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Got Garlic Bulbils? You may be able to plant them!
When garlic scapes are left on the garlic plant, they will mature into garlic bulbils. Garlic bulbils are what most people will call garlic flowers, though they are not flowers at all. The garlic scapes will form into garlic bulbils if they are not cut off the plant. You can grow garlic bulbs from garlic bulbils, it just may take up to three years for decent bulb size to develop. Some garlic varieties are easier to grow garlic from bulbils than others. Listed here are the Garlic Groups and the growing habits of their individual garlic bulbils.
The best choice for growing garlic from garlic bulbils are the Asiatics and the Rocamboles. The next best choice will be the Purple Stripe Group: Purple Stripes, Glazed Purple Stripes and Marbled Purple Stripes. (see below)
The Asiatic group: Japanese, Korean Mountain and Pyong Vang (AKA Pyongyang).
If you are interested in growing garlic from bulbils, the Asiatics are a great choice. Some strains of Asiatics will only express 3 to 4 bulbils. They are very large, about the size of a blueberry. You can plant these in the fall for garlic greens, or mini bulbs in the spring.
The Rocambole group: German Red, Russian Red, Slovenian and Spanish Roja.
If you are interested in growing garlic from bulbils, the Rocamboles are another great choice. You can plant these in the fall for garlic scallions, or mini bulbs in the spring.
The Purple Stripe group: Belarus, Chesnok Red, Persian Star (AKA Samarkand) and Shatili.
For growing garlic from bulbils, Purple Stripe bulbils are smaller than the Asiatics and Rocamboles, but can be planted to produce garlic bulbs.
The Glazed Purple Stripe Group: Purple Glazer and Vekak (AKA Velek).
The Glazed Purple Stripe bulbils are also smaller than the Asiatics and Rocamboles, but can be planted to produce garlic bulbs.
The Marbled Purple Stripe group: Bogytar, Brown Tempest, Kahbar, Metechi and Siberian.
The Marbled Purple Stripe bulbils are also smaller than the Asiatics and Rocamboles, but can be planted to produce garlic bulbs. Scapes must be removed for greater bulb size.
The Porcelain group: Georgia Crystal, Georgia Fire, Leningrad, Music, Premium Northern White, Romanian Red and Zemo. Bulbils of the Porcelain group are not recommended for planting. There can be hundreds of minuscule bulbils that can take up to three years before producing reasonable sized bulbs. Even though the bulbils are so little, the scapes should still be removed for optimum bulb development.
The Creole group: Ajo Rojo, Burgundy and Keeper. A weakly bolting garlic, not recommended choice for planting the garlic bulbils. The Creole group have a tendency to bolt.
The Turban group: China Stripe, Chinese Purple, Morado Giant, Red Janice, Shantang Purple, Thai Fire, Thai Purple, Tuscan and Xian (AKA Xi’an). Another weakly bolting garlic, not recommended choice for planting the garlic bulbils.Bulb size is not that affected by leaving scapes on prior to harvest.