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Alliums: The Complete Guide to Growing from Planting Bloom

Alliums are a versatile and easy-to-grow group of plants that can add color, texture and interest to any garden. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to successfully grow and care for these beautiful bulbs. From choosing the right varieties to planting, maintenance and harvesting, we’ll cover every step to ensure a bountiful and rewarding allium growing experience.

Alliums are a diverse group of plants that include ornamental flowering varieties like alliums and edible types like onions, garlic and chives. These hardy bulbs are not only easy to grow but also add a beautiful and unique touch to any garden with their distinctive globe-shaped blooms and striking colors. Whether you’re looking to add some visual interest to your landscape or grow your own culinary alliums, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know.

Here’s an easy chart for Alliums:

Botanical NameAllium spp.
Common NameAllium, Ornamental Onion
Plant TypePerennial
Sun ExposureFull sun
Soil TypeWell-draining, sandy or loamy soil
WateringModerate; allow soil to dry out between watering
Growth HabitUpright, clumping
Height/Spread6 inches to 4 feet tall, 6 inches to 2 feet wide (varies by species)
Special FeaturesDeer and rodent resistant, attractive to pollinators, striking blooms

Choosing the Right Allium Varieties

 Alliums: The Complete Guide to Growing from Planting Bloom

The first step in growing alliums is selecting the varieties that best suit your needs and garden conditions. Here are some popular options to consider:

Ornamental Alliums

Allium ‘Globemaster’: Large, deep purple globe flowers up to 10 inches across.

Allium ‘Drumstick’: Unique egg-shaped blooms in shades of purple and white.

Allium ‘Mount Everest’: Stunning white globe flowers on tall stems.

Edible Alliums

Onions: Sweet, yellow, red or white varieties for cooking and flavoring dishes.

Garlic: Hardneck or softneck varieties for their flavorful cloves.

Chives: Slender green leaves with a mild onion flavor, perfect for garnishing.

Consider factors like bloom time, height and color when selecting ornamental alliums and flavor preferences and storage capabilities for edible varieties.

Planting Alliums

Planting-Alliums Alliums: The Complete Guide to Growing from Planting Bloom

Alliums are best planted in the fall for spring blooms or in early spring for summer flowering. Here’s how to plant them:

Site Selection

Choose a spot with full sun (at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day) and well-draining soil.

Soil Preparation

Amend the soil with compost or well-rotted manure to improve drainage and fertility.

Planting Depth

Plant the bulbs at a depth of 2-3 times their diameter, spacing them apart based on the variety’s mature size.

Caring for Alliums

Caring-for-Alliums Alliums: The Complete Guide to Growing from Planting Bloom

Once planted, alliums are relatively low-maintenance, but they do require some care to ensure their success.


Alliums prefer well-drained soil and don’t tolerate soggy conditions. Water them during dry periods, but avoid overwatering.


Keep the area around the alliums free of weeds, which can compete for nutrients and moisture.


For ornamental alliums, remove spent flower heads to encourage more blooms and prevent self-seeding.


Apply a balanced fertilizer in early spring to support growth and bloom production.

Harvesting and Storing Alliums

Harvesting-and-Storing-Alliums-1 Alliums: The Complete Guide to Growing from Planting Bloom

Ornamental alliums can be left in the ground or cut for fresh or dried arrangements. For edible alliums, follow these tips:


Harvest when the tops start to yellow and fall over. Cure them in a warm, dry place for storage.


Harvest when the tops turn brown and start to dry out. Cure them in a cool, dry place before storing.


Snip the leaves as needed, leaving a few inches to regrow. They’ll continue producing throughout the growing season.

With their stunning blooms and culinary versatility, alliums are a fantastic addition to any garden. By following these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a bountiful harvest and beautiful displays of these unique and easy-to-grow plants.

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