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Giant Allium

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Wednesday, February 6, 2019 - 7:00am

Have you ever wanted a landscape plant that can WOW your neighbors, we’ll take a look at giant Allium today on Southern Gardening. 

Alliums for use in the landscape are the ornamental cousins to our culinary onions.  And while they are not used to dress up our sandwiches they certainly enhance the landscape. 

Giant Allium has a clean architectural form with straight flowers stems, up to 4 feet tall, and nearly perfect globular flower heads reaching almost 6 inches in diameter.  Flower colors include dark-violet, red-purples, and shades of white.

Always plant Allium bulbs at a depth of about three times the bulb diameter.  So a 2 inch bulb is planted 6 inches deep in a well-drained sandy soil.  Add an additional layer of sand or small gravel below the bulb base to increase drainage. 

Allium is a heavy feeder, so apply a good bulb fertilizer, such as 7-10-5, in the spring, summer, fall, always follow label instructions. 

Always plant in mass to have a more dramatic landscape effect.  Accessorize your Allium with artemisia. geranium or other favorite perennials to help hide the fading foliage. 

The round Allium flower head provides interest after the flowers have faded.  As it dries, the flower head changes color from green to light brown.  The flower stems can be cut and used in dry arrangements.  Or simply move to new places in the garden.  For the more creative add a touch of spray paint or even glitter to add sparkle to the dried flower heads. 

Not every landscape has a place for a big “lollipop”, but giant Allium is worth considering. 

I am horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening. 

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