How To Plant Garlic In A Pot (How To Guide)

Garlic is one of the most popular vegetables globally, which is a staple in every household. Most cuisines are incomplete without a dash of garlic, and the health benefits of garlic make them the ideal vegetable to have in your kitchen. So obviously, with such worldwide popularity, it only makes sense to grow your own garlic. But how do you go about doing it? Well, we are here to tell you how to plant garlic in a pot and ensure you have a fruitful yield.

Read on and find out how to grow garlic in a pot.

Guide On How To Grow Garlic In A Pot

There are two main types of garlic. One is called hardneck, which does well in cold climates. It is easy to peel and has fewer cloves, but the cloves are larger and more flavorful. The other kind is softnecks – for warmer climates. They store well and for long periods and have many cloves compared to hardnecks.

Which type you choose to plant depends on the climate you live in.

planting garlic

Step By Step Guide On How To Grow Garlic

  • The first step in planting garlic in a pot is to understand that garlic is very different from other plants. They are highly prone to root fungal diseases. This means if you don’t have well-draining soil, you will most definitely experience problems with your garlic plant. A well-draining potting mix with compost is the ideal soil mixture for garlic. Garlic needs a nutrient-rich mix as well to support plant growth over time


  • The next thing that needs to be looked at is the pot you will be using. Terra cotta is usually the choice for most plants, but garlic is different. Since garlic takes around 8-9 months to grow and produce a harvest, you don’t want to get stuck constantly having to water the plant for 8-9 months. You can choose a plastic pot that won’t lose moisture easily and cut down on the hassle of watering the plant so often


  • The size of the pot you use to grow depends on the number of cloves you decide to plant. If you plant around 7-8 cloves, a 22-24 inch diameter pot should be sufficient. Choose the pot according to the number of cloves you plant


  • Once you’ve decided on the pot and the soil, it’s time to plant your cloves. You can either buy garlic and then break it and take cloves out for planting or buy them from a gardening shop. You should always plant the biggest cloves and keep the smaller ones for your use in the kitchen


  • To plant the cloves, you place them on the soil, 4 inches apart, so they have room to grow. And push them into the soil at least 3 inches; make sure the pointed tip of the clove faces upwards


  • Once the cloves have been planted, you need to water the plant well


  • Watering a garlic plant is the number one rule for success. You will have to water even during wintertime. Lack of water is the number one cause for a poor yield


  • Once you’ve planted and watered the soil, you need to add mulch. This will help insulate the soil and the clove bulb and also help retain moisture. You can use plastic mulch, wood chipping or straw as mulch. Add a 1–3-inch layer of the mulch to the soil for best results


  • Once you’re done planting your cloves, you need to wait for at least 8 months before you can harvest a garlic pod. But for these 8 months, you need to take good care of your plants. So let’s see how you can do that.

planting garlic at home

Caring For Your Garlic Plant

It is important to know how to care for your garlic plant because improper care will ruin the yield and may even kill your plant. So let’s take a look at some tips on how to care for your garlic plant:

  • Plant your garlic at least 5-6 weeks before the expected first frost. Once you plant in the fall season, it gives time for the roots to grow. Then in winter, the plant will become dormant and start growing again after the soil becomes warm again


  • Ensure your garlic plant receives at least 6-7 hours of sunlight. The more sunlight the plant receives, the better it will be for the health and growth of the plant


  • During winters, move the pots indoors or to a shaded area to keep the soil from freezing. You can also insulate the soil by wrapping the pot’s exterior with bubble wrap or placing dried fall leaves around the exterior


  • When spring arrives, you can move the pots back outdoors in full sunlight and water them regularly as usual. To make sure you get a good harvest, you can add 2-3 tablespoons of organic bulb fertilizer to the soil to ensure healthy bulb formation


  • Make sure to water and feed the plant regularly; if you remember to care for your garlic plant throughout the 8-9 months, then you’ll be very happy with the results you receive at harvest time.

harvesting garlic

Harvesting Garlic

Once it’s summertime and the garlic plant has leaves around 50% yellow in color, you will know that it’s time to harvest. To harvest the garlic, you can pull out the garlic from the soil and then hang them upside down. Ensure to hang them in a cool location where they will receive some air; this is important for curing the garlic. This should be done in about two weeks. After two weeks, your garlic will be ready to be consumed.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, a simple guide on how to plant garlic in a pot; we hope this guide has helped answer many of your questions. Garlic takes a long time to reach harvest, but it is definitely worth the wait. If you commit your time to care for them and provide the right care, then you too will enjoy a bountiful harvest by next summer. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How many garlic cloves should I plant in a pot?

A: You should plant the biggest cloves and keep the smaller ones for your use in the kitchen. You can also refer to our planting guide above on how to space them correctly.

Q: What type of soil should I use?

A: Garlic plants do best in soil that is light and has good drainage. You can add some compost to the soil to make it more fertile.

Q: What should I do if my garlic plant doesn’t grow?

A: If your garlic plant doesn’t grow, then it may be because you didn’t provide enough sunlight or water. Check to see if the soil is moist and if the plant is getting enough sunlight. If it is still not growing, then the garlic bulb may have been damaged during planting. In this case, you will need to replant a new garlic bulb.

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