How to plant alliums for Summer

Alliums Summer Beauty are a fabulous recent introduction producing impressive sprays of strong stems, topped with rounded lavender-pink umbels — unlike other alliums, their leaves will remain green throughout the season. Often described as fireworks frozen mid-explosion, these clump-forming, late-flowering hardy perennials loved by pollinating insects will bring colour and texture to the sunny border or container from June to August. They are perfect for planting with other hardy perennial plants, lilies and summer flowering bulbs, and make excellent cut flowers.

Plant in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun and keep hydrated during growth. To keep your alliums flowering year on year, lift and divide overcrowded clumps after two to three years before removing any tiny new bulbs and planting them in pots or in the garden until the bulbs are mature. It will take them a few years to develop into flowering size bulbs but the wait will be worth it.

Alliums Summer Beauty are supplied as bare root plants. Avoid poor flowering results by always unpacking and planting on arrival. Take care! Allium bulbs and plants can be poisonous to cats and dogs. Although most animals would not dream of nibbling on them, do take care to protect your pets.

Potential problems, pests and diseases:

  • Allium leaf miners/larvae: these sap-eating flies feed by puncturing foliage whilst their larvae wreak havoc by mining bulbs, foliage and stems. White lines and spots become visible on the leaves whilst brown pupae may be found in the bulbs and stems. Attacks can lead plants to develop infections, rot and decay. Provide insect net protection in spring and autumn to prevent flies from laying eggs.

  • Snails and slugs: these pests enjoy munching on young shoots, stems, leaves and flowers. Watch out for damage!

  • Onion diseases: all bulbs from the onion family are susceptible to similar problems such as onion fly, onion white rot and mildew. If you're planting your alliums in an allotment for cut flowers, it is important not to plant where onions were previously planted or close to onions in other beds.
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