My Garlic Fell Over – How To Fix Drooping Garlic Plants


Garlic is a plant that requires some patience. It takes around 240 days to mature and it’s worth every second. In our household there really is no such thing as too much garlic! During the course of those 240 days, any number of pests, diseases and weather conditions can affect the garlic crop. So, how to fix drooping garlic? Read on to learn more.

Help, My Garlic Fell Over!

First things first. I’m stating the obvious for most garlic growers, but here goes. When garlic is reaching maturation, the leaves begin to sag and brown. You end up with garlic plants drooping. If you do a quick math calculation to figure out how many months it has been since you planted the garlic, you may just realize that it’s nearing harvest time.

If you’re still in doubt and your memory is like mine (that is like a sieve), simply pull up one of droopy plants. If the bulb is large and ready, there’s no need to wait for full dieback, but leave the foliage on to dry naturally. This extends the garlic’s storage time.

If the bulb is ready, then there’s no further need for troubleshooting floppy garlic. If, however, the garlic is falling over and readiness isn’t a factor, it’s time to look further for another possible cause.

Troubleshooting Floppy Garlic

How to fix drooping garlic depends on what other problems may be affecting the plants.

Moisture issues

Another reason for a drooping garlic plant is the most common reason for drooping in any plant — lack of water. Garlic requires consistently moist soil. Water the plants with 2 inches (5 cm.) of water at least two times a week.

Conversely, too much water can also affect the garlic, resulting in garlic that is falling over. Sometimes during heavy rainstorms, your garlic may get beaten down by the force of the storm. Don’t worry; it’s likely that the garlic will bounce back as it dries.

Nutrient problems

Yet another reason for drooping garlic plants may be that they are hungry. Lack of nitrogen, potassium, calcium, and magnesium will affect the growth of the plants. You can bring them around by doing a foliar feed or root zone feeding.

Insect pests

A more dire possibility may be that the garlic has become the host for onion root maggot or wireworms. Although garlic is a hardy veggie, it’s also prone to any number of insect infestations and fungal diseases, not to mention the above soil deficiencies.

Poor location

Perhaps you have planted your garlic in the wrong spot. Garlic needs at least six hours of sun in quick draining soil, rich with nutrients. Maybe you should try replanting the garlic. Prepare a new site for it if you think the wilt is caused by poor soil or if the plants are in too shady of an area.

Amend the soil in a sunny area with equal parts of organic compost and well-draining soil. Dig 3 inches (7.6 cm.) of this into the top 3 inches of soil in the new site. Dig the garlic up and transfer them in the morning of a cool day.

Feed the garlic with a side dressing of nitrogen fertilizer. Dig this into the top inch (2.5 cm.) of soil around each plant and water the plants immediately thereafter. Spread 2-3 inches of organic mulch around the plants to maintain warmth and moisture. Hopefully, all this will perk up the garlic and you will no longer need to say, “Help, my garlic fell over!”


How to Soak Garlic Seed for Planting

Related Articles

Growing garlic (Allium sativa) in your home garden is unlike growing most other plants. Garlic is typically planted in the autumn, rather than in spring like most other herbs and vegetables. Also, where other plants are grown from seeds, garlic "seed" is actually cloves from the previous year's bulbs. Despite these differences, soaking your seed before planting is a technique that's applicable to garlic as well. It's just done for different reasons, and using a different technique.


1. Watering problems

Water is an essential need for any plant, and the rubber plant is no different.

However, most of us make a simple mistake with our plant, i.e., either we care for them too much or don’t care for them enough.

Now both of these situations can be potentially bad for our plants. Let us learn more about it in detail.

Overwatering/Underwatering a rubber plant

Over and under-watering overall show comparable reactions (contracting/shrinking).

It might be a bit confusing to attest to the symptoms caused by overwatering or underwatering. However, we will simplify the symptoms.

Under-wateringOver-watering
Leaves getting dry and Drooping leavesBrown tips or edges of leaves
Pulling away of soil or Dried out soilDrooping and Yellowing leaves
Slow growthAttracts pest as soil is damp
Leaves getting discoloredRoot rot
Shallow root systemSigns of Edema on top leaves

How much should one water the plant?

