Allium ‘Globemaster’ is a true showstopper, growing to about 32 inches tall. It is native to Japan, Korea and coastal China where it is often found growing along woodland margins. Name – Allium Family – Liliaceae (lily family) Type – perennial. Plant in groups of three or more for best effect. You can harvest the blossoms to infuse in olive oil or vinegar (the same way you’d infuse an oil with chive blossoms), or use them as a pretty and tasty garnish on your plate. We have come to adore this Allium for its numerous virtues: attractive, shiny deep green foliage, profuse display of bright rose-pink flowered globes, vigorous growth rate, and excellent deer and rabbit resistance. But the bloom time and beauty of truly ornamental alliums earn them spots in our flower gardens. CareProvide full sun and well-drained, average to dry soil.. PropagationSow seed in spring in containers or in situ.Divide clump-forming plants in spring. And then I always wondered how people got seeds from onions?! You can also enjoy the flowers while they last and leave the onions in the ground to collect seed for next season — an unexpected benefit! I love unintentional garden discoveries. It's all in the timing: when you planted your onion crop and what the weather was like can all play tricks on an onion's natural life cycle. Many varieties reach 2 feet high or taller, making them a striking addition to flower beds and borders. Its globe-shaped, electric light purple flowers are complemented beautifully by blue-tinted strappy foliage, giving it a real presence in the landscape. Nodding onion starts flowering in early summer and has a long bloom period. Allium Millenium (Millenium Ornamental Onion) provides lots of gorgeous, butterfly-attracting flowers in late summer when the garden is most in need of color. Having gone through the complete growing cycle, onions then send up flower stalks (a process called bolting) and produce seed in this second year. Just like they’re programmed to do in their second year of life, they prepare to set seed the following spring for the next generation of onions. Even if you’re only growing onions for one season, wide temperature swings can deceive onions into completing their life cycle prematurely. Common name: Ornamental onion Alliums include many familiar edible plants such as onions, leeks and garlic as well as attractive flowering types. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more ». Light pink and dainty, it gets its common name because its flowers hang down. Plant too late, and you could end up with smaller bulbs, if the delicate seedlings are strong enough to withstand winter at all. They grow naturally throughout the northern hemisphere and small regions of South America and Africa. I have always wondered why onions didn’t bolt every year… seems so obvious now remembering they are after all – bulbs (I feel so silly!) © Garden Betty 2010-2020. Their size isn’t significant enough to realize the cold is upon them and they have to initiate flower stalk production. Japanese onion (Allium thunbergii) are small, one-inch pink flower heads that bloom in early fall. If you choose alliums that bloom at different time during the season — early, mid and late — you’ll have alliums flowering from late spring through midsummer. Butterflies love this plant! (Plus a Cheat Sheet on Seed Life), How to Safely Freeze Liquids in Mason Jars. Onions are biennial plants. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Once the flowers finish the faded seed heads look like … PLEASE NOTE: 'Millenium' Ornamental Onion Allium is restricted and cannot be shipped to the state(s) of GA, ID, NV and WA. Medusa forms a low mound of grey-green, narrow foliage that twists at the ends. Distinctive round flower-form adds a decorator flair. ), Related: 11 Vegetables You Grow That You Didn’t Know You Could Eat. ‘Serendipity’ has all the same charm as its very popular parent ‘Millenium’, strong purple flowers and long bloom time, but brings blue foliage to the party! They come in various colors ranging from white to yellow to red with a flavor range from mildly sweet to strongly pungent. Allium azure, also known as Ornamental Onion, is easily grown and decorates the garden with plenty of 1 1/2" round flax-blue flowers. All ornamental onions are in the Allium genus. Leaves have a slight onion smell when crushed. 18" tall. Re-seeds readily. But that said, this chart is a good reference for the bloom time sequence you can expect. (Why is that?). If the weather is warm during the early stages, onion seedlings will grow vigorously until cold weather slows their development. They don’t set seed until their second year of growth. This ornamental onion carries snaky, twisty leaves that are reminiscent of the snakes that adorned the head of the famous gorgon. Onions, along with leeks, garlic, and chives, belong to the genus Allium. When to Plant Allium Bulbs. Plant too soon, and your whole onion crop could flower the following spring as the bulbs will have grown enough to think they’ve completed their cycle after winter. But some of the alliums that bloom later in the season develop a rhizomatous root system and are usually sold in containers along with other perennials. Even better, they’re from the onion family so they are generally deer- and rodent-resistant. Over the weekend, surrounded by fragrant allium blooms, I harvested the last of last season’s crop — a mix of red, white, and yellow onions that I had grown from seed back in October. The Garden wouldn't be the Garden without our Members, Donors and Volunteers. Because of this fine line between seasons, determining the right time to plant onions in your zone is important. They form more of a mop than a round globe. No serious insect or disease problems. Leaves have a typical onion smell when bruised, but are not used for culinary purposes.Genus name comes from the classical Latin name for garlic.Specific epithet honors Carl Peter Thunberg (1743-1828), Swedish physician and surgeon, student of Linnaeus, naturalist, plant collector, and author of Flora Japonica (1784), who collected about 300 new plants (including the species herein) on his visit to Japan in 1775-1776.