Allium is a group of plants that include many ornamental plants with attractive flower heads and also several well known edible plants such as garlic and onions. The ornamental alliums are of great value in the garden displaying globe flower heads in spring and early summer. They are good as cut flowers and can also be dried.
How to choose alliums
To choose the right alliums you need to consider some aspects. In terms of plant size there are alliums such as ‘Gladiator’ or Allium stipitatum ‘Mount Everest’ that can grow to 1m tall. These alliums are great to give height and shape to your border where they will absolutely play an important role.
Smaller alliums such as Allium sphaerocephalon can be planted in groups in front of borders, in rock gardens or in pots adding detail and a special interest to a specific area in the garden.
Consider that most of the alliums produce flowers in spring and early summer. They have no particular interest during a great part of the year.
Flower color varies from white and pinks to deep blues and purples. White flowering varieties goes well in the “white gardens” when combined with other pale color plants. The more vibrant ones, blues and purples, create a great impact when combined with early flowering perennials that produces orange or yellow flowers.
In terms of cultivation, what you need to consider when choosing alliums is your type of soil. If you have heavy soil with poor drainage you will need to to improve it.
Don’t miss in the next page when, where and how to plant alliums.