No bloom 2nd year Allium schubertii???

christinmk z5b eastern WAJune 30, 2011

So I bought two Allium schubertii bulbs the fall before last and planted them in the garden. Last spring they came up without a hitch and bloomed nicely. This year they sent out the foliage (albeit smaller than last year) but no blooms? What gives? I haven't been digging much, if at all, in the areas they are planted. Haven't added a top dressing of soil (so as to bury them too much). Am I mistaken that these are supposed to come back and bloom year after year?? My 'Purple Sensation' Alliums (planted many years ago) didn't come up this year either now that I think of it. Maybe just a bad year for the Allium? Any way to get the schubertii growing again? Lift and replant maybe?

Thanks for any ideas you can come up with for why these didn't bloom second year! It is much appreciated...

CMK

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pizzuti(5A)

Did you by chance let them go to seed? Alliums that go to seed will use up energy stored in the bulb.

Unfortunately, a lot of alliums seem to start producing seed on the flowerhead while it's still in bloom, so to truly prevent seeding you have to sacrifice the last bit of bloom.

Don't cut off the stem (it's photosynthetic); just cut off the flower head just below the top to prevent seeding.

Aside from that, make sure they are in full sun and good soil etc... that's all stuff you probably already know.

From my understanding alliums are pretty drought-tolerant but that often means they don't do well with too much water. Was last year perhaps unusually wet? Maybe the bulbs or roots were attacked by nematodes or started to rot.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 3:07AM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

Wow, thanks SO much pizzuti. I didn't even think about how the seedheads could steal away energy. My 'Purple Sensation' always came back after leaving the flower/seed head on so it never even crossed my mind. Think it will bloom next year then? I will be sure to try cutting the head off first thing.

You are right, we did have a very wet spring this year. The alliums did send up foliage, so hopefully it didn't rot out though.

You have been a big help, thanks again pizzuti!
CMK

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 1:17PM
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