How to grow garlic in pots – 9 Easy Steps to Plant Garlic

how to grow garlic in pots

Every year we are planning some gardening in our house and there are plenty of vegetables that we like to grow in our pots. One of these is garlic, as it’s really easy to do and doesn’t take up much space.

But we didn’t get the right guidance on how to grow garlic in pots, so we had some struggles in the beginning and struggling made us think that it is not possible to grow garlic in pots. But, after doing some research we found the easy steps to plant garlic and started growing them in our pots.

According to the Vegetables 2020 Summary released in February, U.S. producers harvested 24,700 acres of garlic and produced 346 million pounds valued at $264 million last year.

So, if you are also planning to grow garlic at home and are wondering how to go about it, then this article is for you. We will tell you everything that you need to know about growing garlic in pots, from what type of pot to use to the right way of planting and taking care of your garlic plants.

Let’s get started!


Scientific NameAllium sativum
Height12 to 40 inches (30 to 100 cm)
USDA Growing Zones4 to 9
Required Sunlight6 to 8 hours per day
Soil TypeSandy loam, well-drained, moisture-retentive soil with a PH between 6.0 and 7.0
Crop Water Requirement1/2 – 1 inches per week 
Growth Period8 to 9 months
FertilizingOnce every three to four weeks
HarvestBest in-between June to August

Is garlic a vegetable?

Garlic (Allium sativum) is a member of the onion family and is closely related to shallots, leeks, and chives. It is believed to have originated in Central Asia and has been used as both a food and a medicine for thousands of years.

is garlic a vegetable

In general, garlic is classified as a vegetable. However, there are some debates about this since it is mostly used as an herb or spice.

Technically, garlic is a bulb that consists of smaller cloves. Each clove can be planted to grow a new garlic plant.

For the purpose of this article, we will consider garlic as a vegetable since it is mostly grown for its bulbs which are used as vegetables in cooking.

Now we have cleared that up, let’s move on to what it tastes like.

What Does Garlic Taste Like?

Garlic is a winter vegetable that has a strong, pungent, and slightly spicy flavor. It is used to add flavor to many dishes and can be eaten raw, cooked, or roasted.

When garlic is eaten raw, it has a sharp and fiery taste. But when it is cooked, the flavor becomes more mellow and nutty. Roasted garlic has a sweet and caramelized taste that goes well with many dishes.

Can You Plant Grocery Store Garlic?

You cannot plant garlic cloves in grocery store garlic. In order to plant garlic, you need to buy fresh garlic bulbs that look like the ones in this photo. You can then plant the fresh garlic bulb into the soil, and the clove will sprout inside of it.

Why Choose Container Growing for garlic?

Garlic has been grown for centuries using container gardening. There are many benefits to the method which include saving space, being able to grow it in places with less sunlight, and the assurance that it will grow.

So why should you choose container gardening? You can save a lot of space by planting your garlic in pots or containers, you can plant it in areas with less sunlight and get some assurance that it will grow despite unpredictable weather.

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Now we have cleared that up, let’s find out how to grow garlic in pots.

9 Easy Steps to Grow Garlic in pots Or Containers

Growing garlic in pots is not difficult and is a great way to grow this vegetable if you have limited space. All you need is a pot, some good-quality potting mix, and garlic bulbs.

Here are the easy steps on how to grow garlic in pots;

Step 1: Choose the Right Variety

The first step is to choose the right variety for growing garlic. There are two main types of garlic – hardneck and softneck.

Hardneck garlic

Hardneck garlic is the better option for growing in pots as it doesn’t need as much space as softneck garlic. Hardneck garlic is also a more reliable option for planting in the ground.

If you live in an area with a short growing season, hardneck garlic is a better option as it matures faster than softneck garlic. Hardneck garlic also has a stronger flavor than softneck garlic.

Hardneck garlic (Allium sativum) is a subspecies of garlic that is characterized by its hard woody stalk. This type of garlic is generally more pungent than other types of garlic and has a shorter shelf life.

Hardneck garlic is typically grown in colder climates and is harvested in the summer months.

Softneck Garlic

Softneck garlic is a type of garlic that is popular in many parts of the world, including the United States. This type of garlic is easier to grow than hardneck garlic, and it produces more cloves per bulb.

