How to Grow Ornamental Garlic Plants Successfully?

How to Grow Ornamental Garlic Plants
13 min reading time

If you’re looking to add some color and texture to your garden, ornamental garlic plants are an excellent choice. Not only do they produce striking blooms, but they also have a unique scent that can be enjoyed both indoors and outdoors. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, growing ornamental garlic plants is a fun and rewarding experience.

In this section, we’ll show you how to grow ornamental garlic plants successfully. From selecting the right variety to providing adequate sunlight and water, we’ll cover everything you need to know to cultivate these beautiful plants in your garden.

Top Observations:

  • Growing ornamental garlic plants requires adequate sunlight and well-draining soil.
  • Choose the right variety of ornamental garlic plants to suit your gardening goals.
  • Plant bulbs at the right depth with proper spacing and timing for optimal growth and development.
  • Fertilize and mulch regularly to promote strong growth and disease resistance.
  • Stay vigilant against pests and diseases, and take appropriate measures for prevention and control.

Choosing the Right Variety of Ornamental Garlic

If you’re interested in ornamental garlic plant gardening or growing garlic for ornamental purposes, choosing the right variety is essential.

There are several types of ornamental garlic plants, each with unique characteristics that make them ideal for different gardening goals. Some varieties feature beautiful flowers, while others have striking foliage or unusual bulb shapes.

One popular variety is the Allium schubertii, known for its large, spiky flowers that bloom in shades of pink, blue, and purple. This variety is perfect for adding height to your garden and creating a dramatic visual impact.

If you’re looking for a more subtle option, the Allium caeruleum is a beautiful choice. This variety produces delicate blue flowers that resemble small stars and look stunning when planted in large groups.

Allium schubertiiLarge, spiky flowers in shades of pink, blue, and purple
Allium caeruleumDelicate blue flowers that resemble small stars

Other popular varieties of ornamental garlic include:

  • Allium giganteum – features large, round purple flowers
  • Allium nigrum – produces white flowers with distinctive black centers
  • Allium christophii – has large, star-shaped flowers in shades of pink and purple

How to Grow Ornamental Garlic Plants: Preparing the Soil for Planting

Before planting ornamental garlic bulbs, it’s essential to prepare the soil to provide the optimal conditions for growth. Here are some gardening tips for ornamental garlic plants to ensure your soil is ready:

  • Test Your Soil: Soil testing helps determine the pH level and nutrient content of your soil. You can purchase a soil testing kit online or through your local gardening store.
  • Adjust pH Level: Ornamental garlic plants thrive in slightly acidic to neutral soil, with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0. If your soil pH is too low, you can raise it by adding ground limestone. If it’s too high, add elemental sulfur or aluminum sulfate.
  • Add Organic Matter: Adding organic matter such as compost, aged manure, or leaf mold can improve soil quality, drainage, and aeration. Spread a 2-3 inch layer of organic matter on top of the soil and mix it in with a garden fork or tiller.
  • Remove Weeds and Debris: Removing any weeds and debris by hand or using a rake or hoe helps prevent the competition for nutrients, space, and light.

Preparing the Soil for Planting – Tips for Success

Avoid planting ornamental garlic bulbs in heavy or waterlogged soil, which can lead to root rot or bulb deterioration. Instead, choose a well-draining site with at least 6 hours of sunlight per day.

Tip: If you have poor soil quality or limited space, consider planting ornamental garlic bulbs in containers or raised beds.

Common Soil ProblemsHow to Fix Them
Compacted SoilAerate the soil by using a garden fork or aerator to create small holes that allow air, water, and nutrients to penetrate.
Poor DrainageImprove drainage by adding a layer of sand or gravel to the bottom of the planting hole or bed, or by planting in a raised bed or container.
Acidic SoilAdd ground limestone to raise the pH level of your soil and improve alkalinity.
Alkaline SoilAdd elemental sulfur or aluminum sulfate to lower the pH level of your soil and increase acidity.

Following these tips for growing ornamental garlic can help you create the perfect environment for your plants to thrive. The right soil preparation can make all the difference in achieving healthy growth and beautiful blooms.

Planting Ornamental Garlic Bulbs

Now that you have chosen the right variety of ornamental garlic, it’s time to start planting. Follow these step-by-step instructions to ensure optimal growth and development:

  • Step 1: Select a location that receives plenty of sunlight, has good drainage, and is protected from strong winds.
  • Step 2: Prepare the soil by adding organic matter, as discussed in the previous section.
Planting Depth:Planting Spacing:Planting Time:
2-3 inches deep4-6 inches apartDuring fall or early winter
  • Step 3: Dig holes according to the planting depth and spacing mentioned in the table above. Place a bulb in each hole, with the pointed end facing upwards.
  • Step 4: Cover the bulbs with soil, gently pressing it down to remove any air pockets.
  • Step 5: Water the soil thoroughly, making sure it’s evenly moist.

