How to Grow Garlic in Pots

Looking to add some flavor to your cooking? Why not grow your own garlic in pots! It’s easy to do, and you’ll always have fresh garlic on hand. Plus, it’s a great way to impress your dinner guests. Here’s how to get started.


Garlic (Allium sativum) is a species in the onion genus, Allium. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, and Chinese onion. Garlic is native to Central Asia and northeastern Iran and has long been a common seasoning worldwide. It was known to Ancient Egyptians and has been used both as a food flavoring and as a traditional medicine. garlic cloves are used for consumption (raw or cooked) or for medicinal purposes. They have a characteristic pungent, spicy flavor that mellows andsweetens considerably with cooking.

What You’ll Need

  • Clay or plastic pots that are at least 6 inches deep and have drainage holes in the bottom
  • A well-drained, sandy potting mix
  • Fertilizer
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic per pot

To plant your garlic,Simply push the cloves an inch or two into the soil, making sure the pointy side is up. Water well and place the pots in a sunny spot.

Water your garlic regularly, especially during dry spells. Fertilize monthly with a balanced fertilizer.

Harvest your garlic when the tops begin to brown and die back. This usually happens in late summer or early fall. Gently dig up the bulbs and brush off the dirt. Hang them in a cool, dry place to cure for 2-3 weeks. After they’ve cured, trim off the roots and store the bulbs in a cool, dark place for winter.

Preparing the Pot

Use a pot that is at least 10 inches in diameter and has drainage holes in the bottom. If you are using a clay pot, soak it in water for 30 minutes before planting to help prevent the pot from drying out the roots. Fill the pot with a high-quality commercial potting mix or make your own by mixing equal parts peat moss, sand, and loam.

Planting the Garlic

If you’re growing garlic in pots, choose a well-drained, fertile potting mix and a pot that’s at least 300mm wide and deep. To plant, break the garlic bulbs into cloves. Plant the cloves, pointy end up and just under the surface of the mix, with about 15cm between each clove. Water well and keep the potting mix moist but not wet.

In warmer areas, garlic can be planted all year round. In cooler areas, plant garlic in late winter or early spring.

Caring for Your Garlic

To keep your garlic healthy and productive, give it a dose of all-purpose fertilizer once a month and make sure the soil stays moist but not soggy. If you’re growing garlic in containers, be sure to use a light potting mix that drains well.

Water regularly to keep the soil moist but not soggy—garlic doesn’t like “wet feet.” If you see the leaves beginning to wilt, that’s a sign that your plants need water. Add mulch around the plants to help retain moisture in the soil.

To prevent fungal diseases, water only in the morning so that the leaves have time to dry out before nightfall. If you see any leaves that are yellowed or browning, remove them from the plant.

Harvest your garlic when the bottom leaves turn brown—usually in late summer or early fall. Cut the stalks about an inch above the bulb, being careful not to damage the cloves. Cure the bulbs in a warm (80–85°F), dry place for two to three weeks before storing them in a cool, dark place.

Harvesting Your Garlic

Just like with any other crop, the time to harvest your garlic will vary depending on the variety you planted, the climate where you live, and when you started your bulbs. In general, garlic is ready to harvest when the bottom leaves have started to turn yellow and begin to brown. If you wait too long, your garlic heads will split open, making them less than ideal for storage.

To harvest your garlic, carefully dig up the entire plant with a garden fork or trowel. Be careful not to bruise or damage the cloves. Once you have harvested your plants, brush off any excess dirt and allow them to air dry in a shady spot for a few days.

After your garlic has had a chance to dry, you can clip the roots and green tops off of each bulb. These can be saved and used in cooking, but they are not required for storage. Your goal is to have clean, dry bulbs that can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.

Tips and Tricks

Growing garlic in pots is a great way to enjoy the health benefits of this flavorful herb without taking up too much space in your garden. Whether you’re planting just a few cloves or starting a full-fledged garlic farm, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure your garlic plants thrive.

In order to grow garlic in containers, you’ll need pots that are at least 6 inches wide and have drainage holes. Fill the pots with a well-draining potting mix and plant the cloves about 2 inches deep. Be sure to water regularly, especially during dry spells.

When it comes to feeding your garlic plants, less is more. Too much fertilizer can actually damage the roots and make the cloves less flavorful. A light application of compost or balanced organic fertilizer once every month or two should be plenty.

As your garlic plants start to grow, you may need to give them some support so they don’t fall over. Stake them with wooden skewers or use tomato cages.

Once the cloves start to swell, it’s time to start harvesting! You can pull up the entire plant when most of the cloves are mature, or you can harvest individual cloves as needed. Store unharvested cloves in a cool, dry place so they don’t sprout before you’re ready to plant them.


There’s nothing quite like the taste of fresh, homegrown garlic. Growing garlic in pots is easy and doesn’t require a lot of space, making it a great option for small gardens and balconies. With a little care, you can enjoy fresh garlic all year round.

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