Planting Allium Bulbs In Spring ( Good Idea? )

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Alliums should be planted in the autumn, although that doesn’t mean that you can not plant them in the spring as well. The main reason why it is highly recommended to plant Alliums in the autumn is that they do benefit from being exposed to cold during the winter, in addition to this, the bulbs will be a lot larger if they have overwintered in the garden. Alliums planted in the spring will find it really difficult to compete with established plants, oftentimes resulting in no flowers in the first year.

While it is not recommended, you can still plant allium bulbs in the ground or pots as late as March. Keep in mind that late planting may result in reduced or delayed flowering in the first year, as the bulbs will have less time to establish roots. However, they should eventually catch up and perform well in subsequent years. It is advisable to plant allium bulbs in the recommended time frame for optimal results.

If you want to plant a lot of bulbs, or you have clay soil then my personal recommendation is to use an auger drill bit for planting Click here to check it out on

Allium bulbs are usually found for sale during the autumn or late summer, usually, this is when they are the most expensive. If you find a couple of Allium bulbs during the spring then odds are that they are going to be relatively cheap, although these are definitely bulbs that have been stored for a longer time. Oftentimes you might find that these spring bought bulbs have already sprouted, which usually is a good indication that they are alive.

On the other hand, if the sprouts are relatively large, even growing out of the bag, then I do not recommend you buy them. These bulbs will survive the spring planting but in the first year, the Alliums will be weak and leggy. If you want to know what is the difference between growing Alliums from seeds vs bulbs then check out my recent article Allium Seeds VS Bulbs ( Pros & Cons ).

Planting Allium Bulbs In Spring

While it’s common to plant most bulbs in the fall for spring bloom, allium bulbs can also be successfully planted in the spring. When planting allium bulbs in spring, it’s important to choose healthy, firm bulbs and provide them with the right growing conditions. Select a sunny location with well-draining soil. Dig a hole that is two to three times the height of the bulb, and space the bulbs according to the recommended spacing guidelines on the packaging. Place the bulbs in the hole with the pointed end facing up, and cover them with soil, and water thoroughly. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged as the bulbs establish roots and begin to grow.

How To Plant Alliums In The Spring

Make sure to prepare the soil before you plant the Allium bulbs in the spring, ideally, you should use a well rotted compost or manure as Alliums will grow great in these. When you are digging the hole for the Allium bulbs, make sure to dig 3x times deeper than the height of the bulb. Make sure to plant the bulbs with the pointy side up as this is where they will sprout. After which you can simply cover the bulbs with compost.

Make sure to water the Alliums right after you have planted them, although they tend to be somewhat drought tolerant they really need that first watering to kickstart the sprouting process. As long as you do not have sandy soil and you have planted the bulbs at the correct depth you shouldn’t really water them every day. Usually what tends to kill Allium bulbs is bulb rot which is caused by too much watering, so in this case, less is more. If you want to know how to grow Alliums from seed then check out my recent article How To Grow Alliums From Seed ( In 7 Easy Steps ).

Alliums Planted In The Spring Might Not Flower In The First Year

It is really a game of chance if the Alliums will flower if they are planted during the spring. The main reason for this is that the bulbs need some time to adjust to the soil and to actually grow. Alliums that have been planted in the fall are already adjusted and ready to sprout. Bigger Allium bulbs have a higher chance to flower even if they are planted during the spring, although their flowers will not be as large as they should be.

So if you manage to find Allium bulbs in the spring for sale, make sure to get the biggest bulbs as you can, fewer but bigger is always better. The good news is that in the next year, the Allium bulbs will be a lot bigger which means that their flowers will also be larger. If you are wondering about deadheading your Alliums then check out my recent article Should I Deadhead Alliums? ( Top 5 Considerations ).

Alliums Planted In The Spring Might Get Overcrowded

Alliums really struggle if there is too much completion in the flower border, these bulbs are usually one of the first ones to emerge in the spring. If you plant them in the spring it might take them a couple of weeks or even a month or two until they are able to actually sprout. During this time other plants in the flower border are already thriving, which can hinder the growth of the Alliums. So make sure to give them some space if you plant them during the spring in a dense flower border.

Alliums Planted In The Spring Will Get Weak And Leggy

One of the major cons of planting Alliums in the spring is that they tend to get weak and leggy, especially if they are planted into an already established flower border. Although Alliums tend to be tall, but the stems are really strong, which is why for the most part they do not need to be staked. Alliums planted in the spring will have to compete with others for light and for nutrients as well, which oftentimes makes their stems rather weak and leggy.

As Alliums tend to be top heavy this can oftentimes result in the Allium flowers simply flopping over and decaying. If this happens to your Alliums then do not worry, just allow them to decay naturally and in the next year, they should come up a lot stronger. In this case, you can either deadhead the spent flowers or simply cut off the entire flower while it is blooming, as this, will force the plant to focus all of its energy into the bulb which will result in larger flowers with stronger stems the next year.

Key Takeaways

  • When planting Alliums in the spring make sure to plant them in an area with full sun and without any competition from other plants. Make sure to plant the bulbs 3x times deeper than the height of the bulbs and cover them with compost. Alliums planted in the spring might not flower in the first year, and they might also get weak and leggy, although in the second year, the plants will be a lot stronger and with bigger flowers.
  • One of the major downsides of planting Alliums in the spring is that they might not flower in the first year.
  • If you plant the Alliums during the spring in an established flower border, make sure to give them enough space from other plants otherwise they might get overcrowded.