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 Allium sativum subsp. var.  Garlic
Habit: bulbous
Height: to
Width: to
12in32in 12in16in
Height: 12 in to 32 in
Width: 12 in to 16 in
Lifespan: perennial
Bloom: early spring, mid spring, late spring
Exposure: sun
Water: moist, moderate, dry
Features: flowers, edible
Hidden fields, interally pass variables to right place
Minimum Temp: -10°C263.15 K
14 °F
473.67 °R
USDA Zones: 8 to 10
Sunset Zones:
Flower features: white
Alliaceae > Allium sativum var. ,

Allium sativum, commonly known as garlic, is a species in the onion family Alliaceae. The garlic plant's bulb is the most commonly used part of the plant. With the exception of the single clove types, the bulb is divided into numerous fleshy sections called cloves. The cloves are used for cloning, consumption (raw or cooked), or for medicinal purposes, and have a characteristic pungent, spicy flavor that mellows and sweetens considerably with cooking.[1] The leaves, and flowers (bulbils) on the head (spathe) are also edible, and being milder in flavor than the bulbs,[2] they are most often consumed while immature and still tender.

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Garlic (Allium sativum, Linn.). Hardy perennial bulbous plant, closely allied to the onion. It is native of southern Europe. It has flat leaves and the bulb is composed of several separable parts or bulbels, called cloves. These cloves are planted, as are onion sets, in spring or in fall in the South. They mature in summer and early autumn, being ready to gather when the leaves die away. If the soil is rich, it may be necessary to break over the tops to prevent too much top growth and to make the bulbs better, as is sometimes done with onions. This is done when the top growth has reached normal full size. The cloves are usually set 4 to 0 inches apart in drills or rows, in ordinary garden soil. The bulbs are used in cookery, but mostly amongst the foreign population. Strings of bulbs braided together by their tops are common in metropolitan markets (Fig. 1622). The bulbs are white - skinned or sometimes rose-tinged.

Allium sativum, Linn. Garlic. Plant 12 in. or less: lvs. very narrow, keeled: fls. purple, often replaced by bulbels: bulbs small, breaking up into many small ones that are more or less covered with the dry scales. Eu. CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


Garlic is easy to grow and can be grown year-round in mild climates. In cold climates, cloves can be planted in the ground about six weeks before the soil freezes and harvested in late spring. Garlic plants can be grown close together, leaving enough room for the bulbs to mature, and are easily grown in containers of sufficient depth. When selecting garlic for planting, it is important to pick large heads to separate cloves from. Large cloves will also improve head size, along with proper spacing in the planting bed. Garlic plants prefer to grow in a soil with a high organic material content, but it is capable of growing in a wide range of soil conditions and PH levels.[3] The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soil. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil.

Garlic scapes are removed in order to focus all the garlic's energy into bulb growth. The scapes are sold separately for cooking.


Succeeds in most soils but prefers a sunny position in a moist light well-drained soil[1, 14, 16, 37]. Dislikes very acid soils[206]. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.5 to 8.3. The bulb is liable to rot if grown in a wet soil[27, 52]. Hardy to at least -10°c[206]. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply[1]. There are a number of named varieties[200]. Bulb formation occurs in response to increasing daylength and temperature[200]. It is also influenced by the temperature at which the cloves were stored prior to planting. Cool storage at temperatures between 0 and 10°c will hasten subsequent bulb formation, storage at above 25°c will delay or prevent bulb formation[200, 206]. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes[18, 20, 54]. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other[201]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].


While sexual propagation of garlic by seed is possible, nearly all of the garlic in cultivation is done so asexually, by planting individual cloves in the ground.[3]

Plant out the cloves in late autumn for an early summer crop[33, 200]. They can also be planted in late winter to early spring though yields may not be so good. Plant the cloves with their noses just below the soil surface[200]. If the bulbs are left in the ground all year, they will often produce tender young leaves in the winter[K].

Pests and diseases

Garlic plants are usually very hardy, and are not attacked by many pests or diseases. Garlic plants are said to repel Rabbits and Moles.[2] Two of the major pathogens that attack garlic are nematodes and white rot disease, which remain in the soil indefinitely once the ground has become infected.[3] Garlic also can suffer from pink root, a typically nonfatal disease that stunts the roots and turns them pink or red.[4]


There are different types or subspecies of garlic, most notably hardneck garlic and softneck garlic. The latitude where the garlic is grown affects the choice of type as garlic can be day-length sensitive. Hardneck garlic is generally grown in cooler climates; softneck garlic is generally grown closer to the equator.[5]

Allium sativum grows in the wild in areas where it has become naturalised. The "wild garlic", "crow garlic", and "field garlic" of Britain are members of the species Allium ursinum, Allium vineale, and Allium oleraceum, respectively. In North America, Allium vineale (known as "wild garlic" or "crow garlic") and Allium canadense, known as "meadow garlic" or "wild garlic" and "wild onion", are common weeds in fields.[6] One of the best-known "garlics", the so-called elephant garlic, is actually a wild leek (Allium ampeloprasum), and not a true garlic. Single clove garlic (also called Pearl garlic or Solo garlic) also exists, originating in the Yunnan province of China.




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