Providing Adequate Water and Sunlight

Ornamental garlic plants have specific requirements when it comes to water and sunlight. These plants are typically drought-tolerant and can survive in a range of lighting conditions, but they still need to be watered and exposed to sufficient sunlight to thrive.


When growing ornamental garlic plants, it’s important to ensure that the soil remains moist but not waterlogged. Overwatering can cause the bulbs to rot, so it’s best to let the soil dry out slightly between watering sessions. The frequency of watering will depend on your local climate and soil type. As a general rule, it’s best to water deeply once or twice a week rather than giving the plants frequent, shallow watering sessions.

Be sure to water your ornamental garlic plants with room temperature water and avoid getting the foliage wet. Wet foliage can foster the development of fungal diseases.


Ornamental garlic plants require plenty of sunlight to grow and produce beautiful flowers. These plants need a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight each day. If you’re growing your ornamental garlic in a location with limited sunlight, you can supplement with fluorescent grow lights.

It’s important to note that excessive heat and direct sunlight can cause the foliage of ornamental garlic plants to wilt. If you’re growing these plants in a particularly hot or dry climate, be sure to provide some afternoon shade to protect them from sun damage.

By providing your ornamental garlic plants with the right amount of water and sunlight, you’ll encourage healthy growth and vibrant blooms. Remember to monitor your plants regularly and adjust your watering and lighting schedule as needed.

Fertilizing and Mulching Ornamental Garlic Plants

Proper fertilizing and mulching can significantly improve the health and appearance of your ornamental garlic plants. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

Fertilizing Ornamental Garlic Plants

When it comes to fertilizing, ornamental garlic plants have specific requirements. Here are some tips:

  • Choose the right fertilizer: Ornamental garlic plants prefer a low-nitrogen, high-phosphorus fertilizer. Look for a fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 5-10-10 or 6-12-12.
  • Apply at the right time: Apply the fertilizer in the spring, just as the plants begin to emerge from the ground. Avoid fertilizing during the fall or winter, as this can promote the growth of tender foliage that is susceptible to frost damage.
  • Apply the fertilizer correctly: Follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging carefully. Generally, you should apply the fertilizer evenly around the base of the plant and then water thoroughly.

Mulching Ornamental Garlic Plants

Mulching is an excellent way to retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature around your ornamental garlic plants. Here’s how to do it:

  • Choose the right mulch: Organic mulches such as shredded leaves, straw, or bark are ideal for ornamental garlic plants. Avoid using fresh grass clippings or uncomposted manure, as these can promote disease.
  • Apply at the right time: Apply the mulch in the spring, once the soil has warmed up and the plants have emerged from the ground. This will help to lock in soil moisture during the hot summer months.
  • Apply the mulch correctly: Spread the mulch around the base of the plant, making sure not to cover the foliage. Aim for a depth of around 2-3 inches, taking care not to smother the plant.

By following these fertilizing and mulching tips, your ornamental garlic plants will be healthier, more beautiful, and better able to resist disease.

Managing Pests and Diseases

How to Grow Ornamental Garlic Plants

Growing ornamental garlic plants is an excellent way to add beauty to your garden. However, like any other plants, they are also susceptible to pests and diseases. In this section, we will discuss common ornamental garlic plant issues and provide tips for prevention and control.


One of the most common pests that can attack your ornamental garlic plants is the onion thrips. These small insects feed on the leaves and stems of the plant, causing distortion and discoloration.

To prevent thrips infestation, you can cover your plants with row covers or apply insecticidal soap. You can also attract natural predators such as lacewings and ladybugs, which feed on thrips.

Another common pest is the onion maggot, which attacks the bulbs of the plant. To prevent maggot infestation, avoid planting your ornamental garlic in an area where onions or other alliums have been grown in the past. You can also use insecticides or nematodes to control the population.


Ornamental garlic plants can also be affected by various diseases such as Botrytis blight, rust, and white rot. These diseases can cause stunted growth, yellowing of leaves, and premature death of the plant.

The best way to prevent these diseases is to practice good garden hygiene. Remove and destroy any infected plant material and avoid overhead watering, which can promote the spread of fungi. You can also use fungicides to control the disease.

