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Allium Planting Instructions

Planting Instructions for Allium senescens (curly allium):

Bloom Time:  Late summer Light:  Full sun to part sun
Soil:  Average to loamy, well-drained Moisture:  Average to dry, drought tolerant
Planting Depth:  1" to top of bulbs, mulch lightly Spacing:  12 to 15"

Upon arrival:  Unpack box and check that you have everything on your packing list. Bare root Allium should be dry in storage, so if condensation has formed on the inside of the bag, open and let it air out. Plant everything within a day or two.

Soil/Location:  Plant your Allium in a sunny spot in average to loamy, loose and airy, well-drained soil. Add compost or peat humus to enrich and loosen the soil if needed, but they are very adaptable to almost any soil conditions other than heavy clay or wet areas. Remember to keep the soil light and airy for perennials, so cover them with loose soil and don't pack it in after planting, and if needed build up above heavy soil rather than trying to plant into it.

Moisture:  Allium require little moisture, even after they are actively growing. Early season plantings (April and May) and plants that have no foliage should be started on the dry side. During that time we like to bury the roots, water lightly once and then we rarely water again. When actively growing they can be watered a couple times a month if needed, allowing the soil to dry out between watering, however they are quite drought tolerant once established.

Spacing:  12 - 15"

Depth:  Plant curly allium with the top of the individual bulbs about 1" below soil level. New sprouts will emerge at slightly varying depths and you will probably be able to tell how deep they used to be planted from the white and green variations on the exposed stems.

General Instructions:  Amend your garden with compost or peat humus to enrich or loosen the soil, if needed, however Allium are very adaptable to any loose, well-draining soil. Mix a couple teaspoons of garden food or bone meal into the planting hole if desired. Plant the roots as listed above, then water in once lightly. They prefer a slightly dry start when they are dormant in spring and have no foliage. Once they are actively growing it is alright to give them supplemental water once in a while, but they rarely need it.

Landscape Uses:  Curly allium (Allium senescens) is a wonder border plant for the hot, sunny garden. Combine them with Sedum, bellflowers, Nepeta, hardy geranium, and dwarf daylilies and lilies.

Self-sown seedlings are possible but not at all invasive like regular chives. They are easy to spot and simple to transplant or discard, just look for little blades that twist.