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I've grown some lovely alliums this year and I'd love them to grow again next year. Everything I've read says to leave all the leaves on to feed the bulb after flowering but I have a problem here - all the leaves died off as the alliums came into flower, in fact I just had tall stems coming out of the ground with no leaves whatsoever. They looked a bit naked but the flowers were gorgeous! Has this happened to anyone else? If so, did the alliums flower again the following year?
Hi Frances, the leaves do die back just as alliums start to bud. Mine have been in flower for three weeks now and have no leaves whatsoever. It's my first year doing them, but I have no reason to doubt they will flower next year
That is normal behaviour for most Alliums. It makes showing them quite difficult as you either have to remove all the old leaves or, trim the sear ends of to look like the leaves are still whole.
I've had the opposite in a way: loads of leaf growth this year with stunted stems and pretty insignificant flowerheads, which I wondered might be due to the cool weather...?
bought 3 pot grown allium gigantiums 3 years ago they flowered that year but since planting them in my border this last 2 years get plenty ov green bottom foliage but they never shoot up n flower any ideas ? shud i try them back in a pot im real frustrated i miss my tall beauties thanks : Neil
Thanks for all your replies. Keeping my fingers crossed for next year.
Neil, the time to foliage feed them us as soon as the leaves appear, which is often very early in the season, February even. OR, put a granular type food on in autumn when the roots begin to grow.
Mine are the same Frances and they always come back next year. I do give them a feed or two when the leaves are still green.
Thanks for the feeding tips. I have one more question - is it detrimental to the plant to cut the alliums? I've read they make lovely cut flowers (which they do) but I've also read to leave the stems on in order to feed the bulbs. This is all very confusing!!
As I said before, the stems are almost disconnected from the bulb at flowering time, so removing them does the bulb no harm. In fact you can remove the flowering stems of most bulbs once the flower has finished. Does them good not to expend energy making seeds. The only difference is that the big Alliums have already done all the hard work. Cut them for the house and fret not.
Great. Thank you.
Planted album bulbs, a few different varieties, for first time this year. Got gorgeous flowers and gorgeous big seed heads. Have left seed heads as I thought that they would seed themselves for more flowers next year.but is this wrong? should I discard seed heads?
It depends what you want Kay. I rarely dead head anything. I have a forest of assorted alliums. Some of the cultivars are not as huge in later generations but I prefer them like that. The speciee, especially christophii, seed like made and are just the same.
And as an extra, there are some pink ones (name escapes me for the moment) which have been seeding gently for years, looking much the same, this year there are 3 white ones