Elephant garlic is one of the easiest plants to grow either in your raised bed garden or in a container planter.

Planting Elephant Garlic Tips

  • Your container needs to be at least 10″ deep
  • Plant the cloves 6-10″ apart
  • The hole should be 4-6″ deep for the clove to be planted in
  • Plant with the pointy tip pointed up
  • Elephant Garlic takes some time to grow
  • Using containers limit the risk of disease or pests
  • Don’t use too many of the broad, flat leaf or your bulb may not grow as large
  • When the plants forms a flower, you will want to pinch it off, so the growing energy targets the bulbs

Harvesting Garlic

If harvest time is close, withhold any water from the plants. Watch the leaves.  When several leaves are yellow and dried with only a couple of green leaves left, your plant should be ready to harvest.

Loosen the soil around each bulb and gently lift the bulb.  Be careful not to damage the bulb.  A two year old Elephant Garlic bulb should yield at least 5 giant cloves, while a yearling plant will only produce a single clove.

Place the bulbs with the dried leaves still attached in a sunny location, protected from any rain to let them dry.

Storing Elephant Garlic

You should store your elephant garlic in a dry area with good air flow.  Some people like to braid the leaves together and hang the finished braid from the ceiling.   Now you have cloves to cook with or return to the garden for next years crop.

Elephant Garlic Facts

Did you know that Elephant Garlic isn’t really a true Garlic?  It is actually in the Onion family and is in the same family as the Leek.   The leaves are similar to the leaves on the leek plant.  They are flat and broad.  Instead of one large bulb like the leek has, the elephant garlic forms a large bulb made up of cloves much like the garlic plant, but much larger.  The flavor is more similar to the flavor of leeks and milder than garlic.

Elephant Garlic is an excellent choice for your container gardens.  Since this is a slow growing plant choice, you should have room in your planter to add other faster growing vegetables, herbs or flowers.

Filed under: Container Gardening