We grow decorative onions
Decorative bows - Alliums, are very diverse and are able to decorate any garden with bright balls of their inflorescences. Unpretentious bulbous plants begin to bloom in late spring and for a long time “freeze” at the peak of beauty. And even after flowering, during the ripening of seeds, the drying heads of decorative onions look very attractive.
Description of decorative bow
Decorative onions are close relatives of ordinary edible onions and garlic and are part of the Onion subfamily (Alliaceae) Amaryllis family (Amaryllidaceae) If you rub the leaf, stem or bulb of any plant from this family, then an easily recognizable “onion” or “garlic” smell will appear. In nature, there are several hundred species of onions that grow in the northern hemisphere.
Linear or corymbose leaves of onions root. Each onion flower is very small in size, but the flowers are combined into an inflorescence, which gives the plant a basic decorative effect.
The balls of inflorescences of some decorative bows can reach 30 cm in diameter, for example, Christoph's Bow (Allium cristophii) Most decorative onions bloom in May-June, but there are also autumn-flowering varieties. Flowering of some species can last quite a long time and even after its completion the plant will not lose its attractive appearance. So, the dried-up balls of inflorescences of Christophe's decorative onions look no less charming in the autumn garden than the bright purple ones in the spring.
Features of growing decorative onions
Location: most onions are photophilous, therefore, they choose sunny areas and southern slopes with well-drained loose fertile soils. The best illumination determines the color intensity of flowers and leaves.
The soil: A near neutral reaction of the soil solution is preferred. At pH below 5, the soil must be liming.
Fertilizers: When preparing the site for planting onions, the soil is seasoned with rotted compost and full mineral fertilizer with microelements is applied, based on the indicators of its fertility. Like all bulb plants, decorative onions are very sensitive to a lack of potassium in the soil. An excellent potash fertilizer for them is wood ash.
Watering: Onions tolerate both short drought and short-term waterlogging of the soil. Adequate moisture supply is a necessary condition for the normal development of plants in the first half of the growing season, when the leaf apparatus and flower stalks are formed. With a lack of moisture, leaf growth stops and resumes again when watering.
Decorative bow care
When growing ornamental species of the genus Allium in a temperate zone, it is best to dig out the bulbs annually after ripening the seeds and drying out the leaves and planting them again in the fall.
The fact is that ephemeroid onions and many xerophytic bulbous species come from the middle belt of the mountains of Central Asia - a zone with hot, dry summers and winters with frequent thaws. In the homeland, after the end of the growing season in late June, the bulbs of these species are in warm, dry soil until the fall. There is practically no rain during this period.
In the middle zone of Russia, if the second half of the summer is damp and cool, the bulbs left in the ground can be affected by diseases and rot. Therefore, it is better to dig them out, dry them well and store until autumn at room temperature in a dry ventilated area. In areas with favorable environmental conditions, bulbs can not be dug up every year, but when thickened, the plants grow smaller and bloom worse.
In autumn, bulbs are planted after a steady decrease in soil and air temperature, usually in the third decade of September. The optimum temperature for rooting the bulbs is the soil temperature in the zone of root formation at the level of 10 ° С. The depth of planting of the bulbs is determined from the calculation so that above its top point there is a layer of earth equal to the three heights of the bulb itself. Accordingly, large bulbs are planted much deeper than small ones.
It is better to plant in a moist groove, on top of the planting they are mulched with humus or peat, which should prevent the formation of soil crust. In autumn, root growth continues until the soil temperature in the zone of their occurrence drops to +2 .. + 3 ° С. Bulbs of some species - moth, Ostrovsky, pink, blue, blue-blue onions - can be planted in the fall and spring after storage in a cool, dry place. Small onions are best stored in peat or sawdust to prevent them from drying out.
Bulbous-rhizome species are grown in a perennial culture and propagated by division of bushes. Plants are transplanted in 3-5 years, sometimes even after 7 years, but in this case, plantings must be thinned out and self-seeding must be prevented.
The optimal planting dates are early spring and late summer, with the expectation that the dividers are well rooted to frost.
