Family: Alliaceae

Countries: Africa, Asia, Mediterranean, South America

Allium is a large genus of flowering plants, it features hundreds of Allium species and many hybrids.  Onions, spring onions, chives, garlic, and leeks are all part of the Allium family, as are many other plants, which are grown for their decorative flowers and seed heads.

Most Allium flowers are known to be popular with bees, butterflies, hoverflies, and other pollinating insects.

On the whole, Alliums are said to favour well-drained, sandy soils, but different Allium species have different growing requirements, some require more moisture than others, and some Allium species require wetter soils.

Plant Allium bulbs in autumn, for flowers next spring or summer, or sow Allium seeds after harvesting.  Seed sown plants can take a number of years to reach flowering size, so if you want Allium flowers next year, make sure that you plant good quality bulbs this autumn!  Choose large, firm Allium bulbs, avoid purchasing any Allium bulbs that are soft, or display any mould or damage.

Not all Alliums will grow successfully in containers, to discover which species grow well in pots, please click here.

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