Garlic problems


Garlic problems, Are you encountering problems or issues in growing garlic and want to know how to fix it or want a solution for it?

This growing garlic guide is written to highlight all the problems with growing galric and how to correct them.

Garlic is a vegetable that is reasonably simple to grow. It grows best in a sunny location since it needs lots of warmth for good development and bulb ripening.


However, growing garlic at home can appear to be a hard endeavor if you are unfamiliar with the numerous issues that can develop.



Among the most common issues encountered when producing garlic are pests and creatures such as bloated nematodes and bulb mites, soil shortages, and garlic diseases such as white rot.

As a result, tiny bulbs, drooping plants, and decaying garlic may result. Additionally, it has been known to cause garlic leaves to wither and turn yellow or brown.

In this post, we’ll look at the most common issues that people encounter when growing garlic and how to resolve them so that you may produce garlic with huge, tasty, and flavorful cloves.

Therefore, without further i do, let us get started.


As it turns out, there are a variety of issues that might arise when producing garlic. While garlic is one of the simplest vegetables to grow, the deceptively huge green tops can occasionally produce heads that are quite small.

Nobody wants to spend a whole year watering, feeding, and weeding their garlic plants only to get a bad harvest.


We’ve compiled a list of potential garlic stressors, including infections, fungi, insects, and other pests. By highlighting the most common issues that growers confront, we seek to avert this type of disappointment. The tips in this article will help you get big, flavorful cloves that you can use in your favorite dishes.


Occasionally, and much to the astonishment of gardeners, entire beds of garlic turn yellow or brown and collapse almost overnight. If your plants begin to droop, wilt, or fall over, follow the troubleshooting methods below.

The Issue/Problem

  • Drooping garlic
  • Wilting garlic
  • Garlic that has fallen over

How to Fix Garlic Wilting or Droopy Plants

Is it possible that it is harvest time? At the risk of repeating something that most garlic farmers already know, the first thing you should evaluate if your garlic is drooping is whether it is time to harvest.

Garlic plants mature when their leaves turn brown and sag. This results in drooping plants. If you’re not sure when you planted the garlic, you can pull out a few plants to see if they’re ready.

If the bulbs are huge and mature, there is no need to wait for complete dieback. However, you should leave the leaf intact to allow for natural drying. This will assist in extending the life of your garlic.

Therefore, if the bulbs are prepared, your floppy garlic troubleshooting is complete. If this is not the case, another possibility is that you are overwatering or underwatering  your plants.

Could you be watering your plants insufficiently or excessively? If you find wilting leaves in the middle of the season, this may simply indicate that your garlic plants are thirsty and require additional hydration.

To resolve this issue, water them twice a week with two inches of water. Additionally, you must keep in mind that plants that are under-watered mature more quickly.


If overwatering is a problem, simply reduce the frequency with which you water the plants.

Occasionally, garlic will droop as a result of being battered by a very hard thunderstorm. Plants tend to bounce back in such conditions when they dry out following the rain.

Could it be that your garlic is simply hungry? Drooping plants may also indicate that your garlic is exhausted and hungry.

Potassium, nitrogen, magnesium, and calcium deficiencies will have a profound effect on the growth of your plants.

If this is the case, some root-zone or foliar feeding may be necessary to correct the nutritional deficiency and bring the plant back to health.

If you’ve addressed the issues mentioned previously and your garlic remains drooping, it could be a symptom of something more sinister lying beneath the surface. You will need to conduct additional research.

Could droopy garlic be a result of bug pests? This perilous scenario is one that you must contemplate. Your garlic may have been infested by wireworms or onion root maggots.

If your plants have become infested with these annoying insects, one method of controlling them is to incorporate brown mustard into your crop rotation strategy. Wireworms and onion root maggots don’t like the smell of brown mustard roots because they emit a bio-fumigant that makes them want to stay away.

