NDSU Extension - Mercer County

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Landscaping with Onions

Onions, Landscaping, gardens

Submitted by Craig Askim, Extension Agent/Agriculture and Natural Resources

Onions, you say? Yes, it is true! They are a cheap way to add color to your landscape. This time of the year is the time to plant them. The article below gives some tips on how to go about doing it.

Many gardeners are growing onions for BEAUTY and not for FOOD.

Ornamental alliums are stunning, and gardeners are beginning to take notice.

These alliums have become very popular flowers in pollinator gardens. Their nectar-filled blooms are enticing magnets for bees and butterflies.

The plants are easy to grow and require very little maintenance. Alliums tolerate drought and suffer from no major diseases. Deer, rabbits and mice hate eating onions.

Fall is the season to plant allium bulbs. Give alliums a sunny spot with good drainage. It is a good idea to add some peat moss or other organic matter to the soil before planting.

There are many different alliums. Pay attention to flower shape, color, bloom time and hardiness.

The most popular varieties are favored for their sensational ball-shaped blooms. Supported on skinny stalks, the blooms seem to float above the other perennials in the bed.

Giant alliums get a lot of attention. The colossal ‘Globemaster’ will grow over 3 feet tall, topped with purple “volleyballs.” ‘Mount Everest’ and ‘White Giant’ have white blooms that blend into mixed flowerbeds beautifully.

‘Purple Sensation’ is popular for its earliness and reliability. Allium cristophii (Star of Persia) is beloved for its lacy pink blossoms (shown). Allium schubertii has a flower that looks like a burst of pink fireworks.

‘Millenium’ Perennial Plant of the Year in 2018. It is prized for its compact habit and its profusion of flowers. ‘Millenium’ is sold in springtime as a plant. Look for it at your garden center.

Source: Tom Kalb, Extension Horticulturist, North Dakota State University, tom.kalb@ndsu.edu

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