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A picture of a Allium 'Gladiator'

Allium 'Gladiator'

Allium 'Gladiator'

Also known as

Ornamental Onion

Photo by SecretGardeningClub (All rights reserved)

Full Sun
Easy care
Light watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








2 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

Allium 'Gladiator' Overview

Allium 'Gladiator' is a summer-flowering perennial bulb that produces fragrant leaves and round purple flower heads that can get to 1.2m in height and has earned a Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Award of Garden Merit. Also known as Ornamental Onion 'Gladiator', this plant makes a wonderful addition to cottage gardens or planted into patio containers for late spring to early summer displays. Alternatively, it can be planted in the kitchen garden for cut flowers. The spent flowerheads will stand for a long time and can be left to give some winter interest or cut for floral arrangements. Preferring a sheltered spot with full sunshine, this easy to grow bulb needs to be planted 10cm deep in autumn. If your soil is heavy, you may wish to add grit into the planting hole to improve the drainage - winter wet can rot the bulb. Clear away the foliage once it begins to turn yellow and if clumps get too big, they can be lifted and divided in spring or autumn. Replant the healthiest bulbs 10cm apart. Take care with the unearthed bulbs as Alliums are poisonous to our pets.

Common problems with Allium 'Gladiator'

How to harvest Allium 'Gladiator'

Flowers can be cut for floral arrangements as needed. Although the leaves, bulb and bullets are edible with a slightly bitter flavour - and can be eaten raw in small amounts they are toxic if eaten in quantity. Although edible for humans, it is not recommended to eat bulbs produced for the ornamental industry. Consult with a medical professional for further details.

How to propagate Allium 'Gladiator'


Plant bulbs - or offsets from them - in autumn, up to three times their diameter, approximately 10cm.


Lift and divide the clumps in spring or autumn.


A consideration is Allium grown from seeds may take several years to reach maximum size. Sow in containers in a cold frame when just ripe or in the spring

Special features of Allium 'Gladiator'

Attractive flowers

Attracts useful insects

This cultivar is part of the Royal Horticultural Society “Plants for Pollinators” initiative to showcase plants that support pollinator populations by providing ample nectar and pollen. An excellent choice for encouraging pollinating insect wildlife into your garden!

Drought resistant

Survive dry summers in bulb form.

Pot plant

Suits being grown in raised beds or larger containers to balance the height of the flowering stem.

Repels harmful insects

Their mild onion scent can repel harmful insects from other plants

Other uses of Allium 'Gladiator'

Ornamental Cottage, Patio planting schemes. Ideal to plant in amongst grasses or later growing perennials to give a prairie style. Resistant to deer and rabbits.