Growth stagnant

Another concern that farmers encounter is stunted development. These can manifest themselves as dwarfed roots or deformed bulbs. Additionally, it can manifest as many shoots sprouting from the stalk, which could be the result of early spring cold damage. If you want to avoid disappointment when it comes to harvesting, it’s critical to address any growth difficulties as soon as possible.

The Issue/Problem

  • Garlic that is not growing
  • Garlic that does not produce
  • Garlic that does not sprout

How to Fix Garlic Stunted Growth?

Is the issue a result of intense weather? Following a harsh winter, some gardeners realize their garlic plants are severely stunted or have folded bulbs. One approach to avoiding this is to thoroughly hydrate the garlic after planting. Then, until the ground freezes, add a thin layer of mulch to help deter weeds.

Keep in mind that you must maintain control of weeds throughout the growing season, as they can adversely affect the growth of your crop.

However, applying an excessive amount of mulch prior to the ground freezing will insulate the ground, prolonging the garlic plants’ natural dormancy. This will eventually result in root damage when the true cold sets in.

Nematodes, or onion thrips, are the culprits. While decreased garlic growth is most likely a result of early spring freezes, it could also be a sign of thrips infestation in your garden.

If you have little, immature bulbs and have ruled out weather extremes as a possible culprit, nematodes or onion thrips may be to blame.

Nematodes distort garlic bulbs and prematurely yellow their tips. Onion thrips in the soil cause white patches on the garlic leaves and comparable stunting. This page discusses in depth how to eliminate these pests.

White Rot

White Rot in Garlic is a sickness you want to avoid at all costs. It is a tenacious soil-borne disease with which many garlic producers must fight at some point in their careers.

Once infected, plants may become yellow, then wither and die, or their bulbs may rot and decompose into a mushy mess.

Allium species are affected, although garlic and onions are particularly susceptible. This very contagious and devastating plant disease is spread by minute black sclerotia. The pathogen thrives in chilly, wet environments and can quickly spread to areas that are not affected.

It travels at a breakneck velocity beneath the ground. Generally, visual indications of plant infection do not manifest until the plant’s root is infected. Shortly after, the plant dies.

For up to two decades, white rot will render the soil unsuitable for growing allium plants.

This is a significant threat to garlic growers worldwide. There are no effective chemical or cultural controls available to garlic growers at the moment.

And, because there are no resistant garlic varieties available, it is critical to take the necessary safeguards to avoid the long-term effects of white rot.

The Issue/Problem

  • Rotting garlic
  • Garlic rots white.

How to Fix White Rot in Garlic

Solarisation of the soil is gaining traction as a potential method for eradicating garlic white rot. The procedure entails incorporating organic matter such as clippings and then moistening the improved soil.

Following that, the plot is covered with clear plastic and the edges are tucked in.

It is then left in this state for at least six weeks during the hottest summer months. The plastic raises the soil temperature sufficiently to kill or dormantize the fungi.

Having said that, the only way to effectively treat white rot is to relocate to a region free of the infection. Once a piece of land has been infested with white rot, there is nothing that can be done except to stop planting garlic and other Allium crops.

Never utilize garlic seed from an affected field. No contaminated plants should be composted or tilled underneath. Rather than that, throw them away from your garden.

Additionally, sterilize all tools and equipment used on the contaminated patch using a quaternary ammonia product.

People, equipment, soil, water, and plant material can spread sclerotia from contaminated land to clean land when they move around. This is why sanitation is important.

Basal Rot of Fusarium

You might produce an attractive crop of garlic and proudly hang it to cure. Because your crop looked so good at first, you might be surprised to find that it has become soft and shows signs of rot a few weeks later.

Fusarium basal rot is a feared disease that results in the rot of the basal plate. This obstructs the transfer of nutrients and water to the plant’s leaves.

Due to the fungi destroying the garlic roots, the plant is unable to produce new growth, and the small, immature bulbs quickly perish.

