Just keep in mind that if your plants get too crowded, you might be inviting fungi that can spread disease. Usually flowering in the lead-up to Christmas these stunning little performers are great in the garden or vase. It may even cause flowering to stop altogether. People in warm climates should plant allium bulbs in November, December, or early January. They made my day! 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. They have tall, thin stems topped with a tight knot of flowers, which gives them an appearance not unlike the musical accessory. These beautiful plants take up very little space and look best if they are grown through perennial plants. Allium ‘Globemaster’ bears rounded, deep violet flower heads, 15-20cm in diameter, from late spring to early summer. Butterflies love them and so will you! You can find bags of 25, 50, or 100 bulbs available at Eden Brothers. 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. In the fall after the foliage dies back, you can dig up and divide mature plants. Fall is the best time to add alliums to your garden. 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. Prepare the soil at the new planting location by adding sand if it’s particularly heavy or does not drain well. Like many of their edible allium cousins, ornamental alliums self-seed readily. 25-5-30). Hang them individually or in small groups of fewer than six flowers each in a dark area with good air circulation. Plant drumstick allium bulbs in spring or fall in sandy, well-drained soil that has been amended with compost or organic matter. They need at least six hours sun and a warm spot in the garden in order to thrive. Lift the clump of soil out and gently tease out up to half of the bulbs. However, they can also be planted in spring, although they may not flower as well in their first year. Kristine Lofgren is a writer, photographer, reader, and gardening lover from outside Portland, Oregon. Then, I hang it from my attic rafters. The disease is soil-borne and can live in the earth for decades. Noteworthy Characteristics The charming purple-red drumsticks bloom in midsummer and then fade as summer wears on. 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. If they do enough damage to the leaves, this can cause a reduction of photosynthesis, which can lead to lower rates of flowering. This type of fungi thrives in cool temperatures and high humidity. To dry them, cut to the desired length and immediately take them indoors, away from sunlight. 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. I wasn’t born with a green thumb, either. By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer. 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. Or cutting them to make beautiful arrangements? Store saved seeds in a sealed container in a cool, dark place and they can last for up to two years. Keep in mind that sellers generally won’t ship bulbs until the fall when they’re ready to go in the ground. Individual plants can spread about a foot to a foot and a half. 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. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Experienced gardeners plant these giant Alliums in groups of several bulbs, set very close together. Care Plant 2 to 4 inches deep in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun in autumn. They don’t become invasive and they don’t need constant attention. Snip the seedhead off the plant and rub the heads between your hands to release the seeds. The blooms are dark crimson, maroon, or purple, though they start out green and darken throughout the summer. In general, groups of a single colour have the most impact. 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. This helps to eliminate air pockets. Loosen the soil in the planting area and work in a little bulb fertilizer according to package directions. For best results, plant Allium sphaerocephalon bulbs in fertile, well-drained soil up to three times their diameter. Planting Allium: Plant 20 cm bulbs 10"-12" apart and 6" deep; 10-12 cm bulbs 8" apart and 4" deep; smaller bulbs 3"-4" apart and 3" deep. bulbs to plant now allium drumstick (20 bulbs) Shop our range of gardening gifts for green thumbs - order by midnight December 4 for guaranteed delivery before Christmas. There’s something celebratory about the blossoms, as well. It attacks all types of plants in the allium family. 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. You sure can share the seeds. If you can’t plant your bulbs right away, put them in a cool, dark area until you can get them in the ground. Plant allium in clusters or space throughout the garden for a neat geometric design element. And that’s it! My plan is to combine them with the soft grey foliage and pale yellow flowers of Santolina neopolitanum ‘Edward Bowles’. Underground, the roots and bulbs will start rotting. Vegetable alliums do best with an application of a balanced, vegetable fertilizer applied as directed. Drumstick alliums can be propagated by seed, bulbs, or division. Ornamental alliums are incredibly similar to chive blossoms, but on steroids, with bigger, bolder blooms. Sign up for our newsletter. Consistent treatment is necessary to turn your hydrangeas blue: Plant your hydrangeas in a phosphorous-free medium, and use a phosphorus-free fertilizer with lots of potassium (i.e. We occasionally link to goods offered by vendors to help the reader find relevant products. Place bulbs into holes about three times as deep as the bulbs are long, with the pointy ends facing up. This helps to maintain good spacing, which is helpful for avoiding fungal issues. The allium leafminer (Phytomyza gymnostoma) can be devastating to onion and garlic crops, but for ornamental alliums, they’re more of an inconvenience. Alternatively, grow drumstick allium plants in containers and store the containers in a freeze-free location until spring. They aren’t invasive, and it’s easy to pull unwelcome starts. Beauveria bassiana is also an effective, environmentally-friendly option, available at Amazon. You can purchase bulbs, or get some bulbs or starts from a friend or neighbor for planting in the spring or fall. We ship allium bulbs from September through November, but you can order as early as May. I love that this blooming perennial has such a distinct appearance in the garden with its round, deep maroon heads. Leave the seedheads on the plant until they turn brown and start to open. Color changes need time to take effect. Plants of A. sphaerocephalon are perfect for naturalizing in your garden and the unique flower head creates a sense of whimsy to planting areas. 