Purple balls of Allium

Allium (Flowering Onion) Allium species and cultivars-  most are purple .. the best color of all! 🙂

And they are hardy in zones 3-11 and do well in sun or shade!  What a great addition to all gardens.

I have many budding and some beginning to burst!


Alliums, or Flowering Onions as they are sometimes called, are found in the same family as garlic, shallots, chives, and onions. Many gardeners often wonder if growing alliums will cause their garden to smell more like a vegetable patch than an outdoor paradise. Fortunately, the scent is only sometimes detected when the leaves or petals are bruised or crushed and is rarely noticed when admiring these fun plants. On the positive side, rodents and deer do not desire to munch any bulb grown in the onion family which means that all of the Allium bulbs are deer resistant and rodent resistant!

Use them as floral GUARD DOGS in your garden! (I stole this cute term from an article in Fine Gardening magazine from a fellow Wisconsinite (Maryalice Koehne)!  Intermix them in all your flower beds.  (Scented Cranesbill and Silvery Lungworts (Pulmonaria) may be additional help too.)

The various types of Allium will add an interesting texture to your garden with their tall stalks topped by spherical blooms. They will also add great texture to dried floral arrangements as the dried flower heads last an extremely long time. Varieties range in height from 12 inches up to 4 feet at times!  I add my dried(meaning lost all color) allium to my front entrance pots for some structure and height behind my shade/lower growing plants.  It looks very cool!

There is one of the more favored the Allium Albopilosum (Star of Persia).  I love the star flowerets, they really stand out on this one!  It’s purple.

Then there is Allium Globemaster that has a flower ball up to 15″ in diameter! More purple!! It is purple.

Allium Gladiator which is big and compact but shorter than the Gigantum.  Also is purple.


Allium Mount Everest is another large ball allium but it is white! Similar is size to the Globemaster.

All 4 of those make great cut flowers as well!

Allium Sphaerocephalon is a daintier and smaller version that is often referred to as the Drumstick allium. A deeper more red purple.

The only large allium that is good in containers would be Allium Ivory Queen. Large ivory balls with wide leaves to match.

Light and airy, the most graceful allium is Allium Neopolitanum.  It has little white flowers and looks quite different than other allium.

Mixed allium are short and come in yellow, pink, fuchsia and white. They also do well in containers or borders.

Like things a little FUNKY?…   Check out the Schuberti.  The cut flower can last for years once dried out!  Hair allium would fit into this category as well.

Two other varieties that are nice are the blue allium and Mediterranean bells.

Do you get how much I like purple?  As I said It is the best color of all!

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8 Responses to Purple balls of Allium

  1. Donna@Gardens Eye View says:

    Gabrielle your alliums are delicious…I have many of the same ones too and they are just starting to open…I love how they pop up all over and add a wonderful look…glad to hear they are a guard against deer and rodents…I’ll have to add more in key areas…

  2. Barbara says:

    Greetings Gabrielle!
    I so love the Purple Alliums! (I too love purple in general!) Last fall I planted a variety of bulbs because I wanted splashes of colour and flowers for cutting. I am a beginner (at best) and unfortunately did little research (or planning) in advance. I just went out and bought bags of bulbs that attracted me by their colour and blooming times; early spring to late summer. I guess that could be considered some sort of planning!
    Anyway–my blooms have arrived and now I am not sure how to go about caring for them or cutting them for vases! I don’t mind not cutting them for vases, but do want to be certain as to how I should be trimming and cutting back. What about feeding; once a week, or every 14 days?
    Foolish, perhaps.
    I am looking for solid, easy to follow, ah yes, gentle advice. Is there a volume: Growing Flowering Bulbs for Dummies?
    I hope to return to this blog and find fellow gardeners taken pity upon me (or at least my bulbs) and provided (gentle & kind) suggestions and resources.
    Until then….

    Cheers ~ Barbara

    • Gabrielle says:

      You started out with the best beginning plan- their color and various bloom times! See, you are very smart (not just because you like purple!)
      I am all about ease! I love to plant , add more and walk around to enjoy my blooms. I dont fertilize. I know many plants, bulbs can do better if you do- but mine are just fine!
      Many flowers do great as cut flowers- leaving some green foliage behind- especially bulbs helps the plants rejuvenate and come back the following year (as long as they are hardy)! Dont cut back green foliage until it is yellowing.

  3. Diane says:

    I have to get some of these!

  4. Jean/Jean's Garden says:

    Gabrielle, What a wonderful collection of allium. I have Globemaster (which I love) and Gladiator in my garden, and I’m thinking of adding Purple Sensation after being wowed by it in a friend’s garden this spring.

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