How to grow alliums These ornamental onions are bold and architectural, with large rounded heads of usually purple flowers, followed by attractive seedheads. Sometimes referred to as round-headed leeks, in the US they grow best in USDA Hardiness Zones 4-8. Eventually, plants will turn brown and die. Cylindrical, hollow, grassy, gray-green leaves to 14" long form a foliage clump in spring. Allium sphaerocephalon is a striking allium, bearing dense green drumstick-style flower heads which mature to maroon-red. See our TOS for more details. Sightings were confirmed in Pennsylvania in 2015, and since then it has spread into parts of New England and Maryland. Zones 5-9. Credit: Blaine Moats 'Gladiator' allium Huge stalks reaching 4-5 feet tall are topped with softball-size purple blooms in early summer. This allium can actually be grown down to zone 2! I like to wrap a rubber band around the base of the stems and then tie them onto a hanger. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. It also works well in a pot. Without any work required on your part, they’ll send seeds out into the surrounding area, and you’ll find new plants popping up all the time. These are plants that do best in well-draining, slightly sandy soil. You can cut the blossoms and add them to floral arrangements, where they add dimension and solidity. Downy mildew is caused by the fungus Peronospora destructor, which targets plants in the allium family. Place yellow sticky traps within a foot or two of your plants at about six inches above the ground to attract and capture the adults at the same time. Place bulbs into holes about three times as deep as the bulbs are long, with the pointy ends facing up. Kristine Lofgren is a writer, photographer, reader, and gardening lover from outside Portland, Oregon. Store saved seeds in a sealed container in a cool, dark place and they can last for up to two years. Allium 'Millenium' was chosen as Perennial Plant of the Year in 2018 by the Perennial Plant Association. It may even cause flowering to stop altogether. If you have heavy clay or dense soil, you’ll want to work in some sand to improve drainage before putting seeds in the ground. Keep in mind that you won’t get flowers for the first year or two when you plant by seed. When flower is fully open it can measure up to 15cm in diameter. This drumstick allium self seeded and spread into big clumps in gravel below the sunny border they were first planted in. The flowers will start to bloom in July, usually a bit after other ornamental alliums like ‘Globemaster’ (a sterile hybrid cross between A. christophii and A. macleanii) and ‘Gladiator’ (a giant blooming ornamental onion) have started blossoming. Here’s what we’ll cover in this article: Part of what I love about ornamental alliums in general is that they’re a mild-mannered plant. This naturally occurring fungus reacts to UV light, so products containing it should be applied in the evening or when the weather is cloudy, according to the manufacturer’s directions. Drumstick will flower in early June and will reach 90cm in height. Allium sphaerocephalon is also know as round-headed garlic, ball-head onion, Bristol Onion and drumstick allium. Ornamental blooming drumstick alliums are members of the same genus of plants that edible garlic, onion, shallots, chives, and leeks belong to. Keep in mind that sellers generally won’t ship bulbs until the fall when they’re ready to go in the ground. You only need a few drops of dish soap for a cup of water, and the water only needs to be an inch deep for the trap to work. They don’t become invasive and they don’t need constant attention. Check out these guides for some floral companions that work well with ornamental alliums: © Ask the Experts, LLC. Drumstick allium plants are suitable for growing USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 8. Heights also vary, with some flower stalks as short as 5 inches and others as tall as 4 feet. Sprinkle seeds liberally over the prepared area and gently cover with about 1/4 inch of soil. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 5 years. Growing drumstick alliums is easy. Synonyms Allium descendens Allium cilicicum. Are you using them as a border specimen? They can handle a bit of drought, though they prefer a medium amount of irrigation. Plant drumstick allium bulbs in spring or fall in sandy, well-drained soil that has been amended with compost or organic matter. The blooms are dark crimson, maroon, or purple, though they start out green and darken throughout the summer. They do spread over the years, and their bright purple, ball shaped flowers nod on slender stems in the mid-Summer breezes. A type of ornamental onion, also known as round-headed leek, drumstick allium (Allium sphaerocephalon) is appreciated for