How to Grow Garlic Indoors – 5 Easy Steps


Garlic (Allium sativum) is a bulbous flowering plant that is related to onions, chives, and leeks. It is an essential ingredient in many kitchen ventures as a seasoning.

As garlic loves full sun and requires at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily, growing garlic outdoors is the way to go. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t grow garlic indoors which is a lot easier than it may seem.

If you’re looking for ways to ensure a good supply of garlic in your kitchen, you can simply grow garlic as an indoor plant. We’re here to provide you with all the details you’ll need.

Garlic – History and Uses

garlic plants

Native to South Asia, Central Asia, and northeastern Iran, garlic was used thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt and Greek temples. In ancient history, garlic was mainly used for its medicinal and health benefits.

Garlic was believed to protect and strengthen the people. Homer in 850 BC spoke of the medicinal properties of garlic. Later, Greek philosophers such as Hippocrates, Aristophanes and Aristotle claimed that garlic had immense health benefits. Ironically the Buddhist communities are said to avoid garlic as it causes intestinal gas which then affects the levels of concentration needed for meditation.

It was during the Renaissance (14th -17th century) that garlic gained popularity in Europe.

Today with China being one of the biggest producers of garlic, the herb is used as a dietary supplement for heart-related health conditions and culinary purposes.

Interesting Facts About Garlic

  • Garlic is mentioned in the Holy Bible when the Israelites reminisced on what they ate back in Egypt.
  • King Henry IV was baptized in garlic-infused water with the belief that it would protect him from evil.
  • China is the biggest consumer of garlic and the biggest player in the global garlic market.
  • Garlic is a symbol of health and prosperity and is given to newlyweds.
  • In general, garlic symbolizes courage and strength.
  • It is said that a dream about eating garlic is a sign of upcoming bad times.
  • Garlic is known to ward off vampires and evil spirits.
  • Garlic emojis mean something is delicious.

How to Grow Garlic Indoors

garlic cloves

Growing garlic indoors isn’t all that common, but it is usually grown indoors for its greens or scapes. Here’s all you need to know when growing garlic in the comfort of your own home. All you need to remember are these 5 easy steps!

Step 1: Choose Your Garlic

The first thing you’ll need to know when trying to grow garlic indoors is to choose the right variety of garlic for your needs. Basically, there are two types of garlic you could choose. One is soft neck garlic and the other is hard neck garlic.

As the name suggests, the main difference seen in both types would be their neck or the stalk that connects the bulb to the leaves. By knowing the differences in each garlic, you’ll be sure to find the right garlic of your choice for indoor planting.

Soft Neck

The soft-neck garlic has a thinner stalk and sometimes there isn’t even one, but the bulb connects to the leaves. If you prefer smaller peels or cloves of garlic, then the soft-neck garlic would be the right choice for you.

Hard Neck

The hard neck garlic on the other hand has a thick stalk located in the middle of the bulb. Other ways of identifying the hard-neck from the soft-neck are the size of the cloves or inner peels. Hardnecks have thicker and bigger cloves or inner peels while soft-neck garlic has smaller cloves or inner peels.

However, if you want big cloves and more intense flavor out of your garlic then hard-neck garlic is the best option.

Step 2: Store the Cloves at Cold Temperature

Once you’ve acquired the ideal garlic type for your indoor garlic gardening, make sure to store them in a cool dry place. Garlic in its early stage thrives in cold dark areas. In this case, the best place to store the cloves would be in the fridge. Remember not to freeze them though. Garlic requires cold temperatures to promote early plant development. The cold temperature helps in stimulating the cloves and the development of the bulb.

An alternative to storing in the fridge is to simply take the garlic cloves outdoors during the evening and store them indoors during the day.

Store the cloves for 2 to 3 weeks until roots or sprouts start to emerge.

Step 3: Choose the Pot and Soil

garlic plants

When it comes to choosing pots for garlic, the ideal pot should have good drainage. The drainage will keep the garlic from getting immersed in moisture and will aerate the soil for better mineral absorption.

