Allium in Latin it is simply “garlic”. The Romans named this plant this way for its specific aroma and somewhat pungent taste. Decorative onions are unpretentious, they can be planted on any kind of soil, in sunny areas or in partial shade. The only thing that should be avoided is low-lying areas, where rain or melt water has been standing for a long time; for alliums, the permeability of the soil is important. Alliums are great for creating flower borders, they feel good on alpine slides, they get along with other plants. The balls of decorative onions look especially bright if the plants are planted in a group.
For the first time, decorative onions can be propagated and planted in three ways:
- Bulbs. The main, maternal allium bulb has “babies”. You can separate them in the fall, when the plant has already bloomed, store them in a dry and dark place in winter, or immediately plant them at some distance from each other. In the case of planting alliums with a bulb, the depth of the hole should correspond to its two diameters.
- Seeds. They can be planted in early spring or autumn, the seeds overwinter well even without mulching. But in this case, the mother’s bulb will give “babies” only in the third year. And the plant will be able to bloom only after the same or even longer period. In addition, the seeds of some species of alliums germinate only the next year..
- Bulb. Conveniently, the bulbs that have appeared on the mother plant will allow you to grow an allium of the same color and size. But not all bows have bulbs..
Taking care of decorative bows is very simple:
- Alliums love soft, breathable soil, so you have to resort to loosening.
- Weeding won’t hurt until the onions have grown. In order to control weeds, it is advisable to mulch the flower bed.
- In the spring, allium can be fed with mineral fertilizers, which have a high nitrogen content. In the fall, you should choose phosphate-potassium fertilizers.
- Ornamental onions tolerate drought well, so they do not need abundant watering. Of course, if it is clearly visible that the plant lacks moisture, in particular, the leaves have become lethargic, turn yellow quickly and the flowering head tilted, then watering is necessary.
- After the leaves are dry, the bulbs can be dug up to be planted again in the fall, winter, or spring. Ornamental onions do not like excessive moisture, we have already mentioned this when talking about the choice of soil and site, so in a rainy summer, the bulbs can begin to rot.
This photo shows the Aflatun onion, Allium aflatunense, a Purple Sensation hybrid. It grows well in partial shade, is not afraid of frost, and reaches a height of one and a half meters. The size of bright inflorescences is about 12 centimeters. One of the most popular and widespread decorative bows. By the way, Aflatun onion is healthy and tasty – young leaves are used, which have the taste and aroma of garlic.
Other common types of decorative bow:
Christophe (Allium christophii).The petals are silvery, pointed, and the balls can reach 20 centimeters in diameter.
Globemaster (Allium Globemaster).Has a long flowering period and the largest balls among its “brothers”.
Karatavsky (Allium karataviense).Short, but has gorgeous flowers in a variety of shades from purple to cream.
Neapolitan (Allium neapolitanum).The individual star-shaped flowers of this decorative bow form true clouds of inflorescences.
Mount Everest (Allium Mount Everest).Stems up to 1.2 meters high are crowned with snow-white flowers.
Schubert’s onion (Allium schubertii).Differs in miniature flowers sticking out on additional long petioles.
Gladiator (Allium Gladiator).It grows up to a meter in height, blooms one of the first.
Roseum (Allium roseum).The modest and delicate pale pink flowers of this undersized decorative bow are beautiful on their own..
Ambassador (Allium Ambassador).Differs in a stem up to 1.5 meters and large spherical purple inflorescences.
Ornamental onions go well with such plants that are often found in flower beds, such as geraniums, peonies, irises, roses, delphiniums, lupins, and spurge. In the company of perennials, alliums look especially advantageous..
Ornamental bows actively attract bees and butterflies, so you can observe insects and attract them to your garden. If you decide to cut off the stems with allium balls, you can get rid of the onion-garlic aroma by immediately rinsing them under cold water. The heads of decorative onions stand in cut form for a long time. And as dried flowers, they are also quite suitable for use..
We hope that we have convinced you – the decorative bow should take its place in your flower bed. Choose the variety you like best, with edible young leaves, and decorate the area to your liking. Alliums are unpretentious, easily reproduce and will definitely surprise your neighbors with giant balls of bright colors.