You need to water your rubber plant every 4-5 days. Although a rubber plant can go without water for 7 days, it is crucial to avoid such stress to the plant. Hence, watering them frequently is essential.

The watering need for rubber plant might vary depending on the situation. One should always use an abundant amount of water.

You need to drain the soil with water. The nutrients needed by our plants come from the water and it is not always present in the soil. Hence if the plant is flushed with less water, lesser nutrients will reach the plant.

However, overwatering can hurt your plant as well. That is the explanation you ought to have a superb drainage structure.

The drainage holes in the pot will help with sifting through the excess water. The excess water will also leach out the salt in the soil which in result balances it out.

Make an effort not to follow this technique if your plant pot doesn’t have enough drainage holes.

Stick a wood dowel post (around 2 inches) into the soil. Watch the shaft and see if it remains dry or gets wet. This essential test will help you in deciding whether your plants need the water or not.

Another important tip you need to keep in mind is always to use water that is at room temperature.

If you tap water is cold or hot, then using that water can shock your plant. It could also be a potential cause of droopy leaves.

Let the water sit in a watering can for 6-8 hours to come to room temperature and use the same to water the plants.

If the soil is dry and your rubber plant goes limp and becomes overpowering in the wake of watering, the purpose behind leaves drooping is under-watering.

If the soil is wet or saturated and plant leaves drooping, the explanation is overwatering. Yellow and hearty shaded tones in like manner show the overwatering.

One can tell that a rubber plant is getting a ton of water by looking at it circumspectly.

Natural shaded, hanging leaves show the plant is being over-watered. The leaves may get delicate and mushy. The soil may become drenched when the plant can’t hold any more water.

The soil may similarly have a moist, bad smell if root rot has assaulted the plant. Exactly when you see these symptoms, the rubber plant needs help.

Fixing the Problem

If you’ve understood the rubber plant is getting an abundance of water, it’s a perfect chance to save the plant.

Immediately quit watering the plant and allow the soil to dry. Make an effort not to water the plant again until the soil is dry to a significance of 1 inch.

In case you assume root rot has set in, oust the plant from the pot and its soil.

To get rid of the discoloration, trim any brown-hued or black roots back with scissors.

The roots should be white and firm. Repot the plant in new soil and another pot.

However, if you think the problems are underwatering, get in a schedule to water your rubber plant every 4-5 days so that they can start thriving again.

Before reading further make sure you check out our houseplant coloring book!

This gorgeous houseplant coloring book will keep you entertained for hours. A perfect way to get to know a wide range of indoor plants!


Growing Garlic as a Perennial

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While most plants are planted in the spring for fall harvest, garlic is just the opposite. Usually, garlic is planted in the fall and harvested mid-summer the following year. Why is garlic so different? Because garlic is actually a perennial, that gardeners choose to grow as an annual. Garlic can be grown as a perennial in a permaculture garden, or as a unique edible addition to your perennial flower gardens.

Growing garlic as a perennial means less maintenance, year-round harvests and never buying seed garlic again.

Growing garlic as a perennial is pretty simple. Just plant garlic as you normally would in the fall, and then ignore it for a few years. Occasionally, that happens by accident. You intend to harvest garlic, but the stem snaps off or a bulb or two get forgotten in the ground.

The following year, each clove of that garlic plant will send up a new sprout. When you plant garlic, you plant individual cloves, but since these were never separated they’ll come up as dense patches of garlic shoots. After two or three years, a single garlic clove will have dozens of garlic shoots sprouting from a small patch of ground.

Individual stems can be pulled off the edges of this garlic mass at any point during the summer and eaten as green garlic. Normally, you can only get “green garlic” bulbs uncured at the farmers market for a few weeks a year. They have a milder flavor than cured garlic, and they taste a bit more like a vegetable. That’s because they haven’t been cured, which dried down the bulb and concentrates the flavor.

