Ornamental onions (Allium) can be found in many gardens. No wonder, after all, the plant with the star ball flowers looks attractive. It is also popular with bees and butterflies and also keeps voles away. In addition to the well-known purple varieties, varieties with white, yellow and pink flowers are also available. If you want, you can propagate the onion plant yourself by seeds. We show you how it works.

multiply alliums

Most ornamental onion varieties are perennial and hardy. The bulbs overwinter in the ground and produce impressive flowers again the following year. If you want to propagate the plant, you can use daughter bulbs for it. The small bulbs that form around the mother bulb are called daughter bulbs. An interesting alternative is propagation by seeds. In order for this method to succeed, we have put together a guide for you:


  • faded blossom
  • leave to stand until capsule fruits form
  • Catch allium seeds before the pods open
  • mature allium seeds are black and easily detached when the flowers are shaken
  • Store ornamental onion seeds in a cool, dark place

direct sowing

The best time to sow directly into the bed is at the beginning of autumn. This corresponds to the natural development. In winter, the ornamental onion seeds then receive the cold stimulus required for cold germs. In order for the little plants to develop well, the location must be warm, sunny and sheltered from the wind. In order to propagate ornamental onions, soil that is rich in nutrients and as sandy as possible is required.


  • Prepare the bed in a suitable location
  • Make seed furrows 1 cm deep
  • Place the ornamental onion seeds in the furrow at a distance of 10 centimeters
  • Close the furrow, press down the soil lightly
  • water lightly with the sprayer attached
  • Protect seed with net from birds
Tip: If you leave the inflorescences after they have faded, the plant, which is one of the cold germs, will self-seed. Ornamental onion seeds survive the winter without any problems. In spring they begin to sprout.

Sow seeds on the windowsill

We recommend growing the ornamental onion plants on the windowsill. This allows you to monitor the development well and select the strongest Allium plants.


  • Mix seeds with fine sand
  • Pour the mixture into a freezer bag and seal
  • Put the bag in the fridge (temperature 0 to 4 degrees Celsius)
  • after 7 weeks, fill the seed pot with seed soil
  • Plant 2 seeds about 1 centimeter deep in each pot
  • Press the substrate lightly
  • spray lightly with water
  • Keep substrate moist
  • when the plantlets show four cotyledons, fertilize for the first time
  • Time to plant out: late April/early May
Idea: The faded ornamental onion flowers are still very attractive. They are suitable dried for dry floristry. Even a single dried flower in the vase looks very elegant. If you want, you can spray this piece of nature’s art with gold or silver spray.

Pros and cons of propagation by seed

Anyone who propagates ornamental onions by sowing saves money, because the onions available in stores are not cheap. Do you want to understand the laws of nature and observe the development of your plants? Then the propagation of ornamental onions by sowing your own seeds is a perfect experiment.

However, the method also has disadvantages. It can take two to three years from sowing to the first flower. It is also not certain whether all seeds will sprout.
But for those who have a little patience, it’s worth a try!

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