Taking over when the daffodils and tulips have flagged, stately Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ provides some color in late spring before the summer perennials begin their party.A bulb which is planted in the fall, ‘Purple Sensation’ blooms in late May in my zone 5b garden in northeastern Pennsylvania. Its blooms will last about two weeks, barring extreme heat and humidity. They prefer full sun and well drained soil.The dozen I planted around the Rose of Sharon range in height from eighteen to twenty-seven inches. I think mine would be more visually pleasing with some shorter plants in front of them. Their spherical flower heads range from three to five inches in diameter. Alliums are part of the onion family. My deer and woodchuck population leaves them alone. They do not seem to naturalize reliably for me here; out of the two dozen or so I planted for last year, only a few came back this year, and they are not as tall, nor or their flowers as large, as those I planted last fall.
When the flowers fade, remove them to increase the chances of re-bloom next spring. Leave the foliage to die down and feed the bulb. Last year I cut mine with long stems. When they dried, they made a nice display, suitable for a fall centerpiece.It’s easy to see why ‘Purple Sensation’ is one of the most popular of the Allium family. I can think of several additional places in my gardens I would like to see it next spring.