Summer Peek-a-Boo™ Ornamental Onion
Allium ‘Summer Peek-a-Boo’
Description & Overview
Summer Peek-a-Boo™ Ornamental Onion is a sport of Allium ‘Summer Beauty’ with medium purple flower heads set consistently above compact foliage. Expect your onions to attract butterflies and pollinators. ‘Summer Peek-a-Boo’ is an excellent choice for containers with an above average growth rate.
- Rock Gardens (these plants thrive in well-draining soil. Rocky soils provide great drainage),
- Border Front (interesting flowers attract attention/sturdy flower stems won’t flop),
- Cottage Garden (an informal planting where flowers take center stage. A romantic jumble of bulbs, annuals, perennials, flowering shrubs, and climbers),
- Naturalized Area (the native Nodding Pink Onion, Allium cernuum, will self-seed and spread over large areas),
- Pollinator Garden (attracts bees, butterflies, and more!)
- Container Garden (not much room to spread and seed, one single plant will remain small),
- Cutting garden (unique flowers, fresh or dried, add interest to any bouquet).
Attractive to wildlife like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
Seed heads can be left up overwinter for interest, or pruned back. Clean up dead foliage in spring.
While onions in general have no serious issues, there are a few cosmetic (non-lethal) issues that can occur. Bulb rot may occur in soggy or waterlogged sites and is noticed by squeezing the bulbs to feel if they are soft or mushy. Potential insect pests include: aphids, vine weevils, slugs, snails, earwigs, spider mites, and thrips. Thrips are tiny insects that suck plant cells from almost any plant. Damage includes streaks, small white patches, or silvery speckling on leaves. All of these insects can be treated with a few treatments of insecticidal soap.
If plants had cheeks, you’d want to pinch Summer Peek-a-Boo’s because it is so adorable. Perfect for the front of a border or a small garden, the grass-like foliage provides a light texture, topped with cheerful clusters of pinkish-purple flowers in summer. This plant is also about as low-maintenance as you can get: stays short, doesn’t reseed, it handles dry, compacted soil, salt and snow in winter, and deer and rabbits won’t touch it for the most part. Since it is an Allium, it does have a slight oniony fragrance, but that is a small price to pay for all the pollinators that will visit the plant when it blooms.
Ornamental Alliums are closely related to onions, garlic, and leeks. If you dig up a Summer Peek-A-Boo Allium and spread the leaves apart, you’ll see them attached to little bulbs, like an onion. This makes Allium one of the easier plants to divide and transplant.
For more information, read the book Garlic, Onion, and other Alliums by Ellen Spector Platt.
All these plants attract other pollinators and have a wide range of colors for either contrast or consistency. Little Bluestem stays in the general size range but adds fall color when allium begins dying back.