How To Harvest Allium Seeds

It’s fascinating to grow cultivars and see what you get even though the seeds won’t be true to type.

Can you keep the allium seeds?

Alliums are magnificent plants, therefore it’s worthwhile to save a few seeds to plant in the spring to increase the number for the garden.

It’s fascinating to grow cultivars and see what you get even though the seeds won’t be true to type. The seeds will sprout swiftly and mature into flowers in a few years. To obtain the finest show, when planting, pick a place that is protected, sunny, and has excellent drainage.

Try tapping the seeds directly into a paper bag if you want to keep the seedheads in the garden for winter interest. The cut seedheads could potentially be used again in indoor arrangements.

Are allium bulbs formed from the seeds?

The growing requirements for these relatives of common onions are the same whether you are growing alliums for their eye-catching, globular flowers, like the Star of Persia (Allium christophii or A. albopilosum), or for their flavorful, pungent bulbs, like leeks (A. ameloprasum) or chives (A. schoenoprasum). Depending on the variety, both types of alliums can be grown in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 11, producing edible bulbs or blossoms in the spring, summer, or fall before withering away in the winter and regrowing the following year.

How long does it take alliums to mature from a seed?

Scoop a soilless seeding mixture into a flat or tray for beginning seeds. Peat moss, vermiculite or perlite, sand, and occasionally a little amount of lime and compost are included in a soilless mix. Make sure the mixture is also sterilized for the greatest outcomes.

Allium seeds should be liberally scattered around the mixture’s surface in the tray or flat. For a more precise planting, you can use a pair of tweezers or forceps or pinch a group of seeds together between your thumb and index finger. The allium seeds should be placed 1/4 to 1/2 inch apart.

  • The allium seeds should be spread out on paper towels to air dry for about a day.
  • Peat moss, vermiculite or perlite, sand, and occasionally a little amount of lime and compost are included in a soilless mix.

Using a spoon or a tiny piece of wood, press the allium seeds into the seeding mixture approximately 1/8 of an inch deep.

Place the tray in a location that will stay at a temperature of about 70 degrees F for three weeks. At least once per day, check on the tray. Keep the allium seeds moist by spritzing the seeding mixture with a thin mist of water as needed rather than drowning them in water to the point where they become sodden and soaked.

After three weeks, move the tray and put it somewhere where the temperature won’t drop below 50 degrees or rise above 70 degrees. For the remainder of the germination period, keep the tray in this position. Germination can start in about a year, depending on the allium variety you are growing.

The majority of alliums produced from seed will start blooming in two to three years, according to the University of Maryland Fact Sheet on Alliums.

Must I get rid of the allium seed heads?

I have an obsession with ornamental alliums. I keep growing more of them even though I now have around a dozen distinct varieties in my garden. Alliums are not only stunning to look at, but they are also long-blooming, pollinator-friendly, and appear to be immune to disease and pests, even deer.

And if that’s not enough, alliums’ seed heads are yet another reason to adore them. The seed heads of these late spring/early summer flowers can be an equally alluring lure after they have faded. They provide unique forms and textures to the yard and summer flower arrangements and many of them will survive for months. Continue reading to discover how to maximize the use of these eye-catching seed heads.

Use Allium Seed Heads in Fresh Arrangements

While they are still green, the seed heads can be clipped and added to bouquets of fresh flowers. Homegrown bouquets are given a distinct glitter by their color, shape, and texture. For this, Allium Purple Sensation works best.

Leave Seed Heads Right in the Garden

The seed heads can be left in the garden, where people will continue to be intrigued by their unique textures and shapes. The Globemaster and Gladiator alliums, which have sturdy, robust stems, are the ones that I find last the longest. Allium Christophiii’s seed heads, however, also persist for a long time. They may continue to look nice into August in a dry summer.