‘Ozawa’ is more compact and floriferous with larger flower heads than those found on species plants. This is what I did last season and my onions are about to flower now. I loved the display of pompom-like flowers, even though onions are not supposed to bolt. They are borne atop sturdy stalks, which arise from a group of 6 to 8 handsome, blue-green, straplike leaves. Height – 8 to 40 inches (20 to 100 cm) Exposure – full sun Soil – ordinary. A truly impressive hybrid Ornamental Onion from Mark McDonough considered to be the best available in years. If flowering decreases over time, tufts should be dug up, divided and replanted. Allium karataviense or Turkestan Ornamental Onion are shorter at 10 inches tall, and large whitish flower heads sit just above purple-grey, tulip like leaves. Allium. Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Uses. This post updated from an article that originally appeared on June 20, 2011. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Astilbe (Astilbe x arendsii ‘Bridal Veil’, ‘Fanal’, ‘Pumila’ etc..) Astilbes (a range of varietals) are … Plant with bright yellow flowers like Golden Spur Columbine. Thanks for the tip Linda True-Blue Allium (Allium azureum) flowers are the gardener's holy grail, and this Siberian native provides them in abundance. (Use my planting calendar — customized for your climate — to find out exactly when you should be sowing seeds or transplanting seedlings.). Short day onions (require 10 to 12 hours of daylight to bulb), Intermediate day onions (require 12 to 14 hours of daylight to bulb), Long day onions (require 14 to 16 hours of daylight to bulb). All Rights Reserved. harvest onions at the end of their first year, 11 Vegetables You Grow That You Didn’t Know You Could Eat, How Long Do Seeds Last? The ornamental types are a great addition to the garden with their showy flowerheads in shades of blue, purple, white and pink, bringing globes of colour in spring and early summer. Flowering – May to July. Ornamental onions are quite elegant compared to their edible relatives; garlic and onions. It typically grows to only 6-12” tall and as wide. What makes some onions bolt and others not? Phonetic Spelling AL-ee-um kris-TOFF-ee-eye This plant has low severity poison characteristics. Summer-flowering alliums display quite a bit of diversity. Easy to grow. wide (8 cm). Garden Betty independently selects products to feature on this site. Allium Gladiator blooms are pleasantly fragrant and this plant is an easy and prolific addition to the garden. And out of the hundreds of onions I’d planted, only a handful had bolted. They form more of a mop than a round globe. Although all parts of this plant have an oniony smell and taste when cut or bruised, this hybrid is considered to be an ornamental and is not used for culinary purposes. They bloom in mid to late spring. If a cold snap suddenly occurs, the onions will have grown to sufficient size to sustain flowering, and thus be forced into early dormancy. May-June blooming. They are a perfect stand out and quite impressive at 3-5 feet in height. Bloom Time: September to October ... ornamental onion that typically grows to 18-24” tall with a spread of 10-15”. Planted in the fall for spring blooms, these purple pom-pom flowers make a dramatic statement when planted en masse. Ornamental onion is a beautiful perennial, known for its tall ornamental floral scapes.. Key Ornamental onion facts. As the weather warms again and then moves into winter, they may be confused into thinking they’ve already gone through two growing seasons. I think I’ll pull them just because I need the space but it’s nice to know you can leave them in the ground. Ornamental alliums are great for cutting and bees adore them, too! Just when the garden needs it most, this vigorous, deer-resistant Ornamental Onion opens dozens of 2-inch blooms of lavender-blue, each lasting a month or more in … Bloom time is early to mid-June. Bending over or cutting off the flower stalk won’t re-initiate bulb development. As autumn rolls around, the leaves wither and the onions go dormant. Scented, glossy green, narrow blades of grass-like foliage. Its main claim to fame is a fall bloom (September to November) of bright purple to purple-pink flowers (each with six tepals and elongated stamens) which appear in globular clusters (terminal umbels to 2 1/ 2” across) atop thin scapes. That’s a good thing! We usually harvest onions at the end of their first year, when their leaves start to die back. Deadheading is … Very large, majestic purple spheres up to 8 inches across bear numerous star-shaped, deep lilac flowers in May and June. A very ornamental ensemble! The flowers are suitable for fresh cut arrangements. Which made me wonder… What causes some onions to flower while others do not? Deer and rabbits seem to leave this plant alone. Best in full sun. Learn how your comment data is processed. Plant seeds in spring. How the weather can trick an onion into flowering early If the weather is warm during the early stages, onion seedlings will grow vigorously until cold weather slows their development. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Group or mass in rock gardens or border fronts for enjoyment of fall bloom. I love the flowers of alliums…cheers to bolting! Tufts of thin, rounded, grass-like, hollow green leaves are attractive throughout the growing season. During the first year, the leaves gather energy through photosynthesis and use the energy to develop the bulbs underground. (I use green garlic stems the same way. Blooming in late spring to early summer, this spectacular Allium enjoys long-lasting blooms and remains ornamental in the garden well into summer. Allium thunbergii, commonly known as Japanese onion, is a bulbous, clump-forming, ornamental onion that typically grows to 18-24” tall with a spread of 10-15”. Thanks for the post! If you planted your onions in this sweet spot and the transition from summer to winter is gradual, your onions will develop normally without flowers. I sometimes snip a few stems to add raw to my salads and sandwiches, or to cook in my omelets and pastas when I want the faint aromatic of an onion. x. LOL don’t feel silly… I thought the same thing! I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine.