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Bloom Time Chart for Allium Bulbs

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Sep 9, 2016


If you’re one of the many gardeners who have fallen in love with alliums, our new bloom time chart could get you into some trouble. We have organized the 12 most popular allium bulbs by height, flower size and bloom time. This makes it easy to see at a glance which types you have and which ones you still need to get!

It’s impossible to predict exactly when a plant will bloom. But that said, this chart is a good reference for the bloom time sequence you can expect. Choose alliums that bloom early, mid and late in the season to have flowers from late spring to midsummer.


When to Plant Allium Bulbs

Fall is the time to be adding alliums to your garden. Herbaceous alliums such as ‘Millennium’ and fall-blooming allium tuberosum can be planted during spring and summer. But most alliums grow from bulbs and these are planted in the fall, at the same time as tulips and daffodils.

We ship allium bulbs from September through November, but you can order them almost any time of year. Your bulbs will be reserved until proper planting time and your credit card won’t be charged until we ship the bulbs. It’s the best way to guarantee you won’t forget to order and won’t run the risk of missing out on popular types.

Need some inspiration for how to use alliums in your garden? We collaborated with garden designer Nick McCullough on two perennial garden designs featuring alliums: Bountiful Blooms and Daring Forms. Both include plant lists for all the bulbs and perennials, and we also offer bulb collections to support each design.

The National Garden Bureau chose alliums as the Bulb of the Year for 2016. To learn more about these easy-to-grow, deer-resistant perennials, you might enjoy reading: Alliums for Every Garden, Allium Garden Design: Bountiful BloomsTypes of AlliumsPlanting Fall Bulbs in a Meadow (video).

Topics: Alliums Garden Design

Kathleen LaLiberte has been writing about gardening for more than 30 years from her home in northern Vermont, where she tends a half acre of flowers, vegetables and fruit. She has been working with Longfield Gardens since 2011.

6 Replies to “Bloom Time Chart for Allium Bulbs”

    1. Hi Barbara,
      If the bulbs are still in good condition and haven’t dried out, you can try planting them as soon as the ground thaws. I’m sorry to say, but it’s unlikely they will bloom. The natural growth cycle is for the bulbs to start growing in the fall and then be dormant over the winter before coming back to life in the spring. We start accepting bulb orders for next fall at the end of March!

    1. Hi Jane,
      First come flowers, then come seeds. To produce seeds the plant must have produced a flower. Maybe you saw buds that didn’t open? Sometimes bulbs will do this when it is too hot/cold/dry. Or there could be a problem with the planting location.

  1. Do the bulbs bloom subsequent years like other perennials and daffodils or are they like tulips , which are one hit wonders?

    1. Hi Pat — Alliums are definitely perennials, but not quite on par with daffodils. It depends a bit on the type of allium bulb and also on your location and soil. The alliums I have found to be most perennial are Purple Sensation, Allium Nigrum and Allium sphaerocephalon (drumstick allium). That said, the big-headed alliums such as Globemaster and Gladiator have returned in my garden for at least 5 years now. For me, Allium atropurpureum and christophii don’t always come back, but I know others find them to be reliably perennial. All types are fun to grow!

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