Allium Globemaster

natalie4b(7b GA)May 25, 2007

I have planted some Globemaster bulbs last year, and some of them turned out to bloom on very short (less then knee high)stalks. Large heads, short stalks. Is it a soil problem? Water problem? Not enough fertilizer?

And another question: is it safe to trim off the leaves that look like a spent foliage of tulips? Very untidy. The flowers look good, but the leaves are pitiful.

Thank you for your help!


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I haven't planted Allium flowers, but many of my daffs and tulips, that I just planted last fall, also had very short stalks. They flowered fine, but on less than 6 inch stalks.

I was told that the first year bulbs flower they'll often have short stalks, and it should right itself the year after.

Not sure about the leaves, though. Sorry.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 6:42PM
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natalie4b(7b GA)


what a great name you have chosen! Love it!
Thank you for responding. I am hopeful now that next year my Globes will "grow up".

Have a great weekend,

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 9:27PM
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outinthegardenallday(Zone 7, LI,NY)

Good day Natalie. I'm here on Long Island and have some suggestions and comments. My first group of Globemaster bloomed last Spring. Tall plants with BIG HEADS. The ones that came back this Spring had doubled to two plants each, however the heads were now the size of tennis balls (they were about 1/3 the head size of last Spring).

Now...last Fall my best friend (who lives in the Raleigh Durham area) and I split an order of Globemaster. He planted his 12 in new raised beds (read that "no clay - good dirt") and only two returned. Mine came up nice and tall but again, the heads were about the size of small grapefruits. I have no idea why...we had a very unusual winter here - warmish up through January and then we got hit with really bitter cold during the month of February. And then to top it off, a Spring freeze in April (which killed off one of my patio clematis).

Finally, regarding your question on the foilage. Leave it be and plant around it. Two years ago one of our fellow posters put up a beautiful photo she had taken in France, showing a variety of Allium coming up through hosta. I planted mine amongst the hosta and it looks terrific and hides the foilage. I've tried to plant all of the allium (I have Globemaster and Christophii - another terrific plant by the way), amongst my perennials. Or there are always a good variety of tall bushy annuals that you can plant near the allium bases to disguise the foilage.

One more thing...I dried out the heads on the stalks. I then take the heads and place them amongst the other plants out front. Little kids are really taken by them and, when I'm out front and they ask, I explain to them what they are...big giant seed heads. My great niece and nephew love playing with them, throwing them in the air. I like putting the dried heads on top of bamboo sticks and put them out here and there during the winter months...adds a little pizazz to the otherwise dead brown garden.

Geesh...I've gone on quite a bit but I'm passionate about gardening and really hope this has been helpful to you too.


    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 5:47AM
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natalie4b(7b GA)

on the subject of planting alliums with hostas: I was under impression alliums prefer full sun, and hostas like shade. Unless you use the sun tolerant hosta?

Those seed heads - can the seeds be planted, or they multiply thru bulbs only?

Thank you for your response. I can see you are really passionate about gardening. I can relate to that!

Have a great day,

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 9:13AM
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outinthegardenallday(Zone 7, LI,NY)

All of our hosta get about 5 hours of sun a day. They get shade from our neighbor's maple tree towards the end of the afternoon. The allium get a head start with alot more sun before the maples leafs out. Usually when the maple is fully leafed out, the allium already have their heads and they're good to go.

I have to tell you though that none of my alliums get full the most it might be 6 hours MAYBE a day. So I guess allium can do well in part sun too then?

I don't think the seed heads will do anything but look pretty. The plants seem to divide by their bulbs. All of my singles, that are now doubles, popped up right next to eachother.

Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 11:37PM
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natalie4b(7b GA)

Yes, I like the idea of planting hosta underneath of allium. It must cover the unsightly foliage of alliums very well.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 8:13PM
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leecat(z5/6 IL)

Great info. This is the first year I have alliums growing. I wasn't sure how to handle the yellowing foliage. So just leave it alone, right? It doesn't hurt the bulb by cutting off the dried stalk? That was another concern of mine. Thanks so much for all the info.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 1:57PM
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We planted globemasters for the first time last Fall. They all came up and grew to about 12" with 5-6" flowers. They are in varied bright shade to full sun. Once the stalks and leaves, yellowed, I cut them to ground level. ( Once the greens have yellowed, this means that the nutrients have gone back to the bulb) so, cutting the faded greens is safe. BTW, I took a chance and purchased my bulbs in Walmart... suprisingly, all bloomed!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 5:16PM
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natalie4b(7b GA)

Next year I am planting lots of low growing flowers under my alliums to cover up yellow foliage.
The good news is rabbits leave them alone. Just this morning I had funerals for another hollyhock... Poor guy - he was so gorgeous! That rabbit must have had a breakfast of his life. Rascal!
There, I feel better after venting. Thanks for listening, I needed that.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 10:16PM
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I never knew Allium bulbs would multiply since mine, planted at least 5 years ago, never have. I love the big round balls they produce but I would love to see more. Any ideas on how I can encourage the bulbs to multiply?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 9:00PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Globemasters and Gladiators do multiply. My other Alliums don't. I planted them in well drained soil and try not to over water them in summer. The flowers do get smaller as mentioned above. I leave the flower heads on the stalks all summer until the wind blows them away. I get more for the money this way.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 4:53PM
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I'm in southern CT. I planted allium globemasters last spring. The stalks were tall, the heads gigantic. Like OITGAD, mine doubled this year, and were shorter, with smaller heads. I'm wondering if I divide the bulbs in the fall, will the singles go back to full size?? I also hide the foliage with other plants and leave the seed heads to dry on the stalk. BTW, anyone have luck with drumstick allium? Mine flop over and just look messy.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 8:40PM
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Cinder_Ella(z7 PNW)

I'm chuckling at the post about putting the dried seed heads out in front, and the kids throwing them around. You'll probably have lots of volunteer allium, because the seeds do grow, and they grow well.

I had a bag of collected seed that got left outside and forgotten, and the following Spring had a bag-shaped patch of Allium seedlings to show for it. Each one had a tiny bulb. Mine are re-seeding freely and spreading throughout the front yard.

Want lots of Allium? save seed and plant.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 11:58PM
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