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Alliums from Seed - any tips?

david25:17david25:17 Posts: 23
My wife kindly handed me this on her return from her dad's, saying 'these would look nice in our garden, let's see if we (the royal 'we') can grow some from the seeds'! 

I'm OK with popping them in an envelope, letting them dry out, but are they then best sown directly in the ground? Maybe in seed compost to let them develop? Our bed isn't organised, so they'd likely be disturbed. Saying that, is it worth the effort? I'm very keen but only been gardening a couple of years and haven't attempted such a monumental task (although I did sow some foxglove from the seed capsules a few weeks ago). 

Any suggestions or tips greatly appreciated. 


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336
    They'll need nurturing for several years before the bulbs grow to flowering size, so not really worth it.  If you want to try, best sow them in a large pot so that the seedlings can grow undisturbed for a few years.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,829
    Fresh seed is better than stored as well.
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,618
    Best thing is to buy mature Allium bulbs, they can be bought quite cheaply (especially popular varieties like Purple Sensation and Sphaerocephalon).  In my experience, once you have them, they will self-seed everywhere.  As @BobTheGardener says, you will have to wait years for the self-seeded ones to flower, but you will have the mature bulbs that you bought in the meantime, to give you a guaranteed annual display.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,365
    those seeds are still green, more likely to rot than ripen. Ask for some more when they turn black
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 19,862
    As  Nut says,  they won’t grow from that seed head, they have to ripen on the plant as most seeds do. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • david25:17david25:17 Posts: 23
    Thanks everyone, much appreciated. The father in law does have more in the garden so could try those once they've turned black. However I'll probably just shortcut things and buy the bulbs ready to plant! 
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