What to consider in choosing allium companion plants
Not just colors and shapes, but several things need to be considered in finding the right allium companion plants. The first one is the planted Allium itself. There are dozens of allium types like Bulgaricum, Globemaster, Nigrum, etc., and they have their features.
Schubertii, Graceful, and Karataviense are relatively short, ranging from 20-35 cm. Hence, they should not be paired with tall, sun-blocking plants, including pine trees.
After knowing your alliums well, it is time to check the characteristics of companion plants. Alliums love dry soil and full sunlight. Plants that grow well in shade and wet soil, like jewelweed and ostrich fern, might not be good companions.
Lastly, consider the bloom time. Alliums mostly take 2-3 years to flower and bloom from late spring until early summer. Make sure you calculate the companion plants’ growing and bloom times so they can bloom together in the same period.
How to combine the allium companion plants
Based on the width and shape of the garden, three or more plants can be set together with alliums. In terms of height, plants that are shorter than alliums will surely make the alliums stand out.
If there are several alliums to combine, put the smallest one at the front of the flower bed, the mid-size ones in the middle, and the tallest ones at the back. Yet, if only one type of Allium exists, it can be spread irregularly through the area.
Related to colors, alliums are also varied, including white, blue, burgundy, pink, purple, and yellow. Planting the same-tone color flowers like lavender and lilac Allium senescence will create a vibe in your garden.
Another way to make the alliums shine more is by pairing them with ornamental grass such as Nassella tenuissime.
Advantage of having allium companion plants
It is said that alliums do not like wet soil. If you only have wet soil, the solution has allium companion plantsthat absorb the water, like purple coneflower, daylily, and Japanese iris. Some companion plants do not only adjust the soil to alliums but also protect them.
Marigolds are an example because their roots produce a toxin that wipes out nematodes in root knots. Cucumbers also prevent fungus issues like powdery mildew in Alliums.
The advantage is not only received by the alliums but also by the companion plants, especially the crop type. Companion plants for alliums do not have to be ornamental and flowery only.
Vegetable and fruit plants can also be the company for alliums. Alliums release smells that deter pests from consuming their surrounding plants.
Tips for caring for allium companion plants and the Allium itself
Before planting alliums and their companion plants, care must be taken to prepare the right soil: dry and slightly acidic. Cut down tall plants that could cover alliums from getting direct sunlight.
Then mulch the ground to prevent weed growth. While planting, make sure not to plant alliums too close to each other as their strong scent might invite onion flies.
Once the plants are growing, they do not require complicated care. Infrequent watering, like once in three to five days, is okay. Since insects won’t come close to alliums, snails, slugs, and leaf miners are the only problems to be watched out for.
Harmful allium companion plants to avoid
Not all plants are good for alliums, especially the alliums themselves like onions, chives, shallots, garlic, and leeks.
The strong scent they produce might cause onion fly and maggot pests. Moreover, allium leaves turn yellow and dry easily once the flower blooms.
Hence, it is quite difficult to hide yellow and rooting from a group of closely-planted alliums.
The harm might also affect the companion plants. Ajoene, the chemical produced by Allium, inhibits the growth of turnips, beans, asparagus, and beans.
Even though some add more nitrogen to the soil, that is good for alliums; unfortunately, the alliums do the opposite.
Pretty allium companion plants to make a stunning garden
When it is time to decide on the pairs of alliums, consider the plants’ color, height, and characteristics. To ease you in finding the perfect one, here is the list of allium companion plants that will never go wrong.
- Crimson fountaingrass
- Lady’s Mantle
- Phlomis tuberosa
- Sword lily
To make a stunning garden, not only the plant combination but the plant arrangement is needed. The alliums are good as a border or ornament in the garden.
Combined with the plants above and a little arrangement, your garden could be mini heaven.
As the reference on the internet, there are dozens of complete Allium garden design ideas, including the number and location of each plant.