2018 Perennial of the Year

Thu. Jan. 18, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  2018 Perennial of the Year

It’s a new year and that means a new Perennial plant of the Year!  The 2018 Perennial of the Year  is…..

Allium called ‘Millenium’ and it’s gorgeous.

Allium ‘Millenium’

The genus Allium contains more than 900 species in the northern hemisphere, but is perhaps best known for a dozen or so species of culinary vegetables and herbs: onion, garlic, leeks, shallots, scallions, and chives. The genus is also known for a few dozen ornamentals that grow from bulbs and sport tall stems with big globe-shaped blooms in spring.

‘Millenium’ is special for many reasons, one of which, it flowers later in the season.  It’s also purple!  The Pantone color of the year.  Actually it’s ‘Millenium’ is a deeper purple.

You’ll notice some coloration differences, that could be the camera, the light the flower receives, the differences in soil, etc.

This full sun lover is hardy to zone 3 and is a butterfly magnet!  Each plant typically produces an upright foliage clump of grass-like, glossy deep green leaves reaching 10-15” tall in spring. In midsummer, two to three flower scapes rise above the foliage with each scape producing two or three showy two-inch spherical umbels of rose-purple florets that last as long as four weeks.  ‘Millenium is not bothered by heat or pests!  Bonus!

Some folks will avoid allium because of overseeding, the good news for ‘Millenium’ is that it produces 50% less seeds.  It’s a wonderful addition in the late summer garden when many of our plants are getting pooped!   It can easily be divided in Spring or Fall.

I have a chive plant, related as you already read, that I let flower and go to seed because of all the Painted Lady Butterflies that were totally digging it!  That also means I have a TON of little plants that, yes, are invasive.  But it was worth it for the  butterflies!  Check out the short video on my Facebook page.

Send me your comments, questions and suggestions for future bites.  What do YOU want to know about?  What are you looking forward to planting?  You can also email me at tkgardenbite@gmail.com.