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How to Grow Garlic Indoors in a Pot

Growing garlic is an ideal project for the beginning or seasoned gardener. In order to get a new garlic vine, the cloves of the bulb are separated and one clove is planted. You can plant many different kinds of garlic, such as the White Pearl, Lautrec Wight and Purple Moldovan Wight. Garlic can be planted indoors in containers, where it can be grown in most seasons. Planting in containers indoors can also limit the garlic's exposure to disease or insects. Garlic does take attentive care and the right materials to grow a healthy, flavorful plant. This article will tell you how to grow garlic indoors in a pot.

Part One of Four:

  1. 1
    Choose a pot that is at least 8 inches (20 cm) deep and has holes for drainage. If you want to plant more than one garlic bulb, the pot should be big enough to accommodate planting garlic cloves 4 inches (10 cm) apart and 4 inches (10 cm) away from the side of the container.
  2. 2
    Obtain a garlic bulb suitable for growing. You could get this from a plant nursery or from a neighbor's garden. The planted parts of the garlic bulb are called "cloves". The whole garlic is the bulb.
    • You may want to get the garlic bulbs from a gardening supply store, since many supermarket bulbs are chemically treated to prevent sprouting and will not grow well.
  3. 3
    Put on your gardening gloves.
  4. 4
    Mix the potting soil with the gardening sand. It should be a 3 to 1 ratio of soil to sand.
  5. 5
    Fill the container with soil, leaving an inch (2.54 cm) of space from the top.
  6. 6
    Take the garlic bulbs and separate the cloves. Hold the cloves with the flat end (the bottom) facing down and the pointed end facing up.

Part Two of Four:
Planting the Garlic Cloves

  1. 1
    Push each clove 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) into the soil. There should be 1 inch (2.54 cm) of soil between the top of the clove and the top of the soil.
  2. 2
    Plant the garlic cloves 4 inches (10 cm) away from each other.
  3. 3
    Place the pot so that it receives approximately 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. A great place to store the pot is on a kitchen windowsill.

Part Three of Four:
Caring for the Growing Garlic

  1. 1
    Place the container of garlic in a sink, bathtub or another place that will allow water to drain. Water the soil by sprinkling it evenly with water. Allow it to drain through the holes in the bottom of the pot.
  2. 2
    Be sure to water the growing garlic enough to keep the soil moist, but not too wet. This will depend greatly on the sunlight and warmth of your house. The warmer your house, the more frequently you will have to water.
  3. 3
    Watch the garlic as it starts to sprout chive-like green leaves.
  4. 4
    Clip off the flowers at the base when they begin to sprout. When you do this, all the energy will go to making the bulb bigger.

Part Four of Four:
Harvesting and Using the Garlic

  1. 1
    Harvest your garlic 8 to 10 months later when the leaves begin to die and turn brown.
  2. 2
    Hang the harvested garlic in a cool, dry place, like a garage. They should be dried for about a week.
  3. 3
    Eat or cook with the dried garlic. You can also plant the cloves to get more garlic.

Community Q&A

Add New Question
  • What if I don't remove the flowers, are they of any use?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Some people like to eat the shoots. They are edible and if you leave them they will produce garlic seeds.
    Thanks! 30 2
  • I'm not clear about this. Can I plant both bulbs and cloves?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Break the bulb apart and plant each clove separately. The cloves will grow into new bulbs. Planting the whole bulb would result in crowded garlic plants that wouldn't thrive.
    Thanks! 68 9
  • Can I eat the green garlic when I cut them?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Yes. The greens which sprout through the soil from the growing garlic bulb are called garlic chives. I like to take little snips of garlic chives to cook with my scrambled eggs, or top my baked potato with.
    Thanks! 21 2
  • Does garlic always produce green shoots?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Yes, but the lower half or third is usually white because it is near the clove. If the garlic is dying, the shoots will turn brown from lack of food, oxygen, or water.
    Thanks! 19 2
  • To dry the garlic during a Minnesota winter, where else can I hang them besides my freezing cold garage?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • You may dry them anywhere in the house that maintains a reasonable temperature.
    Thanks! 12 1
  • Do I position the (garlic) cloves lying down in the soil?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • No. For best results, place them pointed end up - the way they were originally growing.
    Thanks! 5 0
  • My indoor garlic is 6-10" tall and wilting 5 weeks after planting. Is it too much water and no drainage? I only water when the top soil is dry, so why is it wilting?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Too much water replaces oxygen needed for any plant to grow. Mix one third hydrogen peroxide (maximum) to one gallon of water. This allows aeration and moisture to the roots without suffocating them.
    Thanks! 26 11
  • Can garlic bulbs be planted outdoors in a container in the U.S. Midwest?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Yes, but mulch them and move them to a protected place during the winter so they don't freeze.
    Thanks! 6 2
  • Am I removing each skin from individual bulb?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Do not remove the skin before planting. It protects the inner part of the clove.
    Thanks! 1 0
  • Will black soil work if that is all I have to plant the garlic in?
  • My garlic hasn't produced any sprouts in awhile? Does this mean it is dead?
  • I have read that planting garlic cloves indoors will not produce whole garlic bulbs. Is that true?
  • How often do I need to water garlic seedlings?
  • In the video I noticed you were preparing the garlic outside in a container. Because of the size of your container wide you be taking this indoors to grow. If not, any other suggestions for growing outside in planters?
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  • If the container is large and you want to plant more than one row of garlic, make sure they are planted at least 18 inches (47 cm) away from each other.
    8 Helpful?  10


