THE 2018 PERENNIAL PLANT OF THE YEAR.
Each year the PPA (Perennial Plant Association) selects a perennial to highlight for the year. This year the Association chose ALLIUM ‘MILLENIUM’
Allium ‘Millenium’ is referred to as the “butterfly magnet” perennial. Other pollinators will flock to this plant. Butterflies and bees will thank you for adding ‘Millenium’ to your garden; especially since it is a late summer bloomer. A good pollinator garden will have different plants blooming at different times during the growing season in order to provide nectar for the various pollinators. This is one main reason why planting Allium ‘Millenium’ is so perfect.
The 2017 perennial plant of the year was ASCLEPIAS tuberosa (butterfly weed), which is a native plant and a plant known for its ability to support insects and birds and serve as the primary caterpillar food for our Monarch butterflies. Personally, I think that the PPA is being very supportive of the need to become more aware of protecting and supporting our pollinators and this could be one reason why Allium Millenium was chosen for this year.
Allium ‘Millenium is very hardy for our region. It lives in hardiness zones from 3 to 9 ( we are zone 7 here in the Richmond area). Allium ‘Millenium’ is a relative to the common onion. It was introduced in 2000 and has proven itself year after year for being a top performer. The genus Allium has nurmerous virtues to add to any landscape. It grows best in full sun. There are no serious pest problems. Deer and rabbits leave ‘Millenium’ alone. And, finally, it is low maintenance.
How can you go wrong in adding Allium to your garden? Now is a good time to plant one and then be able to enjoy its’ beauty later this summer.
I challenge all of us to learn more about gardens for pollinators and help spread the word to our family, friends, and neighborhood to plant more pollinator plants.