too late to order decorative alliums??

efd123(6-7)March 21, 2012

Hello, I dont know what's wrong with me but I have wanted to have a garden of my own, and grow glorious huge alliums since I was old enough to know what they were. Well now that I have had a yard of my own for 2 seasons I still havn't learned the lesson that you have to order them in the fall. at this point all catalogs and online companies have a huge OUT OF SEASON plastered on each beautiful allium picture but my question is this, arn't there later summer blooming varieties? and shouldnt I be able to purchase those now to plant? I'm pretty savvy with a computer and feel as if I have searched like crazy yet cannot find any available to order online. Do I just have to wait until fall?? i know this post is huge, but if any one has made it to the end and would also like to reccomend late summer blooming varieties it would just be too wonderful :) :) ;)

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Ispahan Zone6a Chicago

Yes, unfortunately it is far too late to plant the huge globe alliums like 'Globemaster', 'Ambassador' and 'Gladiator'. However, you can pre-order them for fall delivery right now from Brent and Becky's Bulbs and take advantage of their 10% off early bird discount. These large allium bulbs are extremely expensive compared to most bulbs but they are worth every penny.

There are still some types of alliums you could plant now, mainly the rhizomatous forms that bloom in late summer (August and September). Examples are 'Millennium', 'Sugar Melt', 'Summer Beauty' and Allium nutans 'Pam Harper' among a few others. These will produce foliage that is attractive all season long. While they do not provide the giant spectacular globes of the summer dormant types, these are still exquisitely beautiful alliums that would perform excellently in a perennial border. These can all be found at Plant Delights, High Country and Avant Gardens.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 7:02PM
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wow, thank you so much, ispahan, for your wonderful response! and thanks for the reccomendations. I am going to look into those now and also take a look at my brent & becky catalog and do a little shopping... ***** If you dont mind I have one more question, as I see now that it appears none of the "giant" alliums bloom in late summer, would you have a reccomendation for the largest late summer allium? for biggest impact. I am really hoping to be able to grow some for my Wedding that Im planning for next September ( of 2013 )

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 9:01AM
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Ispahan Zone6a Chicago

All of the later flowering alliums will be beautiful, but none will provide the same over-the-top purple globe effect of the spring-blooming/summer dormant types. Most of them are excellent garden plants but none will likely satisfy your need for giant globes.

The best I can suggest is perhaps to use the dried seed heads of the large globe types in your wedding arrangements? While they would not be the actual giant purple globes, they could still be attractive and interesting in their own right.

Many/most alliums are excellent cut flowers and many of them have a sweet floral scent that reminds me, strangely enough, of freshly made corn tortillas. Tuberoses have a touch of this same scent underneath their heavy floral overtones. Just remember that cut alliums can bruise easily, and if they are placed in a position where people can touch them, brush up against them, etc., the damaged tissue will produce a pungent oniony scent for a while. Some people are turned off by this, but I don't mind the scent personally.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 7:14PM
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Thank you very much for all of your insight ispahan! also I love the idea of using the large dried seed heads since I won't be able to use a fresh one :) simple idea that I just wasnt thinking of myself.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 10:19AM
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