Decorative bow: popular varieties and nuances of growing

Most gardeners believe that onions are just common for everyone. But the genus Allium has more than 600 species of plants, some of which are decorative and may well decorate the infield. The color scheme of such onions is very diverse, the flowering period is long. The culture is unpretentious to growing conditions, is able to "forgive" individual mistakes in care and therefore is an excellent option for a beginner gardener.

What is a decorative bow

A decorative bow is an interesting solution in landscape design. Its elegant flowers can be seen in the center of the flower beds, and in mixborders. Outside the flowering period, almost all varieties differ little from ordinary onions - the same rosette of leaves (feathers) with a height of 25-30 to 150-180 cm. Flowering in most varieties begins in June, lasts 2.5-3 weeks. Inflorescences reach 4–7 cm in diameter, the shape varies from an ideal ball to a hemisphere, in rare cases, it looks like an umbrella or a cylinder. The palette is very bright. The flowers are six-petalled, resembling miniature stars, bowls or bells.

The vast majority of varieties are unpretentious in care, frost-resistant, and adapt to a shortage of light, and to the bright sun. However, tall varieties will have to be protected from the wind - inflorescences easily break.

Decorative onions can not only decorate a site, but also bring benefits, scaring away pests if planted in heaps in beds with other plants

The composition of decorative bows has a special name - “allaria”. There is a general rule - the smaller the dimensions of the plant, the more copies need to be planted in heaps to create an attractive look. But because of the specific smell, it is recommended to dilute the onion with other plants. Among other bulbs (daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, irises), peonies, roses, delphiniums, poppies, hosta, garden geraniums are suitable. Decorative onions are “covered” with other plants so that their foliage is not visible specimens fading by early August.

A composition from only different varieties of decorative onions looks nice, but smells specific

A decorative bow can be cut off for bouquets, but because of the smell, the water will have to be changed 2-3 times a day or add a pinch of ordinary salt to it. Such bouquets stand for a long time, about two weeks. Onions also look good in compositions of dried flowers, preserving the brightness of colors. Dry decorative onions with inflorescences down in a well-ventilated area.

Even professional florists use a decorative bow to make bouquets

Video: decorative bow in landscaping

Popular varieties of decorative onions

There are natural varieties of decorative onions, and the achievements of breeders. A variety of dimensions and colors allows you to choose the option for any flowerbed.

Popular are:

  • Neapolitan onion. His homeland is Italy and the south of France. Cold tolerates relatively poorly, more suitable for regions with a subtropical climate. A plant about 30–35 cm tall, blooms in June. The flowers are snow-white, in the form of miniature bells, the diameter of the inflorescence is 3-5 cm. The stems slightly slope under their weight. The breeding variety of Cowanii is distinguished by larger inflorescences (up to 5–6 cm);

    Neapolitan bow looks modest but very elegant

  • Bow of Moth (aka gold). It is found in nature in southwestern Europe. The height of the plant is no more than 20–25 cm. The leaves are flattened, glossy, with a pronounced streak in the middle. The hemisphere-shaped inflorescence is 4-6 cm in diameter. The flowers are sunny yellow, similar to lilies. The plant blooms at the junction of June and July. It is distinguished by photophilousness, in the shadow loses brightness;

    Onion Moth stands out with a rare golden yellow hue of petals

  • Pretty onion. The height of the plant is 50-60 cm. The inflorescences are friable, umbellate, on winding pedicels, 3-4 cm in diameter. The general view resembles a fountain or fireworks. The flowers are small, purple-lilac. Flowering occurs in June;

    Pretty onions stand out with unusually long pedicels

  • Onion daffodil. A mountain plant in nature is widespread in the Alps. It tolerates partial shade. Height - up to 25 cm. Leaves are flat, rather narrow. On the peduncle there are only a few flowers of different shades of red, wine, burgundy. In appearance, they are more likely not like daffodils, but like bells. Flowering begins in June, lasts 4-5 weeks;

    Onion daffodil does not lose color brightness with a shortage of sunlight

  • Blue onion (or royal). Originally from Central Asia. Plant height - 0.6–0.7 m. Young leaves can be eaten. In July they dry up, by mid-August they grow back. Inflorescences are spherical, with a diameter of 8-10 cm, very clear sky-blue color. Simultaneously and next to them, miniature ink-violet bulbs with a diameter of 3–8 mm are formed, which can then be used for propagation. This onion does not give seeds. It blooms in June;

    Blue onions - one of the most popular varieties by gardeners, this is due to the very beautiful color of the petals

  • Onions Ostrovsky. It differs in a small growth rate, reaches 30–40 cm in height. He loves rocky soil, ideal for alpine slides and rockeries. Inflorescences are umbellate, very large (up to 10 cm in diameter). The flowers are bright pink or lilac. Petals through one differ in length. Flowering occurs in May-June;

    Ostrovsky's bow is well suited for decorating alpine slides

  • Bow Chameleon. Bred by breeders, characterized by frost resistance and flowering time (from June to August). The height of the plant is 50-60 cm. The inflorescences are spherical, 7-8 cm in diameter. The flowers are star-shaped, pastel pink with a bright crimson strip in the center of each petal.

