QUICK REFERENCE PLANTING GUIDE
1. Light/Sun Exposure - Full sun.
2. USDA Hardiness Zones - 4 to 8.
3. Planting Distance - 6 to 8 inches.
4. Mature Height/Spread - As indicated below.
- Gladiator - 50 to 60 inches tall.
- Purple Sensation - 26 to 34 inches tall.
- Hair - 18 to 24 inches tall.
- Moly - 10 to 12 inches tall.
- Ostrowskianum - 6 to 8 inches tall.
- Sphaerocephalum - 24 to 36 inches tall.
5. Bloom Time - Late spring to early summer.
6. Planting Instructions - Dig a hole deep and wide enough so that the top (pointed end) of the bulb is at least two times as deep as the bulb is high (example: top of a 2 inch bulb is 4 inches deep). Work soil in and around the bulb, firming it with your fingers. Water thoroughly.
GET THE MOST ENJOYMENT
The ornamental varieties often have leaves similar to onions, as well as the onion’s round ball shaped flower heads. Plant them in small groups of ten or more in the back of your beds to form a natural border. The leaves will tend to die off as the blooms start, this is another reason for planting them behind other plants. The blooms can be cut and brought in for arrangements, don't forget they are in the onion family.
Gladiator: Impressive 50 to 60 inch stems topped with 4 to 5 inch violet-purple flowers. These blooms will stay vibrant for many weeks in the garden.
Purple Sensation: These 4 inch wide globes of tightly packed pink-purple blooms sit atop a tall, thick, bare stem. They will be a great focal point in any garden.
Hair: These plants will produce unique purple balls with green 'Hair' blooms. The 'Hair' blooms will give a unique flavor to any garden or arrangement.
Moly: Although this variety is not as tall as the others, they do have a number of short flower stalks with multiple yellow flowers. This variety does have a slight garlic fragrance.
Ostrowkianum: These starbursts of deep pink flowers will brighten your landscape. They will look great in your rock garden or your formal landscape.
Sphaerocephalum: In summer the roundheaded leek bears small, star-shaped, reddish-purple flowers in small, dense, egg-shaped heads. The flowers return year after year, and the plants multiply, spreading naturally over time.
Although these plants will perform well in average garden soils of all types, we recommend having your soil tested periodically by the local County Extension Office. These tests can determine if the soil needs any amendments to enhance your plants' growth and performance. See below for our recommended practice to improve your soil without any additional testing:
1. Spade or till the soil to a depth of 12-18 inches.
2. To provide nutrients and improve drainage, add organic matter to your soil by mixing in a 2 to 4-inch layer of dehydrated manure, garden compost, shredded leaves, and/or peat moss.
3. After active growth begins, periodically feed with Cottage Farms' water soluble Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Plants in containers need more frequent watering and feeding, especially when in active growth and bloom.
Water - Your plants require 1" of rainfall (or equivalent watering) each week when planted in the ground. Do not allow plants in containers to dry out. In a container that is exposed to full sun, water it well at least once every other day, and possibly every day, during periods of intense summer heat. You may wish to temporarily move containerized plants to an area where they are shielded from the hot summer sun (i.e.,in the shade of a tree, on a porch near an overhang).
Mulching - Apply a 2-4 inch layer of shredded bark, compost or other organic mulch around your plants to promote moisture retention, maintain even soil temperatures, and to discourage weed growth.
Weeding - Keep the area around your plants free of weeds. Weeds compete with all plants for food, water and light. Walk around the garden periodically and pull weeds, including the roots, as soon as you see them.
Grooming - Deadhead or remove flowers when blooms have faded, these will form seeds and will cause the plants to spread. As long as the foliage remains green it will gather sunlight and transmit energy into the root system for the following growing season. DO NOT remove the foliage while it is still green.
Feeding - Feed your plants once every 2-3 weeks during the growing season with a water-soluble fertilizer such as Cottage Farms' Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Discontinue feeding after September 1st so your plants can harden off for winter dormancy. Resume fertilizing when new growth appears in the spring.
Winterizing - After frost has blackened the foliage of your perennials, apply a winter mulch of evergreen boughs, straw, or leaves to in-ground plantings to prevent lifting of the plant's roots during alternating periods of freezing and thawing.
For container planting, move plants next to your home's southern foundation for added warmth and protection. They may also be moved into an unheated, protected area such as a garage or cellar. If moved to a protected area be sure you water them well once every 7 to 10 days.
In Spring, remove mulch from in-ground plantings and remove any dead or damaged parts on any plants. Also, bring containerized plants back out into the garden sunlight where they will immediately begin to repeat their yearly garden performance.
CAUTION: Not all plant material is edible. Though most plants are harmless, some contain toxic substances which can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or other discomforts. As a general rule, only known food products should be eaten. In case of ingestion, please contact your local poison control center at once and advise them of the plant ingested. Keep out of reach of children.