As the summer progresses, this patch of hard neck garlic will produce garlic scapes. We don’t grow the braid-able type of softneck garlic up here in Vermont, so I can’t speak to growing soft neck varieties as a perennial. The hardneck varieties have better flavor anyhow, and the only reason soft neck is sold in the grocery stores these days is due to the fact that it can be planted mechanically and is grown without bothering with garlic scapes.

When growing garlic at home, hardneck is the way to go. If you’re still confused about the difference between types of garlic,here’s a rundown on the difference between hardneck and softneck, and details on all of the 10 types of garlic you can grow at home.

Either way, I think a patch of garlic scapes coming out of the perennial flower bed fits in beautifully. If you’re not a gardener, you’d never know they weren’t some kind of exotic flower bud. And in essence, they are just like any other perennial flower bud.

Most people that grow enough garlic to supply their family all winter have trouble using up all the garlic scapes. There are countless garlic scape recipes, each trying to use up a huge surplus each year. We make garlic scape pickles, and a good bit of garlic scape pesto for the freezer each year. Still, using up a few hundred garlic scapes is near impossible. They’re cute at the farmers market, but that’s in tiny farmer’s market quantities. Once you’re growing a boatload of garlic, most of the scapes go to the pigs.

When you’re growing garlic as a perennial, the garlic scapes aren’t a problem. Harvest as many as you like, and just leave the rest. They’ll bud out, and pop into clusters of tiny baby garlic cloves hanging in the air.

Normally, garlic scapes are cut so that the garlic plant puts all its energy into forming a large bulb. The bulb mass at the bottom of these scapes don’t need any extra mass, so the scapes can do as they please.

In the fall, those garlic scape bulblets will dry down into miniature garlic cloves. These can be used just as you’d use any garlic clove, or they can be planted as seed garlic. In this way, you’ll have an unlimited supply of seed garlic produced right in your own perennial bed. Garlic plants grown from garlic bulblets may take a bit longer to mature, and can sometimes take an extra year to fully bulb out.

Garlic bulblets from unharvested garlic scapes, dried on the plant in the fall.

While these perennially grown green garlic will supply you from snowmelt through the end of fall, but what about the wintertime? For winter garlic, I pick out one of these clumps of perennial garlic each spring or fall and divide it up. A single bundle will have many individual garlic cloves, and once they’re divided out they’ll grow into full sized garlic bulbs for harvest the following July.

This clump of garlic was harvested in the spring, divided out into individual plants and then grown out as usual. Since it was spring planted garlic, it took a bit longer to mature, but was ready a few weeks after fall planted garlic would have been.

Simply use a shovel to dig up the whole clump, making sure there’s plenty of dirt intact around the root ball. Carefully separate the individual garlic plants, and plant them deep in fertile soil.

Since there’s already a green top growing from each garlic bulb, you’ll need to be careful not to damage them in planting. This patch of curing garlic will also need scapes cut to mature properly.

Perennial garlic divided into individual plants in the spring. This will allow for a crop of curing garlic for winter use.

The bulblets harvested from the garlic scapes are also great for planting. Those bulblets dry down just in time for fall, and then they can be fall planted just like regular seed garlic.

Either way, with spring divided garlic plants or fall planted bulblets, the harvest comes out just like any annual garlic planting.

In truth, the “cured” garlic for winter use is still being grown as an annual. In a milder climate, a secondary annual garlic plot might not be necessary, but up here in Vermont we have roughly 6 months of winter. It gets way too cold to dig garlic outdoors in February.

So why do I keep perennial garlic? Lots of reasons:

  1. I know I always have garlic that can be propagated if need be. If my annual patch has a crop failure, I have seed garlic here for the next year. It’s also handy in case of a zombie apocalypse.
  2. Perennial garlic patches are part of our permaculture pest control strategy. We plant a clove or two under trees and near fruit bushes, and then just ignore them. The tree mulch keeps the garlic mulched, and the garlic keeps away pests and trunk borers.
  3. It’s just plain pretty. Who needs fancy flowers when you can have a beautiful curl of garlic scapes in the perennial bed?


Selecting the Right Growing Medium

Moisture is crucial not only when choosing your container, but also when choosing your growing medium. One of the main challenging when growing garlic in pots is making sure the roots are not waterlogged, yet do not become too dry.