The first signs of basal rot are sometimes mistaken for white rot, but the presence of tiny black sclerotia shows white rot.

The Issue/Problem

  • Rotting garlic
  • Garlic’s basal rot

How to Correct Fusarium Basal Rot

Garlic is a relatively low-maintenance plant. It requires watering only during prolonged periods of drought. Water the garlic plants at least once every two weeks and cease when the foliage turns yellow, signaling that the bulbs are ripening.

If you water the bulbs during this period of development, you risk encouraging rot and reducing your garlic’s ability to store.

However, during the first few weeks after planting, you must examine the cloves frequently to verify that they have not been disturbed by birds. If birds become a problem, just encase the cloves in netting.

Dying Plants

Although garlic is very easy to grow, it does take a great deal of patience. It matures after approximately 240 days, and while every second is obviously worthwhile, a catastrophe can occur if plants begin to die during that time.

There are a lot of different things that can hurt your garlic, like illnesses, pests, or bad weather. It’s important to figure out what’s wrong with your garlic quickly so you don’t lose your whole crop.

If your garlic plants are withering, it could be due to garlic black bugs or nematodes that cause bloat. These are some of the most heinous and sneaky garlic problems you may face.

Garlic Nematodes

Nematodes are minute worms found in the stem and bulb of garlic. These endoparasitic bugs reproduce inside garlic plants and feed on the bulbs, stems, and leaves of the plants.

Due to their ability to survive for years without water, these animals are notoriously difficult to eradicate.

Often, the plant’s growth is unaffected, but the bulb’s quality is significantly lower as a result of tissue breakdown, discolouration, and distortion.

Garlic nematodes are particularly frightening for gardeners since their populations frequently accumulate over multiple seasons with no evident effect on garlic harvests.

Healthy plants can endure high nematode populations without experiencing a reduction in yield.

However, when their numbers reach a critical mass, these worms are capable of destroying an entire crop in a single attack. That is why, in the majority of cases, by the time bugs are discovered, it is usually too late.

 Black Garlic Bugs

Garlic Black bugs are little pests that thrive on garlic. They are seen on garlic plants as black dots.

They do not lay eggs, but instead direct their young directly to your garlic plants, where they can have a party at the expense of your garlic.

They lay fresh eggs every couple of days, which means that, if left unchecked, a black insect infestation can soon spiral out of control.

The Issue/Problem

  • The death of garlic plants
  • Garlic plants stopped growing
  • Dried garlic leaves

 How to Correct Garlic Black Bugs

Bloat Nematodes-In order to eradicate nematodes, it is necessary to have clean planting material. This is the most critical step in combating bloat nematodes, as garlic rarely develops seeds.

This means that bulbils or cloves must be used to grow crops, and there is always the risk of nematodes being spread.

Commercial garlic growers screen their seed fields for these worms, but finding a clean stock that is guaranteed to be nematode-free is more difficult for small-scale growers.

To eliminate black bugs on garlic plants, spray them with an insecticide available at your local garden center.

This will eliminate the bugs, at least temporarily. Due to the eggs overwintering inside plants or soil, black bugs are notoriously difficult to manage.

If you want to get rid of them for good, you’ll need to move your garlic to another part of your garden and plant another vegetable there.

Simply ensure that you select one that is not a member of the allium family. Carry out this procedure for one or two seasons, and the black bugs should go away once they realize their normal food source is no longer available.

Important Note: Make every effort to keep your plants well-fed, watered, and thriving. Garlic pests nearly always develop overnight when stressed plants are detected.

Discoloration of the leaves

At times, your garlic plants appear to be thriving despite the hardest rain, heat, and wind. However, you will see some deterioration with the leaves turning yellow or brown.

 The Issue/Problem

  • Browning of garlic leaves
  • The yellowing of garlic leaves
  • Browning of the garlic plant
  • The yellowing of the garlic plant

How to Correct Leaf Discoloration?