    Onion Chameleon changes the color intensity of the petals depending on the lighting

Ephemeroid species

The ephemeroid types of decorative onions are especially distinguished. Their growing season is short, in the spring and early summer, the rest of the time the bulbs are at rest. After flowering, it is recommended to dig, dry and store them in a dry, dark room at room temperature, planting them back in the fall. This group includes:

  • Karatavian onion. A plant 20–25 cm high is distinguished by ellipsoid leaves of a bluish-green color with a metallic tint. Often there is a narrow reddish-pink border. The inflorescence is spherical, 4–5 cm in diameter. The flowers are white or purple;

    Karatavian onion is not very similar to onion in the usual sense of the word

  • Bow of Schubert. It differs in an umbrella-shaped form of inflorescences, reaching 8-10 cm in diameter. Pedicels are very short, from 2–3 to 7–8 cm. Depending on growing conditions, pink petals can acquire a greenish tint. After flowering, pinkish seed bolls are formed, also very pretty;

    Schubert's bow is decorative both during flowering and after it

  • The bow of Christophe (aka "Star of Persia"). The leaves are narrow, thin, with a pointed tip. The diameter of the inflorescence is 15 cm or more with a peduncle height of about 30 cm. The flowers are purple-violet, similar to stars, with narrow petals. They do not fall, the inflorescence dries right on the stem.

    Christoph's onion dries inflorescences on its own, without the participation of a gardener

Video: digging bulbs of decorative onions after flowering

The so-called anzur bows, common in Central Asia, also belong to the category of ephemeroid. They are tall (minimum 1 m), leaves are linear or in the form of an ellipse, with an unusual bluish-pink tint. In spring, they appear almost from under the snow and look very decorative, but after the formation of the peduncle, they quickly turn yellow and dry. The flowering of anzur onions falls in May-June.

  • Aflatunsky onion. It is widely used in folk medicine at home and has approximately the same properties as the ginseng root. Good honey plant. The specific onion smell is very weak. The flowers have different shades of lilac and purple;

    Onion aflatunsky in healing properties is not much inferior to ginseng

  • Giant onion. Reaches 1.8 m in height. Penumbra and shadow does not tolerate well. Inflorescences are spherical, 12-15 cm in diameter, bright purple in color, consist of the smallest "stars". Flowering begins in the first decade of June, lasts almost a month.

    The giant onion name owes its outstanding size

Edible species

Some types of edible onions are also decorative:

  • Chives (or speed). Height is about 50 cm. Intensively branches, a beautiful green "carpet" can be obtained simply by sowing seeds randomly. After 3-4 years, the planting naturally thickens. She does not suffer from weeds and requires minimal care. The flowers are pink or lilac-blue, from afar the inflorescences are similar to clover;

    Schnitt onion not only brings the crop, but also decorates the site

  • Onion-slime (aka Siberian). The height of the plant reaches 70 cm. Leaves with a slightly sharp taste and garlic aroma are eaten. The flowers are mauve. Flowering occurs in July;

    Slime onions begin to bloom quite late

  • Ramson (bear onion, or wild garlic). The leaves are rich in vitamins, taste more like garlic, in appearance resemble lily of the valley. The inflorescences are loose, spherical, with a diameter of 5-6 cm. The flowers are in the form of stars with narrow rays, snow-white petals. In the center, as soon as the buds open, small bulbs of bright green color begin to form.

    Despite the popular name, the bears do not eat wild garlic, they just wallow in its thickets, thus getting rid of parasites

Growing conditions

The fastest development and the most abundant flowering from a decorative bow can be achieved by planting it in a place well lit by the sun. Although the culture is successfully adapting to partial shade, it is true that it is losing the brightness of its colors. But there are exceptions, for example, wild garlic shadow is very suitable. At some distance, consider the presence of a natural or artificial barrier that will protect high landings from gusts of wind.

The place for planting a decorative bow should be open, but protected from the wind

The soil should be light, well permeable to water and air. The only thing that any variety of decorative onions categorically does not tolerate is stagnation of water at the roots. Those species that are used to arid climate in nature are especially acute. It is better to plant a crop on a small hill, from where meltwater leaves faster, rainwater and humid air do not stagnate. If the groundwater in the selected area approaches the surface closer than half a meter, look for another option.

Undesirable and increased acidity of the soil. This can be corrected by adding dolomite flour, powdered egg shells, slaked lime (200-300 g / m²) to the soil.

Dolomite flour - a natural deoxidizer, with the dosage not having any side effects

How to plant a decorative bow

The bed is prepared by digging the soil to a depth of 20–25 cm. The fertile substrate does not need additional fertilizers. 5–7 l of humus or rotted compost (by no means fresh manure) and 25–30 g of simple superphosphate and potassium sulfate per 1 m² are added to loam and sandy loam.

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Humus - a natural remedy to increase soil fertility

The crop is very sensitive to the presence of potassium in the soil. Its natural source is wood ash (1 l / m²), you can also use potassium sulfate (according to instructions).

