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Carole G

c.gedneyc.gedney Posts: 3
I planted Alliums for the first time last Autumn.  10 Purple Sensation and 3 Globemaster. The soil tends to be heavy so I planted on a layer of grit and mixed grit into the covering soil.  Now at end of April only 4 of the Purple sensation have come up and there are no signs of shoots for the Globemasters.  It has been a very wet Winter. Should I be seeing shoots for the Globemasters by now?  I got the bulbs at a flower show in August last year where they were in full flower in tubs.  If Globemaster flowers later, is it normal for the shoots to be absent at end of April?
Any help and advice would be appreciated as I have never had Alliums before.  


  • They should be showing foliage by now, my are and buds are forming.
    The heavy soil and exceptional rainfall will not have suited them, they prefer a well-drained soil in a sunny or dappled shade position.
    Have you checked to make sure the bulbs are still there? Squirrels are very fond of most bulbs and will dig for all they are worth to get at them.
    A gardener's work is never at an end  - (John Evelyn 1620-1706)
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,732
    Hi , and welcome to the Forum. 
    If you put a layer of grit underneath them, you might find water collects there in a "sump", unable to penetrate into the soil. 
  • c.gedneyc.gedney Posts: 3
    Thank you Yorkshirerose. It won’t be squirrels.  We don’t get them in our gardens here. If you are in the North and already have some growth then it looks as if I’ve lost mine.  Didn’t want to dig down and see but if there should be something there now, then perhaps I should.  Hostafan thanks for advice on the grit.  I thought I had improved drainage by using it.  I see conflicting views about soil quality. Some suggest it should be poor and sandy or gritty.  Others say to dig organic material in which would make it more moist and retain water.  My soil certainly isn’t sandy but I planted in the drier areas in my sunniest border.  
  • Janie BJanie B Posts: 865
    My Globemasters are planted in our clay-ey soil (without grit), and are all in bud, nearly flowering. Yes, I'm sure you should have seen something emerging by now... I find Globemasters are more reliable than Purple Sensations, and, once established, come back year after year. 
  • c.gedneyc.gedney Posts: 3
    Thank you Janie. I am in Merseyside at same latitude as yourself so looks definitely like I’ve lost ‘em.  Might just leave the area and plant over it with other plants.  They might surprise me next year.  You never know.  
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