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. 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. Allow the leaves to die down to the ground. I find their architectural, linear shape to be strikingly novel among the more nebulous foliage in my ornamental garden. Are you using them as a border specimen? Don’t plant alliums in the same location again for at least 15 years, unless you sterilize the soil first. Once your plants have white rot, there isn’t anything you can do. Drumstick Allium Allium sphaerocephalon. It also works well in a pot. While they might not have the percussive might of a solid piece of hickory, they certainly had the look I was after. Once the seedlings emerge, thin them to six inches apart and reduce watering. Plant the bulbs at a depth of 2 to 4 inches. Plant the bulbs at a depth of 2 to 4 inches. They are related, after all. Deer and squirrels just walk (or bounce) on by. Using a spade, gently dig a six-inch margin around the plant, going down about nine inches. To grow these eye-catching blooms for the late Spring/early Summer garden, Allium bulbs should be planted in early Autumn (September-October). Allium bulbs are best left to naturalise; lifting and dividing only as they become overcrowded. 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. There are only a few insects to watch out for with these ornamental bloomers! Some Allium take two years to germinate. Ornamental blooming drumstick alliums are members of the same genus of plants that edible garlic, onion, shallots, chives, and leeks belong to. Alliums (Allium spp.) While A. sphaerocephalon might not have the same stunning flavor as its edible relatives, it makes up for this with its easy, showy display. If that happens, you can place cages that reach halfway up the height of the mature plant. 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. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. At first, you’ll see plants exhibit stunted growth, and the leaves will turn light green or yellow. Check out these guides for some floral companions that work well with ornamental alliums: © Ask the Experts, LLC. Full sun is better. You can also plant drumstick allium bulbs in containers. Gently cover over with soil and water deeply. Allow 4 to 6 inches between bulbs. Drumstick allium plants require full sunlight Avoid damp, poorly drained locations because the bulbs are likely to rot. Soil pH must be low or acid (5.2-5.5) for the plant to absorb the aluminum. Place bulbs four to six inches apart. Then, just follow the steps covered in the article for planting by seed. 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. Flowers last a good long while in vases. The flies will visit the water and drown. Growing drumstick alliums is just that simple and will add an extra touch of interest to the garden. Product photos via BotaniGard and Eden Brothers. As a feature in a deer-proof display? 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. For best blooms, add a well balanced fertiliser in Spring and Autumn. Individual plants can spread about a foot to a foot and a half. Grow in well-drained soil in full sun. How To Stop Leeks From Bolting And Going To Seed, Allium Plant - How To Grow Alliums In Your Flower Garden, DIY Garden Gifts: How To Make Gifts From The Garden, DIY Garden Gifts With Herbs: Homemade Gifts From The Garden, Unique Christmas Plants: Choosing Unusual Holiday Season Plants, Types Of Plant Lodging: Treating Plants Affected By Lodging, Hand Pollinating Grapefruit Trees: How To Hand Pollinate A Grapefruit Tree, What Is Bird’s Nest Orchid – Where Does Bird’s Nest Orchid Grow, Sequoia Strawberry Care: How To Grow Sequoia Strawberry Plants, Handmade Ornaments – Holiday Ornaments Crafted From Nature, Garden Sanctuary: Using The Garden To Help Make A Difference, Growing Herbs Is Easy: Making And Gifting Herb Gardens, Pea Patch Volunteering: Community Gardens Keep Giving. Hollow, grayish-green foliage provides lovely contrast to the pink to rosy-purple drumstick allium flowers. It’s a great choice for growing in a mixed herbaceous border among ornamental grasses, or gravel gardens. Where to Plant Allium Since the drumstick allium spreads, can I share the dried heads with friends and how would they start them in their garden? Plant smaller growing alliums 7.5-10cm (3-4in) apart, and taller species need at least 20cm (8in) between the bulbs. Some of these links may be affiliate in nature, meaning we earn small commissions if items are purchased. 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. Most insects aren’t terribly interested in alliums either. Propagation From seed, sow in containers in a cold frame when ripe or in spring. 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. Alliums are striking ornamental flowers that will begin to flower towards the end of Spring as the foliage is dying down. 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