the egg-shaped blooms that appear in early summer. Allium flower purple. They are related, after all. They aren’t invasive, and it’s easy to pull unwelcome starts. In the UK it grows wild in the Avon Gorge so is known locally as the Bristol onion! Ornamental alliums are incredibly similar to chive blossoms, but on steroids, with bigger, bolder blooms. Drumstick allium plants require full sunlight Avoid damp, poorly drained locations because the bulbs are likely to rot. Lift the clump of soil out and gently tease out up to half of the bulbs. Drumstick Allium, Roundhead Leek, Round-Headed Allium, Ornamental Onion, Spring Bulbs, Spring Flowers Allium sphaerocephalon or 'Drumstick Allium' is a lovely addition to the border where it adds interest and movement with its dense egg-shaped flower heads atop straight and slender stems, delicately turning from green to purple as they mature. Once the seedlings emerge, thin them to six inches apart and reduce watering. And that’s it! Pull the plants and dispose of them in the garbage rather than on the compost pile. She was raised in the Utah desert, and made her way to the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two dogs in 2018. Plant drumstick allium bulbs in spring or fall in sandy, well-drained soil that has been amended with compost or organic matter. This member of the Amaryllidaceae is native to Europe, southward to North Africa, and eastward to Iran. You can sterilize the soil using solarization, which involves placing transparent plastic over the soil in the summer and allowing it to sit for 4-6 weeks. Individual plants can spread about a foot to a foot and a half. Val Bourne - Garden Writer Genus Allium are bulbous herbaceous perennials with a strong onion or garlic scent, linear, strap-shaped or cylindrical basal leaves and star-shaped or bell-shaped flowers in an umbel on a leafless stem If you want to deter them, put down silver reflective mulch in the spring. ... Make sure to spread each set of 10 ornamental allium bulbs 4 inches apart. Water the plants regularly during the growing season, then let the foliage go dry after blooming ends in late summer or early autumn. This little pest is common in Europe and is just making its way into the US. When you see these plants growing, you’ll know immediately why they earned the name “drumstick.” And they’re perfect for adding interest to the garden in summertime. Drumstick allium (Allium Sphaerocephalon) are early summer bloomers. Let us know how it goes! If you’re still having trouble, use a spinosad-based insecticide following the manufacturer’s directions. The adults and nymphs damage plants by nibbling on the bulbs and leaves. Place bulbs four to six inches apart. If you want to tidy up the garden, cut plants back to the ground, removing the seedheads if you haven’t already, as well as the dead foliage. Some of these links may be affiliate in nature, meaning we earn small commissions if items are purchased. Allium sphaerocephalon is a quite unique, summer-flowering plant that prized by gardeners because of its striking floral display. You can also plant drumstick allium bulbs in containers. It attacks all types of plants in the allium family. In the fall after the foliage dies back, you can dig up and divide mature plants. COPYRIGHT © 2020 ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. These days, I take just as much pleasure in watching the bees crawl along the fat flower heads nodding languorously in the summer breeze as I did banging on my floral timpani. They made my day! Allium sphaerocephalon (drumstick allium) is a great way to bring unique whimsy to your garden. If that happens, you can place cages that reach halfway up the height of the mature plant. Deadhead the plants in the fall if you want to prevent them from spreading or naturalizing in your garden. Allow 4 to 6 inches between bulbs. You sure can share the seeds. A very large variety, this Allium bears umbels of distinct violet flowers. After the foliage has died back, you can dig up and separate bulbs for planting elsewhere. The top inch of soil should thoroughly dry out in between at this point. Drumstick Allium will grow to be about 12 inches tall at maturity extending to 3 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 12 inches. Leave the seedheads on the plant until they turn brown and start to open. Allow the leaves to die down to the ground. Her passion is focused these days on growing ornamental edibles, and foraging for food in the urban and suburban landscape. Drumstick alliums are ideal for gardens where you want to plant something that can resist deer and squirrels, and attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. As this plant tends to go dormant in summer, it is best interplanted with july 9: 'drumstick' allium