  • Do not hesitate to harvest your garlic once the leaves have died and begun to shed. The cloves can become malformed.
    69 Helpful?  23
  • Growing garlic indoors can cause strong odors to be released. They may overpower other smells in your home.
    91 Helpful?  38

Things You'll NeedEdit

  • Soil
  • Gardening gloves
  • Garlic cloves
  • Water
  • Pot
  • Potting soil
  • Gardening sand

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About This Article

63 votes - 97%
Co-authors: 12
Views: 407,318

Reader Success Stories

  • RR

    Raj Mohan Reddy

    Mar 25

    "Photographic representation is the best way for easy understanding. Thank you."
  • AP

    Annaso Patil

    Dec 20, 2017

    "Very specific and detailed steps are mentioned and I like it too much."
  • JC

    Jim Conlan

    Jun 27, 2016

    "Love the instructions. Will follow them. This will be my first try. I am only worried about which window to use for the eight hours of daily sun. Have the window picked, but there are flowers there now. Will simply rearrange and go for it. Thank you."..." more
  • AJ

    Anne Jackson

    May 31, 2017

    "The whole article really made the process clear, and has given me insight and confidence into what to expect from my already-planted garlic cloves. Great job. Thanks."..." more
  • AC

    Audrey Corcoran

    Oct 15, 2017

    "Was pleased to know garlic can be grown indoors in planter. I have never planted garlic before, and the info was easy to understand and complete, may try ginger also."..." more
  • LH

    Lilia Hodges

    Oct 25, 2016

    "The listing specific steps for indoor growing and the detailed list of needed supplies was exactly what I was looking for."..." more
  • DM

    D. M.

    May 5, 2016

    "Being new to gardening indoor and out, it gave me good background information to support my home gardening DIY projects."..." more
  • JI

    Janet Iagulli

    Sep 4, 2017

    "Mostly I learned how easy it is to grow edible plants, and will be doing some indoor gardening to test my skill at it!"..." more
  • ST

    S. T.

    Nov 11, 2017

    "Thank you, now I know how to fix this problem without using harmful chemicals in my garlic garden."
    Rated this article:
  • AZ

    Antoni Zak

    May 27, 2016

    "Easy to understand, step by step instructions on how to grow garlic, thanks a lot wikiHow."
  • BL

    Barbara L.

    Jul 31, 2016

    "Have garlic to grow indoors. Now I know the proper way to do it. Thank you. "
  • EB

    Elaine Bates

    Jul 17, 2016

    "Very well-explained. Short and to-the-point. Encourages you to give it a go!"
  • LM

    Lisa McClain

    Jun 2, 2017

    "I'm new to gardening, need all the help I can get. "
    Rated this article:
  • TR

    Toni Royer

    Mar 19, 2017

    "With limited space outdoors, this is a great help."
    Rated this article:
  • PB

    Paula Berry

    Jun 6, 2016

    "This is great! I can't wait to start planting!"
  • EW

    Earline Walton

    Aug 3, 2016

    "The tip about clipping the garlic helped."
  • KS

    Kanda S.

    Oct 29, 2016

    "Educational and simple to understand."
  • JO

    Joleen Olmstead

    Jul 29, 2016

    "The video a awesome!"
  • A


    Apr 10, 2017

    "Informative advice."
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