Ornamental Alliums are great late spring and early summer blooming bulbs. They need very little maintenance through the growing season and will bloom well in just about any soil type as long as the drainage is excellent year-round. Adding Alliums to an established garden border provides vertical interest and a jolt of intense color that lasts for weeks. Many of the Alliums also have incredible seedhead shapes that will persist in the garden or a vase for a long time.
The ultimate dynamic artist, Alliums can be used to add an unexpected element in a pastel, calm cottage garden, or add to the architectural style of a modern mixed container for a patio or balcony. Plants that thrive in full sun and drier soils will pair beautifully with ornamental Alliums.
Shrubs To Plant With Alliums
Shrubs that grow well in full sun and tolerate drought make a great backdrop and companion for ornamental Alliums. Euonymus, rose of sharon, and spirea can be considered when designing a mixed bed with shrubs and Alliums. The shorter varieties of Allium make for an interesting, although short blooming, ground cover in front of broadleaf and conifer evergreens.
Perennials To Plant With Allium
Alliums are so easygoing and grow well in so many different soil types that they can be planted in practically any garden. Use the deep jewel tones of giant Alliums to highlight small flowers on lower-growing perennials such as windflowers, artemisia, and cranesbill. The contrasting textures of daylily, lavender, rosemary, and salvia will draw the eye, while requiring little maintenance once established. Alternatively, the free-flowing shapes of shasta daisy, peonies, and russian sage contrast nicely against the vertical silhouette of Allium.
Annuals To Plant With Alliums
Alliums look fabulous when planted with annuals that flower over a very long period. Try using low-growing euphorbia, petunias, new guinea impatiens, and bright calendula as a ground cover to help hide the dying leaves of Allium after it has bloomed. Taller-growing annuals such as cosmos, cleome, zinnia, and helenium can be used to fill in between individual Allium plants to create a lovely, full effect. Annuals fill in garden beds quickly during a single growing season and ensure that there is always something in bloom in the garden.
Best Companion Plants For Alliums in Containers
Combine filler and spiller plants with Alliums when designing a mixed seasonal planter. The Alliums will take center stage not only while in bloom, but well after the seedhead forms. Use nemesia, alyssum, or dianthus as a filler plant. For the final touch, add a spiller plant to gently trail from the container and provide another layer of flowers or foliage texture. English Ivy works well for more formal plantings, while licorice plant and creeping jenny add a jolt of color and a looser shape for more modern or relaxed designs.
Plants Not To Grow With Alliums
Ornamental Alliums will not survive in soil that stays soggy at any time during the year. Alliums also need ample sunlight, so deep shade-loving plants such as ferns, hostas, and epimediums do not make good companion plants. Avoid planting any type of Allium, ornamental or edible, near beans and peas in the edible kitchen garden. While Alliums are good at attracting beneficial pollinators, they also give off chemicals in the soil that will stunt the growth of any beans or peas growing near them.
Best Plants To Grow With Alliums
In the landscape, try pairing Alliums with rose of Sharon and mophead hydrangeas. The shapes of the flowers will complement each other during their long flowering periods. Choose colors that are complementary or monotone to create a restful feeling. Keep in mind that any good companion for Allium will appreciate full sun to part shade and well-drained soil.