with daylilies and hosta The elongated purple balls of 'Drumstick' allium, held above delicate chive-like stems, contrast perfectly against the white birch tree bark and seem to float above the dense daylily foliage (above). Drumstick alliums can be propagated by seed, bulbs, or division. Another variety great for naturalizing. The teardrop-shaped bloom lasts through June and July in the Midwest. These flowers lack fragrance. Dividing is a good idea even if you don’t plan to use the bulbs, because the plants are healthier when they are well-spaced. Delft blue varieties include Blue Drumstick Allium, Silver Beauty Iris Hollandica and, Blue Pearl Crocus. If your order requires more than one shipment and all items are shipping to the same address, there is no additional shipping charge. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Loosen the soil in the planting area and work in a little bulb fertilizer according to package directions. Plant the bulbs at a depth of 2 to 4 inches. They lay their eggs in the spring and fall, and after a few days, the white or light yellow larvae hatch and start chewing their way through allium leaves. The flies have clear wings and yellow heads. The tall slender stems are topped by an oval head, as opposed to the usual conical sphere. Drumstick Allium – Our last selection is the drumstick allium, an oval shaped reddish bloom that grows to 24 inches high. Since the drumstick allium spreads, can I share the dried heads with friends and how would they start them in their garden? Hoverflies really loved it, bees too and butterflies when they could land. When I’m looking at my drumstick alliums, they often bring to mind the little lavender balls that chive plants send up in the spring. Alliums don’t have particularly deep roots. I am ridding my small front flower bed of all its plants this winter and want to give it a different look. Water in well at planting time, and don’t let the seeds dry out while they’re germinating. While this can stunt plant growth or cause the foliage to become deformed, damaged allium foliage will typically die back just before blossoming, so this pest usually doesn’t usually have time to cause a major problem. Explore beautiful plant combinations for your garden in our Alchemilla Lady's Mantle plant family category. The drumstick allium has egg-shaped flowers in summer that start off green, then bloom and develop to pink and then clover red-purple. The long, sturdy stems make drumstick allium flowers ideal for cut flower arrangements. If this sounds like something you could use in your garden, let’s dig in. Their one-inch flower clusters start off greenish and eventually start to resemble red clover. As a feature in a deer-proof display? You can find bags of 25, 50, or 100 bulbs available at Eden Brothers. Sweet alyssum, rock cress, bachelor's buttons, coreopsis, sweet William, foxglove, baby's breath, daylily, iris, red hot poker, coralberry, barberry, Japanese Maple, Deutzia rosea, weigela, and Geranium pretense are just some of the companion plants that look fantastic with Alliums. The long, sturdy stems make drumstick allium flowers ideal for cut flower arrangements. These are very unique as the flowers first open as green then start to turn a purple/crimson colour from the top downwards, creating a two-tone flower head. Allium really look best in the company of other summer bloomers. Blooms early spring to early summer. Originally native to parts of Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia, these days you can find this showy plant growing in gardens around the globe. Just keep in mind that if your plants get too crowded, you might be inviting fungi that can spread disease. Most insects aren’t terribly interested in alliums either. Their dark crimson to deep purple flowers are egg shaped and are held on thick stems up to 24 inches in height. GARDENER'S PATH® IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. Allium decipiens. The drumstick allium is the most unique type of allium that you can grow. Don’t confuse drumstick alliums with drumstick flowers (Scabiosa stellata), also known as starflowers. These pretty flowers need full sun in most regions, but if you live somewhere where it gets particularly hot, they’ll do well with a bit of protection from the harsh afternoon light. Underground, the roots and bulbs will start rotting. Ornamental alliums face potential issues caused by a few different types of fungi that may destroy your pretty plants. As an alternative, you could also plant them near shorter, bushier perennials that can provide some support and protection from the wind. Product photos via BotaniGard and Eden Brothers. Still, there are a few things you should be aware of that we’ll cover here. Allium 'Summer Beauty' Per Flower/Foliage Welsh Onion Per Herb Allium sp. Find help and information on Allium 'Summer Drummer' Drumstick onion, including varieties and pruning advice. Ready to add these stunners to your garden? They can also handle some drought and are perfect for a naturalized garden area. Prepare the soil at the new planting location by adding sand if it’s particularly heavy or does not drain well. Immature thrips are slightly smaller and wingless. