Each year the Perennial Plant Association chooses a perennial of the year, based on its landscape value, popularity, floral characteristics, and pollinator friendliness. The 2018 Perennial Plant of the Year was chosen to be Allium ‘Millenium’.
There are beginning to be a plethora of new alliums on the market, and some are closely related to ‘Millenium’. However, after extensive use and trialing some of the other varieties in my home garden, I love ‘Millenium’ best. This fast growing, bunch-forming allium will catch your eye too. It grows 1 to 2 feet wide and 16 inches tall, including the blooms. Leaves are bright green with just a hint of oniony smell. Due to its odoriferous nature, deer will not eat it.
In my own garden, I have used ‘Millenium’ extensively in both full sun and part shade locations with great results for both. Planted in mass or as a border, it fills in quickly. Just buying one gallon sized container will get you several starts, as the plant can be divided in spring or fall with no harm. I got as many as 19 plants from one gallon container! It can handle drought and heat, but does not like standing water or wet feet.
The bright pink-purple flowers are borne in late July through August, with some tendency to rebloom until frost. The seeds are partially sterile, so there is some reseeding, but it is not aggressive like its cousin, garlic chives. Pollinators love this plant! I have observed whole groups of painted and American lady butterflies, sulphur butterflies, bees, wasps, and flies flocking to it in bloom.
Add Allium ‘Millenium’ to your garden this year!