When preparing a bed for a decorative onion, be sure to apply potash fertilizers to the soil

Decorative onions are planted with seeds and daughter bulbs (basal or air). In the first case, flowering plants this season can not be counted on. You will have to wait 3-5 years depending on the size (the higher the onion grows, the later it begins to bloom). Therefore, this method is not particularly popular.

Growing decorative onions from seeds is relatively rare for gardeners.

In ephemeroid onions, the development process is even slower. When sown with seeds, which necessarily need cold stratification, in the first year one cotyledon leaf and bulb with a diameter of 3-5 mm are formed. It takes root, forming the only real leaf next spring. Further, the green mass gradually increases in volume, flowering occurs in 6-7 years.

Until the bulb gains sufficient mass, flowering of a decorative onion is impossible

You can plant decorative onions both in spring (April-May), and before winter (in September-October). Seeds before planting are wrapped in wet tissue for 2-3 days, moisturizing it as it dries. Bulbs are soaked for several hours in a solution of any biostimulant (Epin, Kornevin, Heteroauxin). For disinfection, potassium permanganate can be added to the water (to a pale pink color).

The bulbs of a decorative bow are formed in large numbers

Bulbs are planted to a depth of 2–2.5 of its diameter, seeds are buried by 1–2 cm. They are placed in heaps, on average 5–7 pieces (the smaller the plant, the more they are planted nearby). Between plant groups leave 30–40 cm. Planting is renewed every 4–5 years.

The fastest way is to multiply the onion by dividing the rhizome. This allows you to get new flowering copies for the next season. But this option is far from suitable for all types of decorative bow. It is possible, for example, for chives, slime.

Video: planting a decorative bow

The nuances of care

Care for decorative onions consists in regular loosening and weeding the beds to maintain the necessary soil looseness. To save time on weed control, it is recommended to mulch the bed with humus or peat crumb. Watering and top dressing are carried out. To maintain decorativeness, regularly cut off faded inflorescences and yellowed dried leaves.

With yellowed leaves, the onion loses its decorativeness, so you need to cut them

Water the culture only with a clear deficit of moisture, when the leaves lose their tone and begin to grow yellow: too frequent watering will provoke rotting of the bulb and death of the plant. Most varieties tolerate drought very well. Decorative onions are sensitive to lack of moisture only in the first half of the growing season, when green mass and peduncles are actively formed. And in the spring he, as a rule, suffices meltwater.

Fertilizers are applied 4–5 times during the growing season. The optimal time for this:

  • in the spring after the growth of several new leaves;
  • during the formation of buds;
  • after flowering;
  • in early autumn in preparation for winter.

Decorative onions are very fond of potassium, so both ready-made complex fertilizers with a predominance of this macroelement (Agricola, Master, BONA FORTE, Effekton), and folk remedies (wood ash) are suitable. Depending on the weather, the fertilizer is distributed in the bed in a dry form or an infusion, solution is prepared.

Wood ash - one of the most popular natural fertilizers among gardeners, a natural source of potassium and phosphorus

Video: growing and caring for decorative onions

Culture-typical diseases and pests

Pests for decorative onions do not show much interest because of the specific smell, as well as the plant has a good immunity to fungal diseases. If the onion is still affected by the fungus, the gardener himself is most often to blame. Its main mistake is overly active watering.

Typical diseases:

  • peronosporosis - first a grayish-purple coating appears on the leaves, then they turn yellow and dry;

    Peronosporosis, also known as powdery mildew, affects onions if the summer is rainy and cool

  • rust - a “fleecy” bright orange-yellow coating appears on the leaves in the form of rounded growths, gradually darkening to the color of rust and hardening, as a result, the plant dries out;

    Rust - one of the most common diseases of garden plants, onions and bulbs, it also does not pass by

  • cercosporosis - leaves are covered with grayish-beige spots with a light border, then rot, the plant dies;

    Onion cercosporosis provokes the development of rot

  • black rot - the plant stops in development, the leaves turn yellow. Bulbs and their base turn brown, become watery. There is an unpleasant putrefactive smell from the soil, it is covered with mold. It is almost impossible to deal with rot - it manifests itself only when the development of the fungus has gone too far. It is better to immediately remove affected specimens and sanitize the soil.

    Black onion rot on the aerial part of the plant appears when the fungal infection process has gone too far

To combat pathogens use copper-containing drugs - fungicides. If decorative onions can be eaten, preference is given to preparations of biological origin (Baikal EM1, Bayleton, Alirin-B). You can also apply Bordeaux liquid, copper sulfate, HOM, Horus, Kuprozan.

To prevent fungal diseases, decorative onions are treated with fungicides in early spring and mid-autumn, spraying the soil on the garden with a solution

Yellowing leaves and the lack of flowering most often indicate excessive thickening of plantings or a lack of nutrients in the soil. It is enough to properly care for the decorative bow, and everything will return to normal.

Video: prevention and control of fungal diseases in plants

Cultivation of decorative onions is a solvable task even with minimal experience in the field of gardening. The plant successfully combines the attractiveness and variety of varieties with unpretentiousness and the ability to adapt to the climate in the growing region. However, he also has some “requirements” that need to be familiarized with in advance.


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