It’s essential to stay vigilant and take appropriate measures to prevent and control pests and diseases in your ornamental garlic garden. Regular monitoring and maintenance will help keep your plants healthy and thriving.

Pruning and Harvesting Ornamental Garlic

Pruning and harvesting are important parts of ornamental garlic plant care. The techniques used depend on what part of the plant you are growing for ornamental purposes.

Growing for Foliage

If you’re growing for foliage, pruning is essential to maintain the plant’s shape and promote new growth. Use pruning shears to cut off any damaged or dead leaves. You can also trim the tips of the leaves to encourage bushier growth.

Harvesting is not necessary when growing for foliage. However, if you do want to harvest the bulbs, wait until the plant dies back naturally. Then, dig up the bulbs and store them in a cool, dry place for future planting.

Growing for Flowers

When growing ornamental garlic plants for their flowers, pruning is important to promote the growth of the flower stalks. Use pruning shears to remove any damaged or dead leaves or flowers.

Harvesting the bulbs for ornamental purposes should be done after the flowers have wilted but before they have withered completely. Gently dig up the bulbs and brush off any excess soil. Cut off the foliage, leaving about an inch of stem. Then, store the bulbs in a cool, dry place until ready for use.

Tip: Harvested bulbs can be used as a beautiful centerpiece or added to floral arrangements.

Overwintering and Propagation

Ornamental garlic plants are a delight to have in your garden, and with proper care and maintenance, you can enjoy their beauty for years to come. In this section, we’ll explore the best practices for overwintering and propagating your ornamental garlic plants, so you can continue to enjoy their stunning blooms.

Overwintering Ornamental Garlic Bulbs

To overwinter ornamental garlic, it’s important to prepare them properly before the cold weather sets in. Here are some of the best practices for overwintering:

  • Wait until the foliage has died back completely before lifting the bulbs. This allows them to absorb as much energy as possible for next year’s growth.
  • Clean the bulbs thoroughly and allow them to dry completely. This helps to prevent rot and other diseases.
  • Store the bulbs in a cool, dry place, such as a garage or basement. Be sure to keep them away from direct sunlight and moisture. You can store them in paper bags or mesh containers to allow for air circulation.
  • Check on the bulbs periodically throughout the winter to ensure that they remain dry and mold-free. If you notice any signs of mold or decay, remove the affected bulbs immediately to prevent the spread of disease.


Now that you have read this guide on how to grow ornamental garlic plants, you are fully equipped with the knowledge needed to cultivate these stunning plants in your garden. We have covered everything from choosing the right variety to overwintering and propagation, and everything in between.

By following the tips and best practices we’ve provided, you can ensure that your ornamental garlic plants will thrive and add beauty to your outdoor space. Remember to prepare the soil, plant your bulbs correctly, provide adequate water and sunlight, fertilize and mulch when needed, and keep an eye out for pests and diseases.


How do I choose the right variety of ornamental garlic?

Choosing the right variety of ornamental garlic depends on your gardening goals. Different types have unique characteristics, such as varying flower colors and foliage shapes.

How should I prepare the soil for planting ornamental garlic?

Proper soil preparation is crucial for the successful growth of ornamental garlic plants. Start by testing the soil to determine its pH level. Adjust the pH if necessary and incorporate organic matter into the soil to improve its structure and fertility. This will create an ideal environment for your plants to thrive.

How deep should I plant ornamental garlic bulbs?

When planting ornamental garlic bulbs, a general rule of thumb is to plant them at a depth that is three times their diameter. For example, if a bulb is 1 inch in diameter, you would plant it about 3 inches deep. This ensures proper anchoring and allows for optimal growth.

How often should I water my ornamental garlic plants?

Ornamental garlic plants require regular watering to thrive, especially during dry periods. It’s important to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Aim to water deeply once or twice a week, ensuring the water reaches the plant’s root zone. Adjust the watering frequency based on your climate and rainfall patterns.

How can I prevent pests and diseases in my ornamental garlic plants?

To prevent pests and diseases in ornamental garlic plants, it’s important to maintain good garden hygiene and monitor your plants regularly. Remove any dead or decaying foliage to reduce the risk of disease. Inspect the plants for signs of pests such as aphids or bulb mites and take appropriate measures, such as using organic insecticides or introducing beneficial insects.

What are the benefits of growing ornamental garlic plants?

Growing ornamental garlic plants can add beauty and interest to your garden. Their unique flowers and foliage provide visual appeal, and they can be grown in borders, rock gardens, or containers. Additionally, these plants are usually low maintenance and can attract beneficial pollinators to your garden.

Read Also:

About Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Protection Status