It is also important to make sure that the growing medium is relatively fertile, and high in nutrients. Garlic needs a good, relatively fertile soil to grow well – though it is more important that it be moist yet free-draining.

Any good, free-draining potting mix with the addition of some homemade compost should work well. If using a denser and less free-draining potting mix, adding some grit or sand could help ensure the medium does not get too wet.

Once you have planted your garlic cloves in your growing medium (taking care not to damage the bases of the cloves, and placing them upright in the soil), it is also a good idea to mulch well.

A good quality organic mulch will help to retain moisture and suppress weed growth. It can also add nutrients slowly over time. And in a cold climate, is crucial in protecting the roots of garlic from the winter cold. Fall leaves are ideal for this purpose. Though other materials, like straw, bracken etc. could also be used.


Top Reasons to Eat More Garlic

Now that you know how easy it is to grow your own garlic, what are some of the health benefits of incorporating more garlic in your diet? Here are some of the proven ways that garlic can boost your health.

When using garlic for treating infections and improving your overall health, you should use fresh, crushed garlic. Always leave the crushed garlic for 10 minutes at room temperature for the allicin and other medicinal compounds to form properly.

Prevention of the common cold

The antiviral and antimicrobial properties of garlic help to prevent the common cold. One study into the benefits of garlic in cold prevention found that people who regularly consume garlic were less likely to catch a cold. If they did become infected, then garlic helped to speed up the recovery process. 5

Garlic is a natural antibiotic

Garlic contains compounds that have antibiotic properties and can help to kill off infections. A study published in The Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy reported that sulfur compounds in garlic were effective at killing off drug-resistant bacteria, for example, the MRSA bacteria. 6 Also, allicin from garlic is a broad-spectrum antibacterial agent. 7

You should use fresh garlic for the best medicinal properties. For example, you can mix some crushed garlic with a tablespoon of coconut oil to combat bacterial skin infections naturally. To find out how to properly use garlic medicinally, please read my article about the 6 common mistakes to avoid when using garlic as an antibiotic.

Garlic is antifungal

You can also use fresh garlic to kill off various fungal infections including ringworm and candida yeast infections. The journal Microbes and Infection reported that freshly crushed garlic has antifungal properties, particularly against the fungal pathogen Candida albicans. It also destroyed E. coli bugs and parasites. 8

Anti-cancer properties

Some studies have shown that consuming garlic can help prevent various types of cancers. The journal Cancer Prevention Research published information showing that garlic consumption was connected with a lower risk of lung cancer. 9 Other studies have suggested that regularly eating fresh garlic can help to prevent stomach cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer, and ovarian cancer. 10

Garlic for heart health

It is well-known that diet plays a big role in keeping a healthy heart. Garlic has therapeutic properties that can help keep your cardiovascular system healthy. Among the health-boosting benefits that garlic gives your heart, the Nutrition Journal reported that regular intake of garlic helps to lower cholesterol, prevent blood clots, lower blood pressure, help prevent heart attacks, and help keep a regular heartbeat. 11

Garlic for diabetes

Garlic is a great food to eat if you have diabetes. Garlic helps boost cardiovascular health in people who have type 2 diabetes. One study showed that diabetic patients who were treated with garlic showed a significant increase in HDL cholesterol levels (“good” cholesterol). The study concluded that garlic can reduce LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) in people with type 2 diabetes. 12

  1. Avicenna J Phytomed. 2014 Jan-Feb 4(1): 1–14.
  2. RHS. Garlic.
  3. RHS. Onion white rot.
  4. RHS. Leek rust.
  5. Adv Ther. 2001 Jul-Aug18(4):189-93.
  6. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2003 Dec52(6):974-80.
  7. Med Hypotheses. 1983 Nov12(3):227-37.
  8. Microbes Infect. 1999 Feb1(2):125-9.
  9. CAPR. July 2013 6(7).
  10. WebMD. Onions and garlic may prevent cancers
  11. Nutr J. 2002 1: 4.
  12. J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad. 2005 Jul-Sep17(3):60-4.


Watch the video: Garlic Growing Time Lapse


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