Every spring, the site should be deeply loosened, cleaned of plant debris and snow mold. Caring for plants during the growing season is usual - weeding, loosening and mulching the soil.
Plants are watered only with a clear lack of moisture, they are fed necessarily in the spring after leaf growth, as well as in the phase of budding and bulb formation and in late summer phosphorus-potassium fertilizers to improve wintering of plants. For spring top dressing, complex mineral fertilizers (NPKMg) with microelements are used, selecting forms with a high nitrogen content in nitrate form.
In the summer, liquid fertilizing with a solution of mineral fertilizers is carried out. During the August feeding, granular phosphorus-potassium fertilizers are applied dry. For the winter, planting can be mulched with peat or humus.
Propagation of decorative onions
Onions propagated by seeds and vegetatively.
Seeds are sown in spring or autumn. Seedlings dive into well-lit ridges. With seed propagation, two important points should be considered. Firstly, the seeds of many species, for example, xerophytic ephemeroids - gigantic, Aflatunsky, stalked, etc. It is not always possible to replace it with the same shelf life of seeds in the refrigerator.
And secondly, when grown from seeds, many types of onions - anzura, wild garlic, etc. - bloom in the 3-8th year, only after the bulbs have reached a mass sufficient for reproductive development. Ephemeroid onions with a short period of annual vegetation have the longest juvenile stage.
Vegetatively propagation of bulbous species occurs during the branching (division) of bulbs and the formation of bulb-children, developing on the bottom and stolons of the mother’s bulb. The degree of branching of the bulb and the ability to form children are species characteristics. Rhizome species, characterized by active branching of shoots, reproduce mainly by dividing the bush.
When growing plants from seeds, bushes can be divided from the third year of life. Dividends are sections of rhizome with two to three intact shoots and well-developed roots. In all species, small bulbs, bulbs, can form on inflorescences. Their formation can be stimulated artificially by cutting the buds and treatment with growth regulators. Buns can be used for planting. This is a valuable, stage-by-stage, younger and phytopathogenic free planting material.
Use of decorative bow in design
Decorative bow used in group plantings, mixborders, undersized species - on rocky slides. Cut decorative bows for a long time, almost for 2 weeks, decorate the interior, and dried plants can be used for dry bouquets. From onions, you can create a garden of continuous flowering.
Types and varieties of decorative onions
Лук Globemaster ’Decorative Bow - very good garden uniform. It begins to bloom in June, and often ends with the onset of autumn. Spherical inflorescences, having a diameter of up to 25 cm, consist of many star-shaped flowers. Peduncles appearing between shiny green leaves reach a height of 80 cm.
Лук Purple Sensation ’Decorative Bow - a well-known garden form of a decorative bow of hybrid origin with dark purple flowers. Representatives of this variety are reproduced by seeds. Normally, up to 70 cm high, with slightly ribbed stems, protruding leaves up to 4 cm wide and cup-shaped dark purple flowers.
Лук Mount Everest ’Decorative Bow - a decorative bow with large white flowers and long arrows growing up to 120 cm. Leaves of a beautiful shape remain green for a long time. Spherical umbrellas with a diameter of 15 cm consist of several tens of white star-shaped flowers. Cut inflorescences are used to make bouquets.
Decorative bow ‘Hair’ - a decorative bow with unique flowers and blue leaves. Widely used in landscape flower gardens and for cutting. A plant with a pleasant aroma, easily propagated, does not present difficulties in culture. Ideal for containers, mass landings, borders, and cutting. It blooms from late spring for 3 weeks.
Ornamental onion round-headed, or ball-headed (Allium sphaerocephalon) Is a very beautiful plant that can be planted in flower beds with other perennial herbs. It is placed on lawns and lawns, as well as between fruit trees or under them, as is often done in England. When planting in large groups, the ball-headed bow looks as spectacular as possible.
Schubert Decorative Bow (Allium schubertii) is so unusual that when you first see this plant, you will not immediately understand that this is onion. It blooms in June. This plant is usually planted in the foreground of the rock garden, where it attracts attention with its originality. Bulbs do not differ in frost resistance, therefore they need shelter for the winter.