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Alliums qu

wakeshinewakeshine Posts: 964

I planted lots of alliums last year summer and autumn but only a few have come up. They were from a  reputable vendor! Of the 8 purple sensation 4 came up - and very sparsely around the garden. They don't look good! That's partly my fault for planting them in the wrong places. I also didn't plant them very deep as I couldn't dig the ground.

My qus 1)do alliums multiply like tulips and daffodils if left undisturbed? 2)if I want to move the bulbs shall I wait? the funny thing is the leaves turned yellow ages ago but the flower ball head is still there, though looks like it's finishing 3)if I want to just take the bulbs out of the ground and store them, can I do this now, then re-plant them in autumn?

Thanks in advance!

Last edited: 29 May 2017 10:10:22


  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,480

    Planting them deeply is really necessary.

    1. Generally the bigger the Allium the less likely they are to multiply quickly, though in fertile soil they will. The smaller kinds multiply faster than you can weed them out.

    I let the big one seed around and they flower in a few years.

    2. They are winter growers and once the flowers appear the leaves have done their jobs and begin to die back. The people who show them remove the leaves and just leave the flower stalk. Once that  has finished,ie gone to seed, you may dig up the bulbs .

    3. Sorry cannot really help on this I have never dug any of ours up and stored them. If the bulbs are rootless then yes, you should be able to store them. Cool and dry would be best. They do need planting in about September though.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 22,771

    If you can't dig the ground it's best to plant n pots so you can give them the depth they need.  You also need other plants around them to disguise the foliage going over before the flower head appears and does its fireworks display.   

    We're playing in a new garden this year and last autumn I planted a variety of alliums in an existing border and the rest in pots.  All have done well but whilst weeding the border and forking over for new plants I have disturbed some of the allium bulbs so I've lifted and saved them?  They'll go back in as soon as I've finished planting up the new perennials so they can start producing roots as soon as they like

    I suggest you lift yours and re-plant at a decent depth or in pots if you can't go deep.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • wakeshinewakeshine Posts: 964

    Thank you Obelixx and Berghill for this great advice. I just took some photos:

    Here are the sparse ones I am going to remove/move:


    I planted some behind a hydrangea and some by a rose - does this look better?


    I don't think they really work and may just give them away.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 22,771

    I think alliums look best planted in groups and coming up thru other plants.  I would leave the ones in the first pic where they are but plant something like hardy geraniums or geums or Michaelmas daisies to hide the bare legs.   

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • wakeshinewakeshine Posts: 964

    What are Michaelmas daisies? Are they asters? I have a big one in a pot - should I put this into the ground?

    I have a lot of gaps in the border like the ones you can see! I am not very happy with the border but it is a work in progress. But I am currently growing a lot of dahlias and plan to put them into the gaps. After that I need to put in more perrenials. I have peonies and roses at the moment and not much else. A penstemon. Thanks for the suggestions.

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 16,765

    I would get those two out from the Hydrangea, in a year or two the Hydrangea will be very big and you won't see them, they are best planted together, so I would have put the whole lot of 8 in a small space.

    Mine seem to have multiplied here, the drumstick type are a nuisance as they seed everywhere. I don't like them but they get absolutely covered in bees, so that's why I leave them.

    As said before, deeper the better, they need to be deep to take the weight of their heads. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • wakeshinewakeshine Posts: 964

    Thanks Lyn - I appreciate this feedback. Which are the nuisance drumstick type? Are mine those?

  • FireFire LondonPosts: 7,357

    The reason that many didn't come up may be to do with planting late. I and five friends shared a bulk bulb buy of alliums last year. I put mine in straight away (about late Sept) and the other waited will late November. None of the others got many plants - mostly one or two out of ten. All mine came up. I didn't do anything special to them and we all have similar gardens near each other and all have lots of slugs etc. Just a thought. Good luck.

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