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Pennisetum setaceum rubrum and Allium sphaerocephalon growing together

What to grow with alliums

Published: Wednesday, 1 June, 2022 at 9:18 am

Find the perfect planting companions for alliums, with the help of our feature

Alliums are versatile plants that work well in just about any planting scheme. Pair them with grasses in a prairie-style display, or cottage garden plants for a loose, romantic feel.


There's a huge variety of alliums to choose from, ranging both in height and size of bloom. Most flower from late-spring to early summer, but breeders are working on cultivars that bloom later in the year.

Browse our selection of planting partnerships, below.

Euphorbia, salvia and verbascum

Allium 'Mount Everest' growing with euphorbia, salvia and verbascum
Allium 'Mount Everest' growing with euphorbia, salvia and verbascum

In this plant combination, the while allium flowers bring a freshness and contrast to the otherwise green and purple display. This adds depth to the design, inviting you to look beyond it, at the dark-leaved elder beyond.

Geum and verbascum

Geum 'Prinses Juliana', Allium 'Purple Sensation', Lychnis flos-cuculi and Verbascum phoeniceum 'Violetta'
Geum 'Prinses Juliana', Allium 'Purple Sensation' and Verbascum 'Violetta'

This colourful combination combines violet Allium 'Purple Sensation' with bright orange geums and darker purple verbascums. The effect is a wild, unkempt look, with pockets of colour among the green grasses. The darker verbascums bring out the light colour of the alliums, while the plashes of orange provide contrast.

Alstroemeria and erysimum

How to grow alstroemerias - alstroemerias growing with alliums and erysimum
Alliums growing with alstroemeria and wallflowers

Here, large purple alliums grow in a mixed border with alstromeria, erysimum, campanula, cranesbill geraniums and lilies. The purple of the alliums is enhanced by the purple of the campanulas and erysimum, while the greens and creamy yellows provide contrast. This border combination works particularly well because there are plenty of other colours and forms to grow into the space left by the alliums once they've gone over.

Artemisia, carex and salvia

Allium, artemisia, carex and salvia
Allium, artemisia, carex and salvia

Here, the dark-leaved artemisia brings out the purple of the allium, while the lighter artemisa in the foreground provides a contrast in colour (although mirrors the form of its dark-leaved counterpart), while the carex provides a neutral backdrop. the purple salvia enhance the colour of the allium blooms but will also continue the colour and grow into the space left by the alliums when they have died down.

White cranesbill

Allium and white cranesbill
Allium and cranesbill

Here, Allium 'Purple Sensation' grows with a white cranesbill. The fresh green leaves provide the perfect backdrop, while the white of the cranesbills brings out the intensity of the purple alliums.

Pennisetum setaceum

Pennisetum setaceum and Allium sphaerocephalon
Pennisetum setaceum and Allium sphaerocephalon

This gorgeous combination makes the most of the pennisetum and the drumstick alliums. The colour of the pennisetum leaves brings out the burgundy of the allium flowers, while the feathery seedheads provide movement and contrast. Blocks of colour in the background provide depth to the display.


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