Paint the Dried Seed Heads

Another choice is to paint the seed heads once they have completely dried. Last year, I dried some Gladiator seed heads and used gold spray paint to embellish them. They emerged with a little bronzer appearance than gold. I might attempt silver paint this year.

The dried seed heads have also been painted glossy white and utilized as wedding decorations by me. The Gladiators are those displayed below.

Here’s a way for drying allium seed heads so you can paint them or just display them inside. When the seed heads are dry but before the seed capsules start to open and release the seeds, they should be painted or treated with a clear fixative. You can maintain the starburst effect and reduce the amount of seeds you need to sweep up by placing the seeds inside the capsules at the end of each “stem.”

The enlarged seed capsules are visible in the photo below, even though the seed head is not yet dry enough to paint.

Visit this post on Gardenista to see some lovely dried alliums (Allium schubertii) hanging from the rafters of an old stone barn in Wiltshire, England.

Mid- to late-fall is the ideal time to plant decorative alliums. Orders are accepted starting in May, and bulbs are shipped from early September through mid-November. The only way to guarantee you’ll get the variety you desire is to place your order early. Our entire collection is available to view HERE.

Does allium grow from seeds?

Excellent bulb plants for perennial gardens are ornamental alliums. They are attractive onions, which come in a variety of species and cultivars.

Their sizes range from the smaller “Allium sphaerocephalon, a smaller allium, to Allium giganteum, a larger allium.

The majority of people grow alliums from bulbs since it is relatively simple to do so.

However, you can also start new plants from seeds if you are raising alliums that produce seeds. Increasing the number of allium plants in your garden is simple and affordable.

However, not all attractive allium plants will, and some will only produce a small amount.

A few varieties of allium are sterile and won’t set seed. In the case of cultivars like Allium “Globe Master” and Allium “Mount Everest,” this is true.

Some cultivars, like Allium, produce a lot of seeds “Allium christophii, also known as the Star of Persia, and Purple Sensation

The seeds from alliums that produce seeds can be kept, planted, and grow to produce more allium seedlings for the garden.

Is It Worth Growing Alliums From Seed?

Growing alliums from seed is absolutely worthwhile if you want to enhance your allium supply.

Remember that some allium bulbs, particularly the larger types, can be rather expensive.

Therefore, gathering some allium seed will ultimately save you money if you have a larger cultivar that produces seed and wish to grow your allium stock.

It’s crucial to understand that hybrids won’t be true to the parent plant, and that the new seedlings may have differences in size, form, and color.

How are allium seed heads dried?

By planting fall bulbs for spring blooms, we are already thinking ahead for the garden of the next year. Alliums are among our favorite bulbs to plant in the fall because they promise to produce enormous, eye-catching flowers. Because of their extraordinary height, they can be used in formal or casual gardens as well as naturalized landscapes. They are whimsical yet dignified. Additionally incredibly adaptable and durable, alliums are perfect for year-round decorative use. Continue reading for our instructions to growing, drying, and using these garden giants as decorations.

Planting Select a planting place with well-drained soil and full sun as soon as the leaves start to fall. This will help your alliums grow stronger stems. These huge bulbs, which can rot if exposed to too much moisture, require good soil drainage. For each bulb, dig a hole that is 2-3 times as deep as the bulb’s height, measured from the bottom of the bulb. Place the bulb in the ground with the pointed end facing up, completely cover it with dirt, and give it a good watering to help it settle. If you’re planting several bulbs, make the holes about 6 to 8″ apart. In the fall and winter, roots will begin to grow, and in the spring, leaves and flowers will appear.

Find a spot for alliums where they may tower over other plants without getting blown over by the wind. The majority of allium stems are robust and sturdy, but as they get older, they might break and become untidy. Never allow the stake extend past the ball if you decide to stake an allium as it grows. Alliums can benefit from having mounding plants around them, such as hardy geranium and nepeta, to help hide the leaves as it turns yellow later in the season.

