Growing and Saving Alliums

Allium is a reliable and easy-to-grow perennial, hardy in most regions of the U.S. (generally in zones 3-8).



The globe allium is an inedible member of the onion family, prized for its large, ornamental flower heads. Native to Central Asia, these flowering perennial bulbs have long been considered a garden staple, as they are deer resistant and very long lasting in the garden.


  • Ornamental and cut flower arrangements



  • Plant bulbs in fall for a stunning spring and summer display. Plant in loose, average-quality, well-draining soil, as alliums will rot if left over winter in soggy soil.
  • Planting depth ranges by variety; it is best to plant bulbs two to three times as deep as their diameter.
  • Spacing will also vary by variety; small bulbs can be planted 3 to 4 inches apart, while large bulbs should be no fewer than 8 inches apart.


  • Plants prefer full sun, but they will tolerate light shade.


  • Alliums are resistant to most vermin and other critters thanks to their potent onion flavor. The bulbs will rot if left in soggy soil over the winter, so well-draining soil is essential. 


  • After the flower heads have dried, you can cut them and bring them indoors for floral arrangements or allow them to remain on the plants.
  • Do not cut back the foliage after the plants have bloomed; the bulbs will re-absorb nutrients and use them to store food for the winter dormancy period. The bulbs will go dormant, and blooms will reappear the following spring.
  • Globe alliums can live several years, but they will not aggressively spread.