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 5 years. Grow Common Sage, a Mediterranean Culinary Staple, Tomato Big Bud Disease: Symptoms and Prevention Options, How to Stop Carpenter Bees from Attacking Your Home, Plant Your Salad Greens Early: Tips for Growing Lettuce and Microgreens, How to Grow Rutabagas: A Cool-Weather Crop Perfect for Fall, How to Save Bachelor’s Button Seeds for Planting, Tips for Growing Brussels Sprouts in Winter, Back of borders, specimen plants, cut flowers, dried arrangements, Allium leafminers, onion thrips; downy mildew, white rot, Plant in full sun; provide afternoon shade in hot areas, Watering needs are moderate and plants can handle short-term drought conditions, Protect plants from wind to prevent toppling or breakage. The beautiful curled green leaves will wither before the flowers appear in early summer so we recommend accompanying them with low-growing plants to provide filling foliage over the base areas and covering up those stems. The adults have pale yellow or light brown bodies. These Drumstick Allium bulbs make a perfect show piece in your garden, whether you have a beautiful cottage garden or a more contemporary look - these fit in well in both! Like many of their edible allium cousins, ornamental alliums self-seed readily. The flies will visit the water and drown. That said, even though there are a few pests and diseases out there to keep an eye on, ornamental alliums are generally hardy against these kinds of problems – unlike their edible cousins. This heats the soil up and will kill most pathogens. Growing drumstick alliums is just that simple and will add an extra touch of interest to the garden. Deadheading helps to prevent them from spreading, with the added bonus that you can rub the seed heads in your hands to separate out the chaff and retain the rest for planting next season. Once the flowers fade, you can snip off the heads to discourage reseeding, or keep them in place for visual interest in the fall garden. A. cristophii, commonly known as star of Persia, is the parent of several ornamental allium favorites. Cut away any dead or dying foliage after you pull up the plant. Drumstick Allium (Allium sphaerocephalon) Drumstick allium is a charming species which produces drumstick shaped flower heads that have a rich purple color. An allium flower head is a cluster of individual florets. Showy drumstick allium flowers add beauty to sunny beds, borders, wildflower gardens and rock gardens, or you can plant them in a mixed garden with tulips, daffodils and other spring bloomers. I find their architectural, linear shape to be strikingly novel among the more nebulous foliage in my ornamental garden. Again, this is a different plant! Need some ideas for what to plant with your new blooming beauties? You can also add some bulb fertilizer when you plant if your soil is particularly deficient in nutrients – you’ve done a soil test already, right? Deer and squirrels just walk (or bounce) on by. It blooms with eight-inch violet-purple flowers atop 12 to 18-inch stalks. This plant is a member of the honeysuckle family (Caprifoliaceae) and the flower clusters have a similar shape, but it is otherwise completely different from the drumstick allium. You can get both seeds and bulbs at local nurseries or online. Sign up for our newsletter. Once your plants have white rot, there isn’t anything you can do. These incredible Allium Sphaerocephalon are a real must-have for any garden! It bears pretty clusters of lilac … Eventual height & spread Notes on Allium sphaerocephalon "The classy drumstick allium - slender and upright with a tight head of summer-green buds maturing to maroon - before fading to parchment in late-summer sun." This type of allium grows in an egg-shape with beautiful red and purple colors. If you can’t plant your bulbs right away, put them in a cool, dark area until you can get them in the ground. In terms of flower color, this is a mauve-purple allium. Native to most of Europe the floral display can be amazing, withs clumps eventually providing shows of hundreds of deep claret, egg shaped, flowerheads. Drumstick allium flowers self-seed readily, so deadhead spent blooms if you want to prevent rampant spread. Alliums aren’t as challenging as they may seem and you get so much reward for your work. Allow the blossoms to hang until they are dry to the