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Allium Allium

Growing Alliums: Tips at a Glance

Perennial flowering alliums are not fussy about quality of soil (as long as there is reasonable drainage) but they do prefer full sun. Alliums' dramatic spherical flowers will add interest and a layer of texture to a garden bed.

  • Type Flowering bulb
  • Lifespan Perennial
  • USDA Zones 3 to 9
  • Light Sun
  • Soil Well-drained
  • Colors Purple, pink, white
  • Design Tip Exclamation points
  • Companions Catmint, phlox, gladiolus
  • Peak Season Spring through summer

Alliums: A Field Guide

Ornamental alliums—not to be confused with the edible chives, garlic, and onions which also belong to the Allium genus—are versatile perennial flowers with long-lasting blooms.

With purple puffball flowers shaped like dandelions gone to seed, alliums had whimsy and visual punctuation to a flower border. After the blooms fade, leave allium’s seed heads in place to feed the birds.

Some of our contributor Kendra Wilson’s favorite varieties to grow (and to use as cut flowers in floral arrangements) are “sublimely round” Allium hollandicum ‘Purple Sensation’ and smaller, egg-shaped Allium spherocephalon. Not to mention her favorite pink varieties: Allium nigrum ‘Pink Pearl’ or the big ones, such as mega Allium schubertii.

Planting, Care & Design of Alliums

More About Alliums

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