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How to growornamental onion: Plant in full sun in well-drained, alkaline soil that is rich in organic matter. Provide 1/2 inch of water per week during the growing season. Allium is drought-tolerant at other times. Most alliums self-seed and some species such as garlic chives (A. tuberosum) and drumstick allium (A. sphaerocephalum) can become invasive. If this is not desirable, remove old flower heads before they go to seed. Some species of allium go dormant after flowering. It is normal for their leaves to turn yellow and die back to the ground during or immediately after flowering. They will reemerge the following spring. If you are growing types that go dormant after flowering, place taller allium varieties at the back of the garden behind or between other plants. As the foliage dies down, the surrounding plants will hide the bare spots. Remove the leaves after they turn brown.
Ornamental onion related species and varieties: Allium 'Globemaster' is a vigorous plant with stout 21/2-foot stems supporting deep lavender flowers that get 4 to 6 inches across. Plants bloom for many weeks with newer blossoms replacing those that fade. It is an excellent cut flower and the seed heads are ornamental. Allium sphaerocephalum, drumstick chives, grow 18 to 36 inches tall and bear 2-inch purple flower heads that open in June and last for three weeks. This variety grows very well in hot climates (through growing Zone 8). Cut flowers last for around ten days.
Perhaps the tallest of the ornamental onions, Allium giganteum is a striking and bold addition to the garden with its star-shaped, tiny lilac-purple flowers forming a 5-6 in. wide (12-15 cm) globe-shaped cluster. Blooming in late spring to early summer, this Giant Allium enjoys long-lasting blooms and remains ornamental in the garden well into summer. A perfect background plant that you might want to combine with finer textured plants such as ornamental grasses. Great in fresh or dried flower arrangements too!Bright purple onion slices add color and zest to food but despite their brilliant purple-to-maroon hues, horticulturally these beauties are referred to as "red" onions. In climates with winters that have long stretches below freezing, gardeners plant onions of any color in the spring, while gardeners in mild-winter climates plant onions from seed or transplants anytime from September through April. Red onions from sets -- small onion bulbs -- are planted from January through March. Short-day or early purple-colored varieties, such as "Red Grano," "Red Granex" or "California Early Red," are planted in the fall when there are fewer hours of sunlight, and intermediate and long-day or late varieties, like "Red Burger," "Red Wing," and "Southport Red Globe," are planted in the spring when days lengthen. (Source: homeguides.sfgate.com)