touch, which can take up to a month. Take the rest of the bulbs and plant them individually in a new location. Snip the seedhead off the plant and rub the heads between your hands to release the seeds. By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer. This type of fungi thrives in cool temperatures and high humidity. As an added plus, many varieties of wild birds like to eat them. This helps to maintain good spacing, which is helpful for avoiding fungal issues. It’s a great choice for growing in a mixed herbaceous border among ornamental grasses, or gravel gardens. Their height ranges from 2 to 3 feet, with a spread roughly half that, although they have a definite tendency to spread and naturalize. They have tall, thin stems topped with a tight knot of flowers, which gives them an appearance not unlike the musical accessory. Predator mites, pirate bugs, and lacewings all love to make a meal out of thrips, so do what you can to encourage these beneficial insects to hang out in your garden. Here's a little information of interest: Drumstick Alliums are happy in USDA zones 4 to 8, according to the Missouri Botanical Garden. Replace some of the bulbs in the soil in the original planting area with four to six inches between each at the same depth they were growing before you dug them up, and fill in with dirt. Don’t confuse drumstick alliums with drumstick flowers ( Scabiosa stellata ), also known as starflowers. Share in the comments! If you live in a climate north of zone 4, dig the bulbs and store them for the winter. Allium Drumstick, also known as Sphaerocephalon, produces two-toned, Burgundy-Green flower heads. To dry them, cut to the desired length and immediately take them indoors, away from sunlight. Drumstick allium plants require full sunlight Avoid damp, poorly drained locations because the bulbs are likely to rot. You can purchase bulbs, or get some bulbs or starts from a friend or neighbor for planting in the spring or fall. The overall shape may be round, oval or cascading, and the flower color may be white, yellow, pink, purple or blue. Step 4 – Do THIS in the Winter. Hi Linda, thank you so much for your kind comments! We occasionally link to goods offered by vendors to help the reader find relevant products. I wasn’t born with a green thumb, either. Drumstick Allium, are said to be very good for naturalizing. In fact, the main problem you might encounter is fungal disease. I love that this blooming perennial has such a distinct appearance in the garden with its round, deep maroon heads. In the U.S., drumstick allium grows best in USDA Zones 4-8. If they do enough damage to the leaves, this can cause a reduction of photosynthesis, which can lead to lower rates of flowering. Or cutting them to make beautiful arrangements? Similarly, Craspedia globosa is also known by the common name drumstick flower. Drumstick allium is wonderfully untroubled by herbivores. The first sign of this disease that you’ll see is outer leaves of the plant turning yellow and dying off. The drumstick allium is adorned with an egg-sized burgundy flower atop a stick-straight, slender 2-3’ stock. to become better, so I have every confidence in you to do the same. They can, however, create conditions that invite fungi to attack when they chew holes in your plant. Shades of Delft Blue bulbs will brighten up any garden display. They prefer full sun and dry to medium levels of moisture. They simply grow happily where you put them, providing color and texture year after year. The allium leafminer (Phytomyza gymnostoma) can be devastating to onion and garlic crops, but for ornamental alliums, they’re more of an inconvenience. It thrives when air temperatures are between 50 and 75°F. Click here to find out more. Then, I hang it from my attic rafters. Allium decipiens is native to Central Asia and China. Each slender stem reaches between 60 and 90cm (2 to 3ft) tall, drifted through borders they provide light vertical accents. Family Alliaceae . I have always drooled at the sight of alliums but thought I probably couldn’t grow them… I don’t have that much-desired “green thumb.” I am so happy to have found you online. At first, you’ll see plants exhibit stunted growth, and the leaves will turn light green or yellow. They look best when allowed to waft their way throughout the garden so that they can surprise you by peeking out through other flowers. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! White rot is caused by the fungus Stromatina cepivorum. There’s something celebratory about the blossoms, as well. Here is more about what we do. Don’t worry, though. While A. sphaerocephalon might not have the same stunning flavor as its edible relatives, it makes up for this with its easy, showy display. