How to Regrow Garlic

Garlic is one of the easiest plants to re-grow and you can grow an entire bulb from one single clove! It’s easy and fun way to spend less on groceries at the store, and help you start your own garden. Keep reading to learn all about how to regrow garlic from a clove.

collage image of garlic bulbs and cloves; text overlay "How to Regrow Garlic"

How to Regrow Garlic in Water

Many plants can be regrown in water, such as romaine lettuce. However, you won’t be able to regrow a full garlic bulb in a glass of water.

What you can do is grow garlic sprouts, which can be used to flavor food. They are similar in size and shape to scallions, and can be prepared the same way.

To grow garlic in water, take a garlic clove and poke 3-4 toothpicks evenly around the middle, pointing outwards. You only want the toothpicks to go in just enough to hold the clove.

Use the toothpicks to rest on the edge of a small container. Fill the container with water, so just the bottom third of the clove is submerged. If it is able to sprout, it will start do so within a few days.

However, if you are hoping to grow a full bulb of garlic, you’ll need to plant in soil. Keep reading to learn how to do just that!

When to Plant Garlic

Garlic thrives in cold weather — this is actually when the bulb does the most growing. Ideally, you’ll want over a month of cool temps below 40°F.

Plant your garlic cloves in the fall, so they can spend all winter growing into large bulbs.

If you miss the fall planting, that’s ok! You can still grow garlic in the spring, though it may take a bit longer and growth may not be as robust.

How Much Space is Needed?

Garlic doesn’t need a lot of space, so it is the perfect plant for containers or small gardens.

One square foot should be more than enough per plant.

If planting in a pot or container, keep it outdoors since it may be too warm inside your home for good growth.

How to Regrow Garlic from a Clove

Take your head of garlic and break into cloves. Do not remove the papery coating that is on the cloves.

Bury the individual cloves into the soil about an inch into the ground, with the root end facing down and the pointy side up. Cover gently with soil. Water if needed so that the soil is moist.

Garlic is fairly low maintenance, so just keep an eye on it and make sure that the soil is watered as needed.

If the garlic shoots start to get tall (more than a few inches) and curly, it’s time for a trim! These curly green shoots are known as “scapes” and they’re edible too!

Cut off the scapes and use them to add a delicate garlic flavor to your cooking (they are milder in flavor than garlic cloves). If you don’t trim the scapes, they may start to flower and your plant will devote most of its energy into feeding the flowers instead of bulb growth.

garlic clove in the ground, growing green shoots

How Long Does Garlic Take to Regrow?

If your garlic gets the cool weather it needs, the process will usually take about 6 months from clove to full bulb.

While it’s not exactly a fast growing plant, if you plant enough of it, you can harvest enough garlic to last until next year’s planting! You can also take advantage of the scapes that grow in the meantime for adding garlic flavor to your food.

When is it Time to Harvest?

You know your garlic will be ready to harvest when the shoots start to turn yellow and brown and fall over.

The key is to harvest before the scapes are completely brown, as this means the garlic cloves may start to split. Harvest when the scapes are half green and half brown.

Once you notice that it is nearing harvest time, stop watering your garlic. This gives the garlic bulbs a chance to harden up a bit.

When you harvest, carefully remove the dirt that is covering the bulbs and dig them out of the ground gently. Leave the shoots attached.

Now you’ll need to “cure” your garlic for 3-4 weeks before using.

How to Cure Garlic

Like sweet potatoes, you’ll want to cure your garlic for long-term storage. This is pretty simple to do, but it requires up to a month.

To cure the garlic, place in a single layer in a box or basket and keep in a cool, dry area. You can also bundle the garlic together and hang it with the bulbs on the bottom.

You CAN eat the garlic as soon as you take it out of the ground. However, it will last much longer with curing, and since it takes months to grow, you don’t want any to go to waste!

Why is My Garlic Not Sprouting?

Some garlic is treated with chemicals to keep the garlic from sprouting, but you probably couldn’t tell just by looking at it.

To test if your garlic has been treated with chemicals, leave it in the fridge for about two weeks. If you start to see signs of sprouting, your garlic plant is fine to plant! If not, it likely isn’t going to sprout and you should get a different bulb.

Your best bet is to purchase organic garlic, as it won’t be treated with those chemicals. You can usually find it in the organic produce section at your grocery store. If not, try your local farmer’s market or organic grocer.

More Foods You Can Regrow

Also check out this awesome list of 15 Foods You Can Regrow from Scraps!

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