Elephant garlic (Allium ampeloprasum var. Ampeloprasum)

Of course, if you plan to grow it in a pot you will have to choose one that is wider and taller the better. Next we will tell you everything about this curious food.

Origin and characteristics of elephant garlic

Image – Wikimedia/ Lin linao

It is a bulbous perennial native to Central Asia whose scientific name is Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum. It is popularly known as chilote garlic, oriental garlic, soft garlic, elephant garlic or large head garlic, and it develops bulbs of up to 10 centimeters which are made up of several fairly large cloves.

It can reach a height of about 70-100 centimeters. The leaves are long, lance-shaped, bluish-green, and flat. Its flowers are grouped in rounded inflorescences, and they are very small, white in color.

What are the care it requires?

If you dare to cultivate it, we recommend that you keep the following in mind:


Chilote garlic, like most species of the Allium genus, needs to be in an area where the sun shines directly, if possible throughout the day.

Distance between floors

Image – Flickr/ Forest and Kim Starr

It does not take up much space, but so that it can develop normally and reach the adult size expected of it, it is important that if it is grown in the garden it is planted at a distance of about 30 centimeters from other specimens.


  • Orchard: the land must be fertile and well drained, as waterlogging is very damaging.
  • Pot: it is advisable to fill with substrate for urban garden (on sale here ), but you can use universal substrate for plants, mulch, compost,… or any other that is rich in organic matter. The only thing you should keep in mind is that it must be able to filter the water quickly, so if necessary do not hesitate to mix it with perlite, claystone or similar.


Moderated. You have to water every time the soil is dry, avoiding wetting the leaves.

It is highly advisable to install a drip irrigation system; In this way, the water will be able to come out with the appropriate force and during the time that is considered opportune, without risking the plant rotting.


Throughout the season. We recommend fertilizing with organic products, such as guano, which is very rich in nutrients and has a rapid efficiency, compost that you can make yourself in your garden, or manure from herbivorous animals that you will find for sale in nurseries or that you can even use. they can sell directly on a farm.

Related article:What types of manure are there and what are their characteristics?
Important note: if you find fresh manure, leave it in the sun for 10 days to dry, otherwise the roots could burn, especially if the manure is from birds.


Elephant garlic is multiplied by seeds – rarely, as it is difficult for them to become viable – and by bulbs in autumn, preferably following this step by step:


  1. First, fill a seedling tray with seedbed substrate (sold here ).
  2. Then, water conscientiously.
  3. Then, place a maximum of two seeds in each socket and cover them with a thin layer of substrate.
  4. Then water again, this time with a sprayer to moisten the top layer of soil.
  5. Finally, insert the seedling into a tray without holes and place everything outside, in semi-shade.

Every time you have to water, fill the tray without holes with water. Thus the seeds, if viable, will germinate in about 7 days.


The easiest, safest, and fastest way to get new specimens is by separating the bulbs and planting them in individual pots with substrate for an urban garden, for example, or in other areas of the garden, in full sun.


It is vulnerable to thrips, but can be treated well with diatomaceous earth or potassium soap.


It can be affected by fungi like mildew, rust, botrytis, or alternaria. To avoid this, you have to control the irrigation a lot, and use lands that have good drainage.

If there are symptoms (whitish, reddish, brown or orange spots, white or grayish powder, rot…) treat with a copper-based fungicide.


Image – Wikimedia/ Lin linao

Elephant garlic is harvested around 200-240 days after planting. To get them to be somewhat larger, what is done is to remove the floral rods as soon as they come out.


It resists cold and frosts down to -7ºC, but after harvesting the bulbs can be removed from the ground or substrate and stored at home in a dry place protected from direct light.

What culinary uses is given to elephant garlic?

Elephant garlic has a milder taste than regular garlic, and is said to be more palatable. It can be eaten raw or cooked, in the same dishes as any other Allium: meats, salads, soups…

What do you think?

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