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Purple Sensation is a true showstopper thanks to its 3-inch-wide globes of rich purple flowers. Blooms Late spring to early summer.
It's one of the deepest-coloured alliums and is rapidly becoming one of the true favourites amongst gardeners. The intense purple flowers are not only used as feature plants in landscaped areas, but also make excellent cut flowers.
Alliums are known to be particularly attractive to bees and insects
Planning your autumn allium bulb planting
Alliums are grown not only for their glorious colour in the border but also for cutting as they are perfect for long lasting indoor displays. The heads and stems can also be dried and used for semi-permanent indoor arrangements. They require little space in the border and most often will not need any form of support as the sturdy stems are quite strong and very rigid. Most common varieties will grow to between 60cm and 90cm in height, which makes them ideal for planting as a backdrop for many other late spring flowering bulbs or early flowering perennials.
The flowering globes can be as much as 7cm wide or more, depending on the richness of soil type and their planted situation towards the sun. Sunny positions are best for this proud and towering species of onion and a well-drained soil will ensure it produces the boldest of flowering heads. Bulbs can be planted individually throughout the border or in groups for maximum effect. Ideally, bulbs should be planted throughout September and October, while the air temperature is still relatively mild and before any winter frosts have put in an appearance.
Ground preparation and allium bulb planting
Alliums will thrive in just about any soil type even heavy soils but the addition of well-rotted compost to the soil prior to planting will help give them a head start. Clay type soils can be improved by adding compost and grit to aid drainage. A dressing of general fertiliser after flowering will benefit the bulbs by aiding recovery and will help them multiply below ground ensuring further spectacular displays for years to come.
The bulbs should be planted quite deep at 10cm in both borders and pots to ensure the plants have ample root anchorage. One bulb per 15cm diameter pot is quite sufficient. Soil based potting compost is best as it will offer more support than peat based compost plus the added weight of the soil will help to keep pots upright against the weight and height of the plant. If planting in beds or borders then plant as singles or in groups of 3-5 at 15cm-20cm apart. If the soil is dry at the time of planting then watering is advisable.
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