Nodding Onion Seeds — Carolinian Native
I grow several allium species and cultivars in my garden and I find that many of them serve as a hub for a range of pollinators. This is nodding onion (Allium cernuum), an easy to grow, multi-use plant that is native to Carolinian habitats (parts of Canada and the US). The flowers are a distinctly pale lavender colour with stems that bend or "nod," giving it its common name. All of the parts are edible (flowers, leaves, and bulbs), which is one of many reasons why I don't mind letting it self seed and spread in my garden. It's also absolutely gorgeous, and as you can see (3rd photo), when grown in swaths, it appears as if the garden is dotted in ethereal, puffy, pom poms.
This is a very tough and adaptable, deer-resistant plant that will grow just about anywhere -- from full sun to shade, rich soil to dry. Bulbs will rot in wet soil with poor drainage. It thrives in my full exposure urban garden and I've even grown it in pots on a roof. It is hardy between zones 3-8.
*It is advised not to overdo it with the bulbs as they are quite strong; however, normal use as a flavouring is fine.
Please note that I have a very LIMTED quantity of seed this year.
Special Notes: Prefers full sun and well-draining soil. Native perennial. Loved by pollinators. Ornamental. All parts edible. Blooms June/July.
Approximately 60 seeds per packet. Grown and harvested in the 2018 gardening season.
Seed Starting and Growing: Scatter seed directly into the garden in the fall or late winter. Nodding onion seed require wet/cold stratification (seeds are kept moist in cold temps for a period of time), so the earlier you can get them outside, the better. Seeds started indoors will also require a period of time in the cold. For best germination, plant seeds in a small pot and moisten lightly before setting in a fridge or cold frame for approximately 60 days. I've also had good luck sowing seed onto a piece of moist paper towel or coffee filter sealed inside a plastic baggie. Once the cold period is up, place the pot (or baggie) in a warm spot. Germination can be slower than other alliums. I also suggest scarifying seed before planting to help the seedcoat crack. Seedlings may be transplanted outdoors once the soil is workable and before the last frost as long as they are hardened off first (a process that prepares them for outdoor conditions).
About You Grow Girl Seeds:
All of the seeds that I sell were lovingly homegrown and harvested by me, small scale, in my urban garden using organic methods only -- no chemicals or pesticides whatsoever. Tomato varieties are isolated to stay true using the flower bagging method and I test for germination quality. I take special care in choosing varieties that I find unusual, interesting and fabulous, and/or especially suitable for growing in small space gardens.