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Allium Leaves

Torg22Torg22 Posts: 302

Hi,

I was at the spring fair at RHS Hyde Hall yesterday and a lady at one of the stands said that once an Allium has a stem established with pre opened flower attached then you can cut back the leaves.

She stated that the leaves have by this time done their job of feeding the plant and that they can be removed. That said I have seen varying opinions elsewhere on the net.

All my Chritsophiis and Globesmasters have long stems with flower heads on (all un-opened) and all the leaves are now getting crazy long. I'm wondering whether to now cut back to half their length to make them look a bit more presentable?

Posts

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,611

    Leaves are the food factory so I leave mine until they have turned brown and can be pulled off with ease.  I certainly wouldn't cut them back by half as this is a major wound and can invite infection as well as diverting energy to heal.

    If you grow you alliums through other perennials their foliage is less unsightly.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Torg22Torg22 Posts: 302

    Ok thank, I wont be in a rush to get rid of the leaves then in that case.

    Any idea why they cut them off at shows for selling on to the public, perhaps to keep them attractive looking and easier to transport?

  • AngieRAngieR Posts: 347

    I remember hearing this advice but can't for the life of me remember where from.  I have to admit though I've never tried it.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,611

    I expect it was to make them look more appealing.  Never done it myself.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,349
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    At least they're getting more inventive with their cr*p...image

    I have most of my alliums among other plants, so it's less of an issue, but I would think if you cut them off ( as suggested by the RHS lady ) you'd have to make sure to feed them regularly. I might experiment with some of mine!

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Mark56Mark56 Windsor, BerkshirePosts: 1,653

    Hmm I just presumed you left the foliage like with other bulbs so it can feed it's energy back into the base for next year? 

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,349

    Mark - yes, normally you would. The problem with alliums is that,  the foliage often starts to die back before the flowers appear, so the plant can look messy.

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Mark56Mark56 Windsor, BerkshirePosts: 1,653

    Can't say I've had that problem here with Purple Sensation. image

  • batwood14batwood14 Posts: 193

    I put some tomorite feed on them a couple of weeks ago and the leaves perked up a little but now they are going pale and crsipy again so I might just pull them off as suggested above.

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