How to Grow Ornamental Allium for Beginners

How do you Grow Ornamental Allium?

This can be a difficult question to answer for beginner gardeners because of numerous factors including climate, soil, and experience level.

This article will help solve this problem and give beginner gardeners Easy-to-Follow Steps on growing ornamental allium ANYWHERE.

And I recommend scrolling to the bottom of this page to find answers to the 7 most frequently asked questions most gardeners have when growing ornamental allium.


Step #1: Plant One of These 5 Types of Ornamental Allium

ornamental allium

When buying and planting one of these 5 types of ornamental allium you should make sure that the bulbs are firm, unblemished, with few or no tears to the outer coating.

I am recommending five specific types of Ornamental Allium that are simple to grow and care for regardless of your experience.

Best of all is that all of these Ornamental Allium are perennials and beautiful!

A) Purple Sensation

purple sensation allium

  • Hardiness Zone: 3 – 9
  • Watering Needs: Average
  • Sun Exposure: Full
  • Bloom Time: Late Spring

When the typical gardener thinks of Ornamental Allium they are thinking of the Purple Sensation Allium.

This allium blooms in late spring with 4 to 5 inch wide globes that bloom for several weeks. They grow on stalks that can grow up to 36 inches tall.

Plant this allium bulb in the fall in well-draining soil in full sun.

B) Blue Allium

blue allium

  • Hardiness Zone: 3 – 9
  • Watering Needs: Average
  • Sun Exposure: Full
  • Bloom Time: Late Spring

Another beautiful ornamental allium, the blue allium is a small version of the purple sensation.

This type of allium has only a 1-inch bulb and grows on a stalk that is 24 inches tall.

Also, plant this bulb 2 to 4 inches in the fall for late spring to early summer bloom!

C) Globemaster Allium

globemaster allium

  • Hardiness Zone: 3 – 9
  • Watering Needs: Average
  • Sun Exposure: Full
  • Bloom Time: Mid Spring

The Globemaster ornamental allium is one of the largest growing alliums you can buy. You can expect a diameter of 6 to 12 inches wide.

This type of allium is eye-catching and is the perfect flower for long-lasting blooms and life when cut.

Best of all is that you plant it in the fall in full sun and well-draining soil for it to come back every year.

D) Drumstick Allium

drumstick allium

  • Hardiness Zone: 3 – 9
  • Watering Needs: Average
  • Sun Exposure: Full
  • Bloom Time: Mid Spring

The drumstick allium is the most unique type of allium that you can grow.

This type of allium grows in an egg-shape with beautiful red and purple colors.

Best of all is that this flower can grow in rock gardens, raised garden beds, and as borders.

E) Star of Persia Allium

star of persia allium

  • Hardiness Zone: 3 – 9
  • Watering Needs: Average
  • Sun Exposure: Full
  • Bloom Time: Late Spring

The Star of Persia is commonly referred to as Persia and can produce up to 100 flowers on one allium head. In addition, the bulbs can grow up to 12 inches wide.

This is the perfect flower to be freshly cut and placed in vases. Not only this, but it is a great flower that can be dried for its scent.

Plant 3 to 6 inches in the fall in full sun and well-draining soil for it to come back every year.


Step #2:  How to Grow Ornamental Allium from Bulbs

growing alliums

Ornamental Allium is a beautiful flower that blooms in mid to late spring.

Unlike conventional thinking, Ornamental Allium is a perennial flower.

Most flower gardeners think Ornamental Allium are annual flowers because hybrid ornamental allium can become weakened perennials over time.

Step 1 – Plant Your Ornamental Allium Bulbs in the Fall

planting ornamental allium bulbs

First, make sure you buy your appropriate Ornamental Allium on Amazon on another reputable garden vendor.

Plant your ornamental allium bulbs in the fall when soil has cooled off & the temperature is between 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant them before the first frost!

Take the temperature of your soil and ensure that it will stay below 60 degrees for 12 weeks or think about planting your ornamental allium in pots.

  • Hardiness Zones 3 – 5: Plant in September
  • Hardiness Zones 6 – 7: Plant in October
  • Hardy Zones 8 – 9: Plant in December

*Find Your Hardiness Zone HERE*

Step 2 – Prepare Your Soil THIS Way!

allium

Locate the area of your flower garden or yard where you want to plant your ornamental allium.

  • Ornamental Allium do best in an area that receives partial to full afternoon sun.
  • The soil should be well-draining and should be neutral to slightly acidic (6.0 – 7.0 pH level).
  • The flower garden should be well protected from wind and heavy rain.

Mix 3 inches of Flower Garden Soil to the top 6 inches of your garden soil.

Step 3 – Simply Plant Your Ornamental Allium Bulbs

To have the most success planting your bulbs you should simply dig a hole 8 inches deep and plant 10 ornamental allium bulbs next to each other.

*Make sure the Ornamental Allium Bulbs “pointy” part is facing up*

Then mix flower fertilizer (that has a 10-10-10 NPK ratio) in the hole (according to the the instructions). And then fill the holes with your flower and garden soil mix.

