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Jul 14, 2014 08:44 AM

Garlic won't grow flower


I've been growing garlic in my garden for a few years and somehow, this year, my plants haven't grown a flower. Is it normal? Do every type of garlic usually grow a flower?


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  1. My garlic doesn't usually flower, but this year I got lots of little tiny cloves growing on the stem. I didn't see the flowers, but they must have been there.

    Did you try a different variety this year? More rain or less than usual? We had a very wet spring.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sparrowgrass

      I couldn't tell if the variety is different from the previous years... I used fresh garlic I bought from the famers market last fall. My garden is in a community garden and everybody else's garlic flowered, so I don't think it has to do with the weather!

    2. Curious as to why you want them to flower? You usually want to cut the tops off and use the scape (flower stem, if you will) in order to get a bigger bulb. You could try letting a few of bulbous tops grow in order to get little bulb-ettes to plant in the fall. But I wouldn't let them all go to flower.

      1. It's not that I want them to flower, I just thought it was the normal process, if you will. Also, I would have loved to cook with the scapes.

        1. What type of garlic are you growing? Softneck varieties (usually lots of smaller cloves, flexible stalk good for braiding, better storers) rarely produce scapes. Hardneck varieties (fewer but larger cloves, stiff stem) usually do send up a scape. It could indicate something is stressing them (one of the signs of stress in softneck varieties is sending up a scape when they usually don't). You said you bought it at a farmer's market - my guess is you got a softneck variety and everyone else is growing hardneck varieties.
          @sparrowgrass - neck bulbils is typical of artichoke types of garlic (softneck). they usually don't produce scapes unless stressed.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Cybrczch

            I have grown the same type of garlic for 5 years--I save my own 'seed'. Never have had neck bulbils before.

            Neck bulbils sound painful, by the way. :)