good idea if your soil is particularly wet. 

Allium light requirements

The only thing alliums are fussy about, apart from well-draining soil, is getting enough light. Allium sun requirements are for full sunlight only and cannot tolerate anything else. So, be sure to plant your flowers in a place that will receive lots of lovely warm light throughout the day.

Allium water requirements

As for watering, these plants just need a good watering immediately once their bulbs have been planted and then an occasional feed throughout spring if the soil is drying out. That’s it!

When is the best time to plant allium bulbs?

If wondering when to plant allium, just follow the same guidelines as you would for all spring-blooming flowers. These bulbs do best when planted in the fall, before the first frost, which gives them enough time to prepare to bloom from spring through summer.

How deep to plant allium bulbs

As you will be planting your bulbs in the fall and they therefore need to survive the frosts and cold of winter, you need to ensure you plant your bulbs deep in the soil. A depth that is approximately 3-4 times the size of your bulb should be enough to keep your plants happy and healthy over winter. If in doubt, always plant them deeper rather than shallower.

Another thing that is equally important as planting depth for allium flowers is how far apart they are spaced from each other. As you can imagine with their big flowers and impressive height, these plants enjoy their space and don’t like sharing nutrients so be sure to space your bulbs apart from each other.

For smaller bulbs, this should be about 4-6”; for medium, aim for 6-8”, and for the biggest bulbs allow a distance of at least 8” to 1 foot. Giant varieties will need up to 18 inches of space between them.

Where to plant allium bulbs?

Firstly, you need to plant your allium flowers somewhere where they will receive all of the nutrients and conditions they need to prosper in their allium growth stages. This is an area with full sun, moist, well-draining soil, and enough space to allow for space between each bulb.

For taller varieties, it’s also a good idea to plant them somewhere sheltered so the tall stems will be protected from winds that might blow them over.

Once you’ve designated these areas, then you just have to decide what kind of effect you want. You can plant them as a kind of wildflower meadow or prairie-style landscape design or you can include them in a more formal border design. Allium flowers truly look at home pretty much anywhere!

However, as allium leaves can be unsightly when the blooms aren’t in flower, it is wise to ensure you plant your bulbs somewhere that you can then encircle them with low-growing plants that will cover the foliage as it’s dying back.

Allium also works well in pots and containers – perfect for smaller backyards, townhouse patios, and balcony planters!

How to get the most from allium flowers

While a sensational hit in the garden, you can get so much more from alliums as cut flowers. Find them in gorgeous springtime arrangements at SendFlowers or FromYouFlowers.

Or, for flower fiends, we recommend signing up to a subscription service that delivers monthly bouquets specifically chosen to reflect the season’s best to find them in a spring or summertime arrangement! Our three favorite subscription services have to be EnjoyFlowers, MonthlyClubs, and BloomsyBox. If unsure what flower delivery service to choose, read our honest and comprehensive reviews of each one here.

Then, after enjoying your allium flowers in a homemade or a FromYouFlowers bouquet, you can get even more from them as a dried or pressed flower.

Their pompom buds make them ideal for a dried flower arrangement that you can continue to enjoy for a long time afterwards.

The good news is that drying and pressing flowers for arrangements isn’t just easy, it’s fast and enjoyable. Find out for yourself by checking out our quick how-tos on pressing and drying flowers.

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