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. At heights of 24 to 36 inches, drumstick allium plants are difficult to miss. You can also dry the flowers so you can continue to enjoy their color and shape. This plant is a member of the honeysuckle family (Caprifoliaceae) and the flower clusters have a similar shape, but it is otherwise completely different from the drumstick allium. Allium Sphaerocephalon is also recommended by Which! Keep your gardens weed-free to prevent the spread of disease, and buy certified disease-free seed if it is available. You can snip the flower heads in the fall when they turn dry, during September and October. You should also trim any other plants that are growing near your alliums to make sure there’s plenty of space for adequate air circulation. If you decide to grow these in your garden, let me know where you end up putting them. Once again, the foliage is rather tatty. Alternatively, grow drumstick allium plants in containers and store the containers in a freeze-free location until spring. Allow the top inch or two of soil to dry out before you water again. Thrips (Thrips tabaci) are tiny insects – about 1.5 millimeters long – with two sets of wings that are covered in long hair. If you don’t have a ton of space, you can use them to fill in small areas, since they don’t have a large footprint. Weave them through sunny borders or combine them with feathery grasses for best effect. Read our tips and get this done if you haven’t determined the makeup of your soil. It’s fun to ponder how the two plants are really just cousins that we’ve nurtured for different purposes. Allium sphaerocephalon, commonly called round-headed leak or drumstick allium, is a bulbous perennial that is ornamentally grown for its early summer bloom of rose-purple to pink flower heads.This plant is native throughout Europe to the Caucusus, Iran and northern Africa. Since fungi loves moisture, it’s vital to water at the soil level early in the day rather than sprinkling water on leaves of your plants. Drumstick Allium will grow to be about 12 inches tall at maturity extending to 3 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 12 inches. Allium Drumstick is not the most sturdiest of Alliums, therefore plant amongst other shorter perenials for extra support. You’ll be able to see the little black seeds poking out. Once air temperatures reach 75°F and higher, the fungus can no longer thrive. You can also make a trap to capture adults by placing soapy water in a yellow bowl at the base of plants. The disease is soil-borne and can live in the earth for decades. While they might not have the percussive might of a solid piece of hickory, they certainly had the look I was after. Drumsticks are a good option if you have a spot in the garden that doesn’t get much water. Beauveria bassiana is also an effective, environmentally-friendly option, available at Amazon. If the clumps are overcrowded, dig and divide the bulbs after the foliage dies down. Noteworthy Characteristics. There are only a few insects to watch out for with these ornamental bloomers! Hang them individually or in small groups of fewer than six flowers each in a dark area with good air circulation. Thank you, Kristine, for good, comprehensive information all about alliums. These plants are attractive in a bed or border, especially peeking up through other plants, such as roses, so that their nondescript foliage is hidden. But I’ve done lots of work (and made tons of mistakes!) Hollow, grayish-green foliage provides lovely contrast to the pink to rosy-purple drumstick allium flowers. Spores move through the air and attach to plants that have moisture on the leaves. If you think I didn’t secretly pluck these unusual flowers to use them in my imaginary rock band when I was a kid, you’re wrong. These unique flowers open green, then start to turn a purple/crimson colour from the … Ornamental Onion is a bulbous plant that… You can sometimes spot fine white furry growth on the leaves, and you may see violet lesions as well. Plant the bulbs at a depth of 2 to 4 inches. Gently cover over with soil and water deeply. Then, just follow the steps covered in the article for planting by seed. The plants can reach up to 36 inches tall and blossom from late spring until late summer. You have a rich purple color plants exhibit stunted growth, and bright! Inches tall and blossom from late spring until late summer it a different look therefore plant amongst other shorter for..., then bloom and develop to pink and then clover red-purple using a,! Attack when they ’ re germinating cut flower arrangements perenials for extra.. Temperatures reach 75°F and higher, the main problem you might encounter is disease. Of 24 to 36 inches, drumstick allium bulbs in spring or in... 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