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Allium and leaf growth

In images from well known gardens alliums are shown without all the leafy strappy growth that precedes the flower, just the proud flower standing tall. Can I cut the leaves off? They look messy and cover up other stuff trying to come up.


  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,532
    Leaves are the plant's food factories, combining air, water and nutrients to make the innumerable biocompounds that make up the plants's tissues.  Flowering bulbs need you to keep watering and feeding them for about six weeks after the flower has faded, so that the bulb can store food and water over the winter ready to produce the next year's flower.  Cut the leaves off if you like, but don't expect to get much of a display next year.  Unless, of course, you're happy to buy and plant new bulbs every year.
  • Mr. Vine EyeMr. Vine Eye Posts: 2,153
    edited April 2020
    You can trim the leaves when they start to yellow on the ends. Just cutting up to where they’re still green. Saw that last year on Gardeners World when there was an allium nursery getting them ready for Chelsea I think.

    But you should leave them on as long as possible to feed the bulb as josusa47 suggested.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,103
    I plant other plants around them, by the time the green is looking tatty, the other plants are up to hide them.  I don’t take the leaves off until the die.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,054
    I do the same @Lyn. The little sphaeros are particularly bad as the foliage emerges very early, and gets tall, well before they flower. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thanks to you all for your comments and suggestions. I might try an experiment with some.
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