You can protect your home from witches with this ancient allium, or just enjoy its starry yellow umbels blooming with the first iris. It’s been a favorite in country gardens for centuries, and as Louise Beebe Wilder wrote, “Miss Jekyll admired and grew it, and that in itself is enough to give it a place in the best society.” Lily leek, yellow moly. 8-12”, zones 4a-7b. Last offered in 2006. Widely available elsewhere.
SUB TYPE wildflower
BLOOM SEASONS early summer
LIGHT full sun, half sun
PLANTING & CARE
Choose a sunny site with well-drained soil, though alliums are adaptable to most soils except heavy clay. Plant with tip up, about 3” deep and 4-5” apart (or closer for a lush look sooner). Scratch a bit of bulb fertilizer into the soil surface after planting (slow-release 10-10-10 is ideal) and water well.
Consider protecting with plastic netting, chicken-wire, etc., for a few weeks after planting, typically the only time critters bother these relatively animal-resistant bulbs.
Mulch lightly or not at all. Bark mulch is often too thick or heavy for small bulbs to emerge through and their growth will suffer.
When well established, alliums don’t require a lot of water. Water moderately their first spring till they bloom. After that and in following years they’ll do best if you allow them to dry out between waterings.
Learn how to use alliums in bouquets at our Bulbs as Cut-Flowers page.
Learn more about growing and enjoying alliums at our Fall Diverse Newsletter Archives.