Softneck garlic is also less likely to bolt or produce flowers, than hardneck garlic. While softneck garlic may be easier to grow than hardneck garlic, it is not as reliable in colder climates.

softneck garlic vs hardneck garlic

In areas with very cold winters, softneck garlic may not survive the winter unless it is planted in a protected location.

If you are looking for a type of garlic that is easy to grow and produces a large number of cloves per bulb, then softneck garlic may be the right choice for you.

Elephant Garlic:

Elephant garlic, which is actually a type of leek, is another option that you can consider for growing in pots. It is the largest type of garlic and produces big bulbs that can weigh up to a pound each.

The cloves of elephant garlic are also much larger than regular garlic cloves. If you want to add some fun and excitement to your cooking, then consider growing elephant garlic in pots.

Best garlic for growing in pots in a cold climate

In USA, The best garlic for growing in pots in a cold climate is the hardneck garlic. The reason for this is that hardneck garlic is more tolerant to colder temperatures than softneck garlic.

Best garlic for growing in pots in a mild climate

In the USA, the best garlic for growing in pots in a mild climate is the softneck garlic. Softneck garlic is more tolerant to warmer temperatures than hardneck garlic.

As garlic is a winter crop and it needs a lot of sunlight to grow well. It might tolerate partial shade in very warm climates, as long as it is not for very long periods during the day or for much of the growing season.

Step 2: Choosing the Right Size of Container for Planting Garlic

When it comes to growing garlic in pots, there are two main types that you can choose from – plastic pots and ceramic pots. Both of these have their own pros and cons, so you will need to decide which one is better for you.

Plastic Pots

Plastic pots are the cheaper option and they are also light, so they can be moved around easily. However, they are not as durable as ceramic pots and they can also get very hot in the summer sun, which can damage your garlic plants.

Ceramic Pots

Ceramic pots are more expensive than plastic pots, but they are also more durable and they won’t get as hot in the summer sun. However, they are also heavier, so they can be difficult to move around.

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Which type of pot you choose is up to you, but we would recommend going for a ceramic pot if you can.

Step 3: Select the best soil for growing garlic in pots

The best soil for garlic in pots is loose, well-draining soil. You can either buy a potting mix from your local garden center or make your own by mixing equal parts sand, peat moss, and compost.

Make sure that the potting mix is loose and well-draining, as garlic plants don’t like to be waterlogged. If the potting mix is too dense, you can add some perlite or vermiculite to help with drainage.

Step 4: Add Some Fertilizer

best fertilizer for garlic plant
Credit: Canva

The best fertilizer for garlic is a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer. You can either buy this from your local garden center or make your own by mixing equal parts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Apply the fertilizer to the soil around the garlic plants once a month during the growing season. Make sure that you water the fertilizer into the soil so that it doesn’t burn the roots of the plants.

When applying fertilizer, you should keep in mind that do not over-fertilize the garlic with Nitrogen as this can cause excessive top growth.

Step 5: Choose the right time for planting

When to plant garlic in a pot? The best time to plant garlic in a pot is in the fall, about six to eight weeks before the first frost. This will give the garlic plants enough time to grow some roots before they go into dormancy over winter.

In colder climates, you can start planting garlic in pots as early as August. In warmer climates, you can wait until October or November.

Step 6: Plant garlic in a pot

how to plant garlic clove
Credit: Canva & iStockphoto

To plant garlic in a pot, fill the pot with a loose, well-draining potting mix. Then, add some fertilizer to the soil and mix it in.

Next, take your garlic cloves and plant them about two inches deep and four inches apart. Make sure that the pointy end is pointing up. Water the garlic plants well and then place the pot in a sunny spot.

Water the garlic plants well after planting and keep the soil moist throughout the growing season.

How to prepare garlic cloves for planting?

To prepare garlic cloves for planting, gently remove the skin so that the cloves are exposed. Then, plant the cloves about 2 inches deep and 4 inches apart.

Where to Place the pot for winter?

If you live in a cold climate, you will need to place the pot in a cool, dark place over winter so that the garlic doesn’t sprout. A garage or basement is ideal.

In warmer climates, you can leave the pot outside as long as it is in a protected spot where it won’t get too cold.

Step 7: Watering the plant

It is best to water garlic plants with a soaker hose or drip irrigation. Water the plants deeply and thoroughly, about 1-2 inches per week.