Next, water your ornamental allium bulbs for 15 seconds. This will help promote the start of root growth. Continue to water your bulbs for 15 seconds once a week for the first month.

Then continue this process for as many bulbs as you want to grow. Make sure to spread each set of 10 ornamental allium bulbs 4 inches apart.

Step 4 – Do THIS in the Winter

In the beginning of winter you will want to mulch your flower garden bed.

After you mulch the flower garden bed do nothing else to your ornamental allium bulbs the rest of winter.

Step 5 – And do THIS in the Spring

alliums

Once the year becomes spring and your ornamental allium grow leaves then you should add flower fertilizer again.

Then water your ornamental allium once a week until your ornamental allium bloom.

As soon your ornamental allium petals fall off the flower deadhead it.

And make sure to keep your leaves on the flower for 6 weeks while your flower absorbs and retains energy for next year’s bloom.

Step 6 – Maintain minimal maintenance in summer

Once it becomes summer you should cut the stem and leaves of your ornamental allium where it meets the soil.

Do not water your ornamental allium in the summer. Do not fertilize your ornamental allium in the summer. Simply leave your ornamental allium in the ground all summer.


Frequently Asked Questions (9 Questions)

#1. How Do You Grow Ornamental Allium in Pots?

ornamental allium in pots

If you are not able to plant your ornamental allium bulbs in an area your garden or yard, or if your soil will not stay below 60 degrees Fahrenheit then you should plant your Ornamental Allium in a container.

To have the most success planting ornamental allium Bulbs in pots you should do the following:

  • Bury your bulbs in a container with 8 inches of Flower Garden Soil over it.
  • Make sure the “pointy” end of the bulb is facing up
  • Immediately water your ornamental allium bulbs for 15 seconds
  • Before the first frost of the year move your container to an area of your property that is cool and dry. Keep it here throughout winter
  • Once you notice green growth emerging in the winter move your container into a sunny area and begin watering it once a week.
  • Once your ornamental allium petals fall off you will want to deadhead your flower.
  • Let the green growth of your plant remain for 6 weeks. Then cut it and your stem where it meets your soil.


#2. How Do I Water My Ornamental Allium?

allium watering

You should water your Ornamental Allium three different ways.

  • Immediately after you plant your ornamental allium bulbs you should soak the soil for 15 seconds
  • Continue watering your ornamental allium bulbs once a week for the first month and then don’t water until the spring
  • Begin watering your ornamental allium once a week once green growth returns in the spring


#3. How Do I Feed My Ornamental Allium?

To properly feed your ornamental allium with fertilizer you should wait until the ornamental allium flowers have faded and begun falling off your flower.

To have the most success use Ornamental Allium Fertilizer. This will help your ornamental allium store nutrients properly for the next season.

For best results, simply follow the instructions on your fertilizer product.


#4. How Do I Cut Ornamental Allium?

ornamental allium in pots

If you want to display your ornamental allium indoors then cut ornamental allium when the flowers have just bloomed.

Place the cut ornamental allium in a vase with water at room temperature. Every few days change your water.

If you want your ornamental allium to last longer in the vase then you should add Miracle-Gro for Fresh Cut Flowers.


#5. How Do I Protect my Ornamental Allium from Pests

allium pests

The biggest threat to your ornamental allium is squirrels and chipmunks when the bulbs are first planted.

To prevent your bulbs from digging up place bird netting over the ground where they are planted.

If you are trying to prevent squirrels then you should use squirrel repellent. If this does not work then grow your ornamental allium bulbs in pots and containers out of the squirrel’s reach.


#6. How do I Prevent Common Ornamental Allium Diseases

The most common ornamental allium diseases and harmful insects are gray mold, slugs, snail, aphids, nematodes, and bulb rot.

You can help prevent these diseases and harmful insects by using a fungicide spray and an insecticide spray in early spring as green growth begins to emerge.


#7. What are the Best Uses for Ornamental Allium?

allium uses

Ornamental Allium are best used for indoor display, but can also add color to raised garden beds, container gardening, or even in your traditional flower garden.

Ornamental Allium can complement columbines, azaleas, lilacs, daffodils, crocus, and even hyacinths.


#8. What types of Bulb Should I buy?

ornamental allium bulbs

Purchasing Ornamental Allium Bulbs is a much easier task than say vegetable or herb seeds, where you have to worry about GMOs, Organic, Heirloom, etc.

When buying ornamental allium bulbs you should stick to hybrid or heirloom. These will give you the best success in growing Ornamental Allium.

Hybrid Ornamental Allium Bulbs are weakened perennials that may or may not come up every year.

Heirlom Ornamental Allium Bulbs are perennial bulbs that come up yearly but have a higher risk of contracting a disease, harmful insect, or fungus.

Just as important is where you buy your bulbs from. I recommend buying your seeds from Amazon. This will provide you with the best price and quickest delivery.


#9. What Type of Gardening Pot Should I Buy?

gardening containers

I recommend buying one type of pot.

Buy a 5-gallon pot.

  • This is essential if you want to allow your ornamental allium to grow to its fullest. It is also important if you want to continue to grow your ornamental allium outside.
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