The drying process can easily be carried out at home with just a few inexpensive household items. The term elephant garlic (Allium ampeloprasum) is a misnomer: The plant is a leek relative whose cloves look like traditional garlic (A. sativum) but are larger. - W8GE4C from Alamy's library of millions of high resolution stock photos, illustrations and vectors. Place the bulb with the pointed end facing upward and cover completely with soil, watering thoroughly to help it settle. Cut each head off, leaving approximately 2 inches of stem. Another traditional method of drying flowers is air drying or drying flat. It's important to harvest them on a dry day as any moisture will cause them to go mouldy. As the holidays approach, we'll also add dried alliums to wreaths and evergreen trees for a botanical Christmas. Pick flowers when they are free of dew or rain. So, pick them when they've still got a bit of greenness and juice to them and … Both the bulb and flower can be dried. Pick the seedheads, either singly or on stalks, and lay them out to dry on a greenhouse bench, warm windowsill or in an airing cupboard. Leave the Alliums undisturbed for three to six weeks to dry completely. They do dry fairly well. However, their spiky seedheads can also be brought indoors and dried for decorative use. The tulips flower first, and their leaves mask the spindly Allium leaves for a month or so until I pull the tulips out. Damage becomes only more obvious after drying. Try to remember where you’ve planted bulbs so you don’t damage them when planting new plants. Is florist wire what I want to insert into the stems? Their color, shape and texture bring a special sparkle to home-grown bouquets. Allium 'Globemaster' This is a real showstopper, with silvery purple flower heads as large as volleyballs on 3 foot stems. It's perfect to harvest either now or even when it's a little bit dry, but don't leave it too late because once you get the winds in the autumn they just get blown away and smashed really easily. It usually blooms 3 weeks, which is 3 times longer than 'Purple Sensation' in my northern garden. Do not let the bulbs sit in damp soil, especially during their dormant season. Harvesting … Garlic bulbs remain below ground during development, so it’s hard to know when they’re ready to harvest. Tall stems also add architectural appeal to fresh plantings, from a barrel of autumn grasses to a hanging basket. The good news is that Alliums are easy to grow and are a perennial which generally returns reliably every year. Cut at the base of the stem. When the flower head ripens, the inflorescence detaches from the stem and rolls down the garden, thus dispersing the seeds. I have tied the stems with an elastic band so that as they shrink they won’t fall out. Do this in the fall, from September through October, as suggested by the Gardener's World website. The bulbs are dried for human consumption and the blooms for decorative use or seed capture. When choosing a location for alliums, find a place where they can tower over other plants without getting caught in the wind. Create a drying area in a cool, dry, low light space with good ventilation such as a pantry, spare room, closet or attic. The space should be cool and dark with good ventilation and low moisture; a pantry or closet can be ideal. The flowers are sterile and the flower head just keeps on expanding during bloom. Decorating Once your seedheads are dry, they make playful accents for the home and garden alike. Carefully cut off the rubber band or simply cut off the bound ends with sharp scissors. Unfortunately those Allium-seeking gardeners must wait a year for their own blooms, since these bulbs are only available in the fall. When all the water has evaporated, the flowers are dry enough to use. The tops dry up and flop over, telling you it’s time to harvest onions. Unfold a paperclip and hook one end under the rubber band and the other end hook over the drying line. Drying flowers allows you to keep them around to display for months, maybe even years, after the plant has stopped blooming. Most alliums will do well in deep pots. Leave them undisturbed until they have completely dried. ……….and a brick wedged halfway down, to keep the alliums upright. I saved these seed heads and will shake out the seeds as soon as they are fully dry. A member of the garlic and onion family, they are highly resistant to deer or squirrel damage and are easy to grow. The Allium schubertii is the crowning glory of all alliums, it's just massive, and you can imagine it sprayed silver on top of the Christmas tree. The optimum planting time is mid September until mid November. You could also dry them on a screen, or a paper plate. Enjoy an additional 25% off sale with code TISTHESEASON25 *exclusions apply, The Blog Alliums prefer a soil pH that is slightly acidic, at around 5.5 to 6.5. Drying Most allium varieties bloom in late spring and early summer, but they can carry the garden through fall and even winter if they're left in place, turning a tawny gold through the seasons. I’ve been fascinated with alliums for quite a few years, but I just got around to planting some of my own this fall. Alliums are also exceptionally versatile and long-lasting, ideal for decorative use throughout the seasons. Alliums can be left in the garden year after year. Leave the Alliums undisturbed for three to six weeks to dry completely. If your alliums are very large, they can be suspended individually. Harvest the seedheads on a dry day when they're fully mature, leaving the stems long. Alliums are a genus of perennial plants with more than a thousand species and varietals. Developing graceful lines when making dried flower arrangements can be difficult sometimes. When planting multiple bulbs, space the holes around 6-8" apart. Unlike its allium cousin, the onion, garlic matures when its leaves are still partially green. With the promise of massive, eye-catching blooms, alliums are among our favorite bulbs to plant in autumn. Place stems promptly in a container of water to prevent wilting while gathering. Most tall forms are good as cut flowers and also good for drying. Step 2 Bring them indoors and let them dry out. Cut the seedheads from your allium plants as they start to break open. Mature seed heads of poppies and Nigella will rattle, Scabiosa 'Ping Pong' will feel papery, whereas the heads and stems of Alliums will have started to fade in colour. Most allium varieties bloom in late spring and early summer, but they can carry the garden through fall and even winter if they're left in place, turning a tawny gold through the seasons. Leaving some air space between the bunches. Planting When the leaves begin to fall, choose a planting location that has well-drained soil and receives full sun, which will help your alliums develop stronger stems. July. Plumed cockscomb, or plume celosia, boasts feathery spikes that adorn the top of its stems. Also attractive as fresh-cut flowers, both of these species are often used as dried flowers. In containers. Drying out allium seedheads. You can cut the seed heads while they’re still green and add them to fresh flower arrangements. Included are the most commonly known onions, leeks, chives, shallots and garlic. Read on for our guide to growing, drying, and decorating with these garden giants. The flowers in the image below were left to dry naturally, and they seem so much more robust than the ones dried inside. As they are drying, I shake them around a bit to keep them well-aired. Alliums flower in shades of purple, white and occasionally blue and yellow. Pull Allium bulbs from the ground when mature in the late summer or fall. Roots will form during the fall and winter months, with foliage and flowers to follow in spring. It can be helpful to surround alliums with mounding plants like hardy geranium and nepeta, which can help to conceal the allium's foliage as it yellows later in the season. The space should be cool and dark with … However, how well the soil drains is far more important than soil pH. I pick the seed heads and hang them up to dry in my kitchen. University of Maryland Extension recommends cutting flowers of Allium christophii, also known as stars of Persia, and Allium giganteum or giant onion in late spring or early summer, when flowers are 100 percent open or nearly so. For such a large flowering Allium, the foliage is rather small and tidy. Alliums are bulbs and almost trouble free. Joe-pye weed, before buds open, late June or early July . Drying blooms and seed heads by hanging is by far the easiest method, ... pick before flowers open in late June or early July . I think the best setup for drying is a horizontal screen of hardware cloth, but you can also hang them upside down. To dry, pick the flowers as soon as they are fully open. Garden seed heads. Put a rubber band snugly around two to three Allium bulbs at least 4 inches up from the crown. If I could only grow one Allium, this would be it. When you're ready to remove your alliums from the garden, start by choosing a drying area. Advertisement. Remove any excess leaves, then create bundles of two or three stems using rubber bands.