Why Are My Alliums Falling Over? ( Top 6 Reasons )

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Most Alliums have relatively sturdy stems and they stay upright without needing any help, this is why it is rarely recommended to stake Alliums. With that being said, sometimes Alliums simply fall over, either in the middle of the night or as soon as they start flowering. Alliums are top heavy plants and the bigger their flowers are the stronger their stems should be, weak or sick plants will have a hard time staying upright.

Shallow planting of allium bulbs can cause them to become top-heavy and prone to tipping over. It is important to plant them at the appropriate depth to ensure stability. Additionally, while allium stems are generally strong, the taller varieties may not withstand extremely strong winds.

If you are worried about your Alliums falling over then my personal recommendation is to stake them with half round plant support rings Click here to check it out on Amazon.com

If your Alliums are falling over it is not the end of the world, it doesn’t even mean that the plants are dying. Your main goal at this point is to identify why your Alliums are falling over, fixing a problem without knowing what caused it might do more harm than good. Most people when they see their Alliums falling over they immediately drown them in as much water as possible, which oftentimes outright kills the plant.

Although not enough water can cause Alliums to fall over, but you will have clear signs that they are thirsty, and they rarely get to a point where they fall over due to not getting enough water. If you want to know what happens if you plant your Alliums in the spring then check out my recent article Planting Allium Bulbs In Spring ( Good Idea? ).

Why Are My Alliums Falling Over?

If your alliums are falling over, there could be a few reasons for this issue. One possibility is that the alliums are not receiving enough sunlight. Alliums thrive in full sun, and insufficient light can cause weak stems that are unable to support the weight of the flowerhead. Another reason could be inadequate soil drainage, as alliums prefer well-draining soil. If the soil is too compacted or retains too much moisture, it can weaken the plant’s root system and lead to toppling. Additionally, overcrowding can also cause alliums to fall over.

If the plants are planted too closely together, they may compete for resources and lack the necessary space to grow upright. To address these issues, make sure your alliums are planted in a sunny location with well-draining soil, and provide proper spacing between plants. If necessary, you can also consider staking the plants for additional support.

Due To Not Enough Light

Alliums are full sun loving plants, they will survive in partial shade, and they will also flower, but they will have a difficult time in full shade or in partial shade that last for too long during the day. When Alliums do not get enough sun they will try to reach for it, just like every other plant does. However, this will result in a fast growing stem that is usually thin and weak, once the Allium actually starts to flower it is a matter of time until it falls over.

If your Alliums are tall and thin then my personal recommendation is to replant them in an area where they get plenty of full sun. If you are wondering about deadheading Alliums then check out my recent article Should I Deadhead Alliums? ( Top 5 Considerations ).

Due To Too Much Rain

Alliums can retain a lot of water on their flowers, the bigger their flowers are the more water they can hold and the heavier they get. We have all seen our gardens after a couple of rainy days, almost everything flops over, and in rare cases, healthy Alliums can also flop over. Usually, this tends to happen in areas where the humidity is relatively high, as the high humidity will not allow the water to evaporate efficiently from the flower, and if you get a couple of rainy days then the Alliums might fall over.

What I tend to do after a rainy day is shake off the excess water from the Allium, I take the stem and give it a gentle shake.

Shallow Planting

The recommended depth to plant Alliums is 3 times deeper than the height of the bulb. With that being said if you have ever planted hundreds of bulbs then you probably didn’t plant all of them at the recommended depth, especially if you have hard clay soil. As Alliums are top heavy plants they will need a good anchor, usually, the deeper they are planted the better the odds are of them not falling over.

If you have a couple of Allium bulbs sticking out of the ground then they have been planted too shallowly, in this case simply replant them deeper. 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 ).

Due To Soil Erosion

Erosion in our gardens tends to happen all the time, especially during the autumn and winter period. All that rain and melting snow can simply erode the topsoil, to a point where your Allium bulbs are sticking out of the ground. Even if you have planted your Alliums at the correct depth they might still be too shallow if the topsoil has been eroded. Usually, erosion is more prominent in areas of bare soil, so mulching these areas will limit erosion and protect the Allium bulbs.

Due To Wind

Allium flowers are like giant sails in the wind, especially the giant Allium varieties. Strong winds can make the plants fall over, usually by breaking the stems. Allium stems are really strong but they are not very flexible which means that they will either have no problem staying upright during strong winds or they will simply break. If you live in an area with constant winds then you should stake your Alliums, just make sure to do it before they flower.

Damaged Allium Bulbs And Plants Can Fall Over

It is a good idea to always check the Allium bulbs before planting, while most of us do so, we can still end up with damaged bulbs or plants. If you have pets then they might step on the Allium shoots, and if they break, they might grow sideways or have an extremely weak stem which will cause the plant to fall over once it starts to flower. The first couple of weeks, when the new shoots come out of the bulbs is extremely sensitive, if they get damaged at this point they might result in weak stems.

Key Takeaways

  • Usually, Alliums fall over due to not getting enough sun, as they will grow tall and leggy, and oftentimes the stems will not be strong enough to support their flowers. Healthy Alliums can also fall over due to rain, strong winds, or if they are not planted deep enough. Allium bulbs that are sick or damaged will grow weak stems which makes them prone to flopping over.
  • Alliums that are grown in full sun locations will develop strong stems, while the ones grown in partial shade will grow weak and thin stems.
  • Damaged Allium bulbs will either fall over due to weak stems or from a light wind.