Drying The majority of allium cultivars bloom in the late spring and early summer, but if they are left in situ, they can keep the garden going into the fall and even the winter, becoming a tawny gold. Their pointed seedheads, however, can also be carried inside and dried for ornamental purposes. Pick a drying location first when you’re prepared to take your alliums from the garden. A pantry or closet may be the best location because they are cool, dark, have good ventilation, and have low moisture levels. To suspend the allium stems, run a taut strand of twine or wire across the area.

When the seedheads are fully developed and dry, harvest them, leaving the stems intact. Make bundles of two or three stems using rubber bands after trimming any extra leaves. Your alliums can be suspended separately if they are quite large. The seedheads should dry for three to six weeks after you attach the bundles to your drying line (we like to use an unfolded paperclip for this).

Decorating Once dried, seedheads make amusing embellishments for both the home and yard. When placed within a glass cloche with other preserved flora, they develop into a natural collection. Tall stems provide new plantings, like a hanging basket or a barrel of autumn grasses, architectural interest. We’ll also add dried alliums to wreaths and evergreen trees as the holidays get near for a botanical Christmas.

How are alliums used after they have flowered?

The foliage of the allium often appears at least a month before the flowers do. Some species’ foliage starts to turn yellow and die off before the flowers are fully open. Plant the bulbs with other plants that will obscure the wilting foliage to help mask it. Alliums do well with hosta, astilbe, and perennial geranium.

When your alliums are blooming, you may anticipate seeing a lot of pollinators. Any type of habitat garden will benefit greatly from the inclusion of these bulbs.

Like their relatives in the vegetable garden, alliums hardly ever have insect or disease problems. Rarely do bothersome rats and deer show any interest.

Most alliums are perennial plants. They will typically bloom again if the species you are planting is winter hardy and the bulbs are suitable to the growing environment in your yard.

Caring for Alliums After They Flower

Allium wasted flower heads can be removed or left in situ once flowering is over. The seed heads are viewed as an intriguing decorative element by many gardeners. Depending on your environment, they may persist far into the beginning of the fall.

Large-headed alliums like Schubertii and Globemaster hardly ever produce viable seeds. Purple Sensation and drumstick alliums will reseed if the conditions are favorable. Simply remove the seed heads after the flowers have faded and before the seeds develop to prevent a carpet of tiny volunteers.

There are herbaceous alliums as well as alliums that grow from bulbs, including varieties like Millennium and Summer Beauty. These plants have a big root system and come back every year to blossom.

Alliums that emerge from bulbs require their foliage in order to generate energy for the blossoms of the next year. Therefore, it’s crucial to let these plants die back organically. The leaves may typically be removed with a simple tug once it has turned yellow and dried. Trim off the wasted blooms from herbaceous alliums with hedge shears or scissors once they have stopped blooming. This will maintain the plants’ clean appearance and might promote a second flush of blossoms.

Are alliums self-replicating?

For spring germination, they can be directly sown in the garden in the summer or fall.

Put your seeds in moistened growing media, store them in the refrigerator for four weeks, then plant them in trays or pots to start them inside. Keep the growing medium’s temperature between 65 and 70 degrees.

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how do you dry alliums?

Pick off seedheads that are starting to fade and store them for a few months in a cold, dry place, such a shed or cellar. To use as Christmas decorations, I like to dry my seedheads and then spray-paint them silver.

are alliums edible?

Since they are all members of the allium family, onions, leeks, and garlic are often consumed foods. Alliums are theoretically edible, but beware eating any that are designed to be aesthetic garden plants because they may have been chemically treated.

are alliums good for bees?

In the spring, bees and other pollinators are all over our alliums. Our neighborhood beekeeper also claims that the honey doesn’t taste oniony.

do alliums need staking?

Even the tallest alliums won’t need staking since their sturdy stems can hold them if they are planted deeply enough in full sun (so they don’t extend toward the light) and in a sheltered location (so they don’t blow over in the wind).