Do Allium Bulbs Multiply? ( How Fast? )

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One of the main reasons why so many people tend to grow Alliums in their gardens is because they tend to self seed relatively easily. In addition to this, the Allium bulbs also multiply as long as the soil conditions will allow them to do so. Even if you plant one lonely Allium bulb, it will be able to multiply in a couple of years, and if everything goes right you should see more Alliums popping up in your garden every year.

Allium bulbs do multiply, large bulbs will multiply after 1 to 2 years in the ground, while smaller bulbs will be able to multiply after 2 to 3 years in the ground. It is extremely important not to cut down the Allium leaves too soon, if you do this the bulbs are less likely to multiply. Local conditions can also impact how Allium bulbs multiply, too little water will delay this process, while too much water in the soil will stop the process entirely as the bulbs are at risk of rotting.

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Although Allium bulbs do multiply relatively easily, not all of them will do so, and there could be a lot of reasons for it. Alliums that are grown in partial shade locations will multiply their bulbs but the process will be a lot slower than if they would grow under full sun conditions. As a general rule, mature Allium bulbs will multiply after the first year in the ground, although it will take a couple of more years until you see more Allium flowers in your garden.

The newly created bulbs tend to be relatively small, and they will not flower for a couple of years, but you will see their leaves popping up near the mature Allium bulbs. If you want to plant your Alliums into a flower border then check out my recent article How To Plant Alliums In A Border ( In 8 Easy Steps ).

Do Allium Bulbs Multiply?

Yes, allium bulbs have the ability to multiply and produce more bulbs over time. This natural process is known as bulb division or bulb offsetting. As the allium plant matures, it may produce small bulbs called offsets or bulblets around the base of the main bulb. These offsets can be separated from the parent bulb and planted individually to grow into new allium plants. Alliums are known for their ability to self-propagate and create beautiful clusters or drifts of flowers in the garden. By allowing the offsets to remain in the ground and continue to grow, you can enjoy a larger and more impressive display of allium blooms in subsequent years.

When Do Allium Bulbs Multiply?

There is a certain period when Allium bulbs will actually multiply, usually, it happens after flowering and after the bulb has enough stored nutrients to survive its dormancy period which lasts through the winter. Allium bulbs can simply not focus on multiplying and flowering as well at the same time, as this would need way too many resources and energy. Instead, the plant will focus on flowering in order to reproduce by seeds.

After the Allium bulbs have flowered they will focus on absorbing nutrients into the bulb, and if there are plenty of nutrients the bulb might multiply. This is why it is so important to let the Allium leaves decay naturally after they have finished flowering. If you have missed the window for planting Alliums, then don’t worry, check out my recent article How Late Can You Plant Allium Bulbs ( Winter-Spring ).

How Long Until Allium Bulbs Multiply?

How long will it take for your Allium bulbs to multiply depends on two main factors, when you have planted them and how large the bulbs are. Medium to large-sized Allium bulbs will be able to multiply after the first year in the ground, while smaller bulbs will multiply in the second or third year. However, this does not always happen, as the quality of the soil and the local weather can actually delay the bulbs from multiplying. If your Allium bulbs have not multiplied after the first year then they will most definitely do so in the second one. You can actually grow Alliums indoors, for more info check out my recent article How To Grow Alliums Indoors ( In 7 Easy Steps ).

Allium Bulbs Need Full Sun To Multiply

Alliums need full sun in order to grow, they can tolerate partial shade but this usually means that their growth will be stunted. You have to provide almost ideal growing conditions for your Allium bulbs if you want them to multiply, and this starts by planting them in a full sun location. Alliums tend to have relatively large leaves, as these allow them to produce massive flowers and then multiply the bulbs, the more sun they get the bigger the leaves will be, and the higher the chances are of the bulbs actually multiplying.

Large Allium Bulbs Are More Likely To Multiply

When it comes to Allium bulbs multiplying, size does matter. Generally speaking, the larger the Allium bulbs are the higher their chances are of actually multiplying. The main reason for this is that larger bulbs have more stored nutrients, once they have more than enough to survive the winter they will start multiplying. Just keep in mind that different types of Allium bulbs have different sizes, although, for the most part, only the largest ones will actually multiply.

Overcrowded Allium Bulbs Will Not Flower Or Multiply

The more Allium bulbs you have in a clump or area the higher the competition for water and nutrients will be. Usually, the first sign that your Alliums are overcrowded is that they will simply refuse to flower. If you have a lot of Allium bulbs in the garden, for at least 2-3 years then they have probably multiplied, to a point that even the “parent” bulbs are starting to suffer from overcrowding.

In this case, simply dig up the Allium bulbs and divide them, after which you can replant them in different locations. The divided bulbs will still multiply especially if they are large.

Cutting Down The Allium Leaves Too Early Can Stop Them From Multiplying

After the Alliums have finished flowering they still need their leaves, this way they can focus on the next task at hand which is absorbing as many nutrients as possible into the bulb to survive the winter. If you cut the Allium leaves down too early you are stopping this process, and not only the bulbs will not be able to multiply but the main bulb will also suffer and have stunted growth.

On the other hand, if you leave the leaves to decay naturally you actually allow the Allium bulbs to complete their life cycle, and they are much more likely to multiply as long as they can absorb enough nutrients into the main bulb to do so.

Too Much Or Too Little Water Can Stop Allium Bulbs From Multiplying

Too much or too little water can have the same effect on the bulbs when it comes to multiplying. Although too little water is the lesser of the two evils, as Alliums tend to be drought tolerant. If the Allium bulbs do not get enough water then the bulbs might dry out, if they are completely dried out they might not survive. The good news is that it can take a really long time for the bulbs to actually dry out completely.

When you have bought your Allium bulbs odds are that a lot of them were dried out, and once you have planted them and watered them they still came up. On the other hand, if there is too much water in the soil then the Allium bulbs will simply not be able to survive as this excess water can rot their roots and even rot the Allium bulbs as well. Usually, this tends to happen if you have fairly wet winters or your soil is mostly made out of clay which is draining the water away too slowly.

Key Takeaways

  • Alliums do multiply both by seeds and by creating small bulbs as well.
  • Larger Allium bulbs are more likely to multiply.
  • It usually takes between 2-3 years for Allium bulbs to multiply.