If you’re using recycled content such as an ice cream container, milk carton, or box for your pot, simply make sure to drill holes in its base for drainage.

Step 4: Choose the Soil

Make sure to use organic matter and mineral-rich soil for successful growth. Use well-draining sandy loam soil that is moisture retentive and has a pH level of 6 or 7.

Step 5: Planting the Cloves

With garlic, when planting, it is important to plant them in the right position. Each clove should be planted with the pointy side facing upward. The pointy side will be where leaves will sprout, and the flat end of the clove would be where the roots will emerge.

The skin or paper around the clove should be left unremoved to serve as protection against moisture and other elements.

Bury the cloves at least half to an inch of soil. If you’re growing multiple numbers of garlic in the same pot, have 2 to 3 inches apart for healthier growth.

Growth Requirements for Garlic

garlic plants in pots

For your garlic to thrive, it is important to understand its growth requirements. Let’s have a look and see what your garlic will need for it to grow well.


Garlic requires a good amount of sun for it to grow. If you’re growing garlic in a pot, simply bring the pot under direct sunlight for 5 to 6 hours per day. If you’re after the greens or leaves of the garlic, you won’t need as much sunlight since sunlight is only needed to promote faster bulb development.


As mentioned earlier, garlic loves cold temperatures. When growing garlic indoors, the temperature should be at least 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature should be maintained all throughout the life of the plant as it grows.


When watering garlic, make sure to avoid the soil getting overly wet. Garlic and other root crops can store a good amount of water in their bodies which can help them last for a long time without dehydrating.

A good way to know when it’s time to water your garlic plant is to do a finger check. Sink your finger an inch deep in the ground and check for moisture. If soil or dirt, along with moisture sticks to the finger, the water is still well watered. Otherwise, if the soil is dry and no soil sticks to the finger, then it should be watered.

Fertilize Garlic

Use chicken manure or a synthetic source of nitrogen as fertilizer for your garlic. Early spring is a good time to add some fertilizer to your garlic, and then fertilize again just before the bulbs begin to swell. When fertilizing, add 25g per square meter or 1 oz per yard.

Garlic requires nitrogen so use a fertilizer that has nitrogen content. Apply phosphorus and potassium.

Harvesting Your Garlic

person harvesting garlic

If you’re wondering how long, it would take to harvest garlic – it usually takes 7 to 9 months. This is a long waiting time, however, making sure that the garlic has aged and grown properly ensures a better taste.

A good way to know when it’s time to harvest garlic aside from tracking the time is to check its leaves. The garlic is good to be harvested when the leaves start to wither or turn yellow or brown. Also, while some of its leaves are still green, most of it would already be yellow or brown.

To harvest the garlic, simply take the bulb out of the shallow soil by pulling it from the neck or stalk. Cut or snip the leaves from the bulb and let it dry under the sun for easy pealing.

The Wrap Up

If there’s one ingredient that every kitchen should have, it would be garlic. With its pungent taste and odor, spiciness, along with its subtle buttery taste, garlic is perfect for sautéing, roasting, and frying.

Growing garlic in the comfort of your own home is not an impossible task. It becomes quite easy if you follow exactly the procedures mentioned in this article. Once you’ve successfully grown your first garlic at home, you can then move on to bigger ventures such as expanding your planting pot or ground and even building a greenhouse where you can mass-produce garlic if you choose to for personal use or for business.

Garlic FAQ’s

1. What health benefits are there in garlic?

Garlic acts as an antioxidant that strengthens the body and protects it against oxidative damage.

2. Can I eat raw garlic?

Eating raw garlic is the healthiest way to eat garlic. The Allicin in garlic helps thin blood and lower cholesterol levels.

3. Who should avoid garlic?

If you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), it is best to avoid eating garlic.

4. Can I eat browned or mushy garlic?

It may not taste the best, but they can still be eaten.

5. What part of the garlic plant is edible?

Avoid the green sprouts in garlic which grows when the garlic is old as it can be bitter.