Why Have My Purple Alliums Turned White?

Alliums, referred to as flower or ornamental onions, start as bulbs. You will find many variations in height, form, and color. The purple alliums are some of the prettiest of the bunch.

Have you found that your purple alliums are now turning white?

Before you yank the bulbs out and start over, we’ve got some tips for you to try.

Determining Why Purple Alliums Have Turned White

1. Did You Accidentally Plant The Wrong Bulbs?

It could very well be you mixed up the bulbs for your alliums when planting. It can be easy to do. It is something all of us have done in some form or another. Many a vegetable grower has mistakenly planted zucchini instead of yellow summer squash. Or perhaps watermelon instead of cucumber. If seeds and bulbs are not correctly labeled, mistakes can happen.

If this could be the case, you can dig up the bulbs and relocate them. If you don’t mind them being white alliums, leave them be. They’ll bloom for you, year after year. While it is irritating to have to relocate your plants, it’s a quick and easy solution.

Alliums are tough plants. They respond well when transplanted. It will also serve as a reminder to label and store your seeds and bulbs correctly.

2. Could It Be A Fungal Infection?

Take a close look at the blooms, the stalks, and the bulb. Are they covered in a type of fungus? While not always typical, certain types of fungal infections can take over. It may be best to cut your alliums back or pull them up completely. There’s no telling how far the fungal infection has spread.

There are several treatment options you can get from your garden center to try. They may help to keep the infection under control. Keep in mind that fungus loves moistness. It could be that your soil is too soggy, fostering the fungus’s growth.

If this is the case, consider watering them less next time you plant them. It would help if you also considered amending the soil to ensure it is better draining. This isn’t a very straightforward fix. It is possible, however, to quickly eliminate fungus from your garden. Remove the infected plants or try to treat them.

Most gardening pros will recommend that you outright remove the infected plants. You can treat the soil with antifungal products that will help to keep the fungus from re-infecting your next growing season.

3. Is The Soil Too Alkaline?

Plants have different needs when it comes to the PH of the soil. Some prefer much more alkaline soil. Some thrive in more acidic soil. A simple soil tester kit, easily bought from your local garden center, will let you know where your soil is. From that point, it’s easy to adjust the soil.

Your allium bulbs will thrive in soil that is just this side of being too acidic entirely like tomatoes do. You can get additives from your garden center to boost the soil’s acidity in no time. Additionally, you may choose to add Acidifying fertilizers may also be added to the soil to increase acidity levels.

Adding products containing ammonium sulfate or nitrate are excellent additions to increase soil acidity. This is a reasonably simple fix most gardeners will have to face at some point. Knowing your soil’s PH levels will help make you a better gardener. When you know what your plants need, it becomes easy for you to meet those needs.

Test the soil after each growing season, and adjust accordingly.

4. Are They Naturally Dying Back?

It could very well be that the pretty purple color is fading from your alliums because it’s just that time of the season. Most often, many vibrantly colored alliums tend to lose their color when they start to die back. During this period, the plants lose their color, and the purple will fade to white. But they still retain their ornamental shape.

This can be a fun addition to your summer garden. You can, of course, cut the plants back entirely. Many gardeners love to use the dried-out blooms indoors as a part of a fun floral centerpiece.

If the plants follow their seasonal pattern, there’s not much to be done. You can’t restore the purple color. At least not until next spring when they pop up for you again. Knowing when your alliums are done for the season helps indicate when it’s the right time to plant other things.

Additionally, understanding the seasonal timing of your garden can help you with your planting schedule.

What Is The Best Solution?

There is no one right solution for this concern. Many factors can contribute to the purple fading to white. Identify that factor, and you’ll know the solution that will work best for you and your garden.

How To Care For Your Purple Alliums?

There is no one right solution for this concern. Many factors can contribute to the purple fading to white. However, if your alliums are done for the season, you can take off the dead leaves to make room for more air circulation and a neater garden. When it’s time to harvest seeds, always wait until seed pods have turned green.

Tips For Growing Your Allium

There are various ways for you to grow your purple allium. Here are just a few of them:

  • Depending on the specie, you can plant them in full sun or part shade. Most alliums perform better when they have direct contact with at least 6 hours of sun.
  • Provide support for those alliums with large flower heads
  • Give the soil some time to dry out after applying water


  • Lydia Beaumont

    Lydia Beaumont is a go-to expert in interior design, known for her knack for stylish table settings, blending houseplants seamlessly with home decor, and designing inviting outdoor spaces. She has a real talent for making spaces look stunning while keeping them comfortable and livable. Lydia's creative touch brings a fresh and vibrant feel to any room or garden she works on.

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