Be sure to keep the soil moist, but not soggy. If you live in an area with low rainfall, you may need to water more frequently.

Step 8: Harvest the garlic

how to grow garlic in pots or containers.
Credit: Canva

When to harvest garlic grown in pots? Garlic that is grown in pots can be harvested about seven to eight months after planting.

You can start harvesting garlic grown in pots when the leaves start to turn yellow or brown. This usually happens in late summer or early fall.

To harvest the garlic, carefully dig around the plant with a garden fork or trowel and then lift it out of the pot. Hang the garlic plant upside down in a cool, dark place to cure for two to three weeks.

After the garlic is cured, you can cut off the individual cloves and store them in a cool, dark place. They will keep for several months this way.

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Step 9: Cure and Store

After harvesting your garlic, you will need to cure it before storing it. Curing garlic helps to improve the flavor and extends the shelf life.

To cure garlic, hang the plants upside down in a cool, dark place for two to three weeks. After the garlic is cured, cut off the individual cloves and store them in a cool, dark place. They will keep for several months this way.

You can also braid the entire garlic plant and hang it up as a decoration. The garlic will continue to grow roots and bulbs while it is braided and it will be ready to harvest next year.

What are the benefits of garlic?

There are many benefits to eating garlic, including reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer, boosting immune system function, and more.

1. Reduces the risk of heart disease:

Garlic can help reduce cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, both of which are risk factors for heart disease.

2. Boosts immune system function:

The antioxidants in garlic help fight off infection and illness by boosting the immune system.

3. Lowers blood sugar levels:

Garlic can help regulate blood sugar levels, making it a good choice for diabetics or those at risk for diabetes.

4. Reduces the risk of cancer:

Several studies have shown that garlic can help reduce the risk of various types of cancer, including stomach, colon, and breast cancer.

5. Treats cold and flu symptoms:

Garlic has natural antibiotic and antiviral properties that can help treat the symptoms of colds and flu.

6. Reduces inflammation:

The antioxidants in garlic can help reduce inflammation throughout the body.

7. Aids in digestion:

Garlic can help improve digestion by stimulating the production of stomach acids.

8. Fights bacterial and fungal infections:

The antibacterial and antifungal properties of garlic make it an effective treatment for a variety of infections.

9. Prevents age-related cognitive decline:

Some research suggests that garlic may help prevent age-related cognitive declines, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

10. Promotes bone health:

Garlic can help prevent osteoporosis by increasing bone density and strength.

The Bottom Line

Garlic is a healthy and delicious addition to any diet. It has many health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer, boosting immune system function, and more. Garlic is easy to grow in pots and can be harvested about seven to eight months after planting.

So there you have it, an easy guide on how to grow garlic in pots! Be sure to follow the above guidelines and you’ll be well on your way to harvesting your own fresh garlic. Thanks for reading and good luck!

FAQs: How to grow garlic in pots

Q: Can I Grow Garlic Indoors?

Ans: Yes, you can grow garlic indoors. However, it is important to make sure that the pot has drainage holes and that the plant gets enough sunlight. Fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season.

Q: How Often Should I Water My Garlic Plants?

Ans: Water your garlic plants when the soil is dry to the touch. Be careful not to over-water, as this can cause the roots to rot. Watering in the morning will give the plants time to dry out before nightfall, which can help prevent fungal diseases.

Q: When Is Garlic Ready To Harvest?

Ans: Garlic is typically ready to harvest seven to eight months after planting. The cloves will be large and the plant will start to yellow and die back. You can dig up a few bulbs to check for size. If they are still small, leave them in the ground a little longer. Be sure to harvest garlic before the first hard frost in autumn.

Q: Does Garlic Do Well In Pots?

Ans: Garlic does well in pots, but be sure to use a pot with good drainage. Mixing the soil with some compost or organic matter to help improve drainage. You may also want to add some gravel or stones to the bottom of the pot before adding soil. Water regularly, but make sure the soil never becomes soggy. Harvest garlic cloves when the leaves start to turn yellow and die back.

Q: Does Garlic Like Shade Or Sun?

Ans: Garlic prefers full sun, but can tolerate some shade. If you’re growing garlic in an area that doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight, try planting it in a raised bed or on a hill so it gets more light.

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