Grow garlic yourself is simple. However, the question arises whether the cloves can still be eaten after flowering. We clarify.
- garlic flowers do not need to cut off
- flowering garlic is edible
- flowering is to reduce the intensity of the cloves
- bulbs next to the flower are used for propagation
During the growing season garlic, bot. Allium sativum, produces flowers. The inflorescence stem is erect and 50 to 100 centimeters long. This bears a spherical pseudo umbel with a few flowers. The color of the flowers is greenish, white, pink or reddish. Since they are infertile, these flowers do not serve to propagate the plant. Instead, garlic develops about ten to twenty brood bulbs (bulbils) next to the flowers, which grow in a pointed, papery leaf cap called a spatha.
Note: In winter garlic blooms in June.
Quality and edibility
Unlike other useful plants, the flowers of garlic are harmless in every respect. This is because they do not make the cloves poisonous or inedible.
Whether the flowers or the formation of bulbils have a negative effect on the quality, i.e. aroma and size of the cloves, is disputed. For example, some “garlic experts” claim that the cloves of garlic plants that have not flowered have a more delicate aroma. Commercial garlic gardeners believe that flowers reduce yield because the cloves of flowering garlic plants turn out smaller. Either way, garlic cloves are edible.
To cut or not to cut
Whether or not you prevent Allium sativum from flowering is up to you. Nevertheless, there are considerations that will help you in finding the decision.
The formation of flowers or brood bulbs costs the plant energy. This energy expenditure comes at the expense of the garlic bulb underground. Therefore, at the end of the day, the harvest is smaller, and the garlic cloves do not taste as intense. However, this consideration has not been scientifically proven. Therefore, only blind tasting with the harvested garlic cloves will help here.
For the preservation of the flowers speak the bulbils, because they serve for reproduction, if this is desired. By harvesting the bulbils, you can propagate your garlic and make yourself independent of garlic suppliers.
Cut off the flowers
Regardless of whether you want to leave a few garlic flowers or not, you should cut the flowers off properly. The ideal time to remove the flowers is when the first bulges begin to form at the top of the stalk. This can be expected in May or June, depending on the weather. When pruning, proceed as follows:
- place the cutting tool a few centimeters below the bulge
- make an angled cut to allow water and moisture to drain away better
Frequently asked questions
Do the garlic cloves need to be harvested before flowering?
No. You can also harvest and eat the bulb after flowering.
Is the garlic flower itself edible?
Yes. It is used in cooking, especially in Asia.
When is the best time to cut garlic flowers?
The ideal time to prune is before garlic flowering, when the first bulges form at the top of the stem.