Allium

ALLIUM (Flowering Onion) Liliaceae A. species

HABITAT:  Native to Northern Hemisphere.  Hardy Zone 4 dependent on variety.

USE:  Rock gardens, edgings, pots, cut and dried arrangements.

HABIT:  Bulbous plants usually divided into three groups:  Noxious weeds, useful vegetables, and ornamental plants.  The ornamental plants have green, strap-like leaves, and umbele of flowers in pink, rose, violet, red, blue, yellow, and white which flower spring to fall.  Some are fragrant.  Flowers may be compact or loose in roundish clusters at the end of leafless stems, 4-36 inches in height.

SEED GERMINATION:  Place seed in refrigerator four weeks for pre-cooling, then remove and sow in the spring on moistened Park's Grow Mix.  Keep the temperature within the soil at 70 degrees. May also be sown outdoors in cold frame in late winter or early spring.  Seed has a very short storage life.  Most species bloom second or third summer from sowing.

CULTURE:  Set out plants in any good garden soil that is perfectly drained.  Work in humus (compost, peat moss, leaf mold, etc.) and set bulbs to depth equal their height.  As buds appear, feed with a general purpose liquid fertilizer and repeat as flowers open.  Give full sun.  Most species are hardy south of Zone 4, but A. Giganteum should be mulched in winter north of Zone 6. Divide only when clumps become overcrowded and fail to bloom properly.

INSECTS:  Aphids, Thrips, Beetles:  Use an approved insecticide, such as Rotenone or Malathion, for control.
Army Worms, Cut Worms:  Use an approved insecticide, such as Sevin, for control.
Mites, Maggot:  Use an approved insecticide, such as Diazinon, for control.

DISEASES:  Leaf Blights, Rust, Mildew:  Use an approved fungicide, such as Benlate, for control.
Yellows:  Spray an approved insecticide, such as Malathion, for control of insects.
Bulb Rot:  Control soil borne insects with approved insecticide such as Lindane.

PROPAGATION:  Bulb offsets (top offsets in rare cases) and seed.

REMARKS:  For a different winter pot plant indoors, try some of the shorter Allium species.  They prefer cool growing temperatures as one would find near a window.  Pot in sandy soil and grow in a bright window with plenty of water.  Dramatic as cut flowers lasting several days.  When flowers fade, spray them with gold or silver paint (from the florist) for a unique decoration.