Growing Elephant Garlic Indoors

Growing elephant garlic indoors is easy to do. Learn how to grow elephant garlic in containers in this article.

Growing elephant garlic indoors is easy to do. Learn how to grow elephant garlic in containers in this article.

Elephant garlic (Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum) is a perennial plant in the onion genus.

The name elephant is likely a reference to its elephantine size. While it looks like a giant garlic bulb it is actually more closely related to leeks. It also has a milder flavor than regular garlic.

Growing Elephant Garlic Indoors

Growing Elephant Garlic Indoors

Elephant garlic makes a great container plant to grow indoors. It doesn’t require a large pot and can be kept on a sunny windowsill.

It also makes pretty flowers.

Elephant garlic flower

You really only need to buy it once. When you harvest just save some cloves to replant and start new plants from them.

How long does it take elephant garlic to grow?

Elephant garlic can be harvested in about 90 days when grown from cloves.

If you are growing from seed it will take longer to grow. The plant needs to start from scratch and grow leaves

Eventually, the bulb will start to form and grow. This can take 30-60 days longer than from a clove.

I really think it makes more sense to grow from cloves and you can probably find elephant garlic bulbs for about the same price as a pack of seeds.

Seeds are hard to find so you may need to start from cloves. You might be able to harvest seeds from the flowers but they may not grow into the plants that you want.

Seeds contain more genetic variables, a clove is basically a clone of its mother and will look the same. This is why growing from cloves is so widespread.

Growing Elephant Garlic Indoors From Seeds

Well, I thought these guys were going to send me cloves but they sent seeds. So I guess they can be found.

Growing Elephant Garlic Indoors From Seeds

I am not really sure when I am going to plant these seeds or what the germination rate will be.

I also wonder if they were cross-pollinated by something else. It will take quite a while to find out.

How deep to plant elephant garlic?

Elephant garlic cloves should be covered with about 1- 4 inches of soil. 

Cloves should be buried with the tip just above ground level.

Elephant garlic spacing

Elephant garlic can get big. So if you planted cloves you will want to thin them out gradually to about 2-3 inches apart.

Once they have gained some size you can transplant them individually into a 4-6-inch pot that is about 6 inches deep.

If you are using cloves you will probably only need one clove for a pot so that it has room to grow.

How To Grow Elephant Garlic In Containers

Can you grow elephant garlic in pots? Yes, you can.

How To Grow Elephant Garlic Indoors

In this video I am planting elephant garlic cloves in self watering planters filled with coco coir.

I ordered bulbs from a nursery but so far they have not arrived and may be lost in the mail.

So I ordered bulbs from Amazon and had them the next day. I don’t know how long it will take for them to grow.

Sometimes bulbs are treated with a sprout inhibitor. They will still grow but it can take longer.

I don’t know if my bulbs were treated but they were healthy. I got 2 bulbs and there were 7 cloves in the first bulb.

I am only planting 3 indoors and the rest will go outside where I have a container garden.

I am also growing some leeks indoors. These were started from seeds.

Growing Leeks In Containers (

Growing Elephant Garlic From Seed?

While it is possible to grow elephant garlic from seed it will take a really long time.

Everyone grows elephant garlic from cloves for this reason.

If you really want to try this you will probably need to raise your own. You can try letting the flowers go to seed.

Most people cut them off so they can get larger bulbs. If you have regular garlic, leeks, or other plants in the onion family you may get cross-pollination.

Growing Elephant Garlic From Cloves

You will need to grow elephant garlic from cloves. A bulb will yield 5-7 cloves.

If you get it at a supermarket it may have been treated with a sprout inhibitor. So it is best to buy elephant garlic grown for planting.

Where to buy elephant garlic bulbs for planting?

It is best to get elephant garlic from a seed company because it won’t be treated with sprout inhibitors.

You may be able to find elephant garlic bulbs at your local garden center or possibly in the supermarket

But if you can’t find them or just want to find them easily you can buy elephant garlic bulbs on Amazon here

Growing Elephant Garlic Indoors In Pots

So here is an update. After about 2 weeks my elephant garlic cloves sprouted so they obviously were not treated with a sprout inhibitor.

Growing Elephant Garlic Indoors In Self Watering Planters

Here they are about a week later. They already have a fair amount of roots as you will see in the video below.

Growing Elephant Garlic Indoors Day 30 Update

Here are my elephant garlic plants at 30 days. Grown in coco coir using self-watering planters. They have drunk up all their water and pots need to be refilled.