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Allium: purple puffball of fun

Allium is Latin for “garlic,” and as you know….garlic is related to the onion family. So, yes: this is a big poofy flower on an ornamental onion bulb.

This is another plant with which I struggle. That wouldn’t be the case if I gave this plant what it wanted: full sun and to be planted in loose, almost sandy soil. I planted this bulb last fall, thinking only of myself, not what it wanted.

Me: “I need something tall and purple and fun that will bloom in late spring right here in this empty space next to the lavender.”

Allium: “Lady…yeah, it’s really sunny here, but that soil sure looks heavy, wet and clay-like. Are you sure about this?”

Me: “I told you. I need something tall and purple HERE! Get in the hole now! Here’s some compost. Sleep on this over the winter and figure it out. See you next spring!”

Well…….I planted this big guy and surrounded it with four smaller species. Guess what? Only the big guy made it out alive. I guess the rest rotted in place.

Moral of the Story:  if I can’t be a good example for you, then I can at least be a horrible warning. Give the plants what they want.

What allium likes:

  • To be planted in a sunny spot (we’re talking 6-8 hours of direct sunlight. At least I got THAT part right)
  • To be planted  in loose, well-drained soil
  • To be planted at a depth about one to two times the diameter of the bulb
  • To be transplanted when they are dormant (hmmm….guess what I will be doing later this year?!)