In this case, you may need to hone your ability to “read” the leaves in order to ascertain the source of your plants’ distress.

For instance, you examine the garlic leaves to determine when it is time to harvest. When the lower leaves begin to turn brown while the upper leaves remain green, you know the time has come.

If it is not yet harvesting time, the yellow tips on garlic plants could be caused by a variety of stresses, including the following:

  1. A trying winter
  2. Mild nutritional deficiency
  3. Inadequate or excessive water
  4. A period of warmth precedes a period of frigid temperatures.

Yellow tips have been such a prevalent occurrence in recent years that many garlic producers now accept them as normal.

For the most part, they are unimportant and should have little effect on your yield unless they are On the other hand, yellow llow stripes, speckles, splotches, leaf curl, purple veins, and thicker leaves, on the other hand, are significant signals that something is really wrong with your plants. This could be an indication of soil deficiency, fungal development, or insect infestations.

Deficiencies in the soil and other Problems

Inadequate nutrient levels in the soil, such as a deficiency of potassium, nitrogen, magnesium, and calcium, can have a detrimental effect on your garlic plants.

It can result in reduced growth, discolouration, or leaf patches. Additionally, it can cause plants to wither and die.

Several conditions associated with soil deficiency include the following:

Punky Bulb: Manganese toxicity produced by low soil pH can create a serious condition called Punky Bulb (yep, that is a real thing).

Garlic cloves become loose and discolored as a result of this disease. This page discusses the various methods for diagnosing and treating this illness.

Another condition that might develop as a result of soil problems is waxy degradation.

This is a bacterial infection that causes the garlic cloves to become transparent and decay. When the garlic is grown at a high temperature, it is more likely to have this problem. It is also more common close to harvest.

To the touch, the garlic becomes sticky or waxy. Insufficient ventilation and a lack of oxygen in storage also play a role in the development of this illness.

Excessive Side Shoots: It is critical for farmers to understand that nutrition overload is just as detrimental to garlic plants as soil deficiency. Having a lot of nitrogen in the soil could cause a lot of side shoots.

It is critical to do soil tests to ensure that the nutrients are balanced. A great way to keep your soil in balance is to compost it, as this can really throw things out of whack.

If you want a more in-depth look at how to prepare your garden soil for planting garlic, check out this post on how to cultivate organic garlic from Grey Duck Garlic.

It describes how to prepare the soil before planting garlic to ensure that the bulbs grow large, healthy, and flavorful.

 Are you aware?

Stir fries can be enhanced by the addition of garlic flower stalks.

Preventive Method

When it comes to garlic cultivation, a little preventative care can go a long way toward avoiding some of the most prevalent problems later on. From the very first clove you plant, you must take precautions to ward off garlic illnesses and pests.

There are many ways to do this, but one of the most effective is to only buy seed from trusted sources.

Purchasing from reputable suppliers

When purchasing seed garlic, ensure that you purchase it from reputable sources that will provide you with high-quality seeds.

Garlic purchased at your neighborhood grocery store may appear healthy and cause no symptoms, but it may be a disease carrier.

Certain seed merchants submit samples of their seed garlic to plant health laboratories on a yearly basis to verify that their garlic is free of dreaded diseases such as bloat nematodes and white rot.

Additionally, general preventive measures

  1. Planting only robust and healthy garlic cloves
  2. Crop and plot rotation on an annual basis
  3. Eliminate all plants that appear stunted or sick as soon as symptoms appear.
  4. Clearing the garden/field of all garlic waste.
  5. Garbage collection and disposal (never compost garlic debris)
  6. Cover cropping: plant cover crops strategically in between garlic crops.
  7. Brown mustard is a good choice because it is a good natural bio-fumigant that can help improve soil organic matter and protect against nematodes, as well.

Garlic Care Tips:

  1. Keep weeds out of planting beds.
  2. Mulch around the plants with seasoned compost. This will assist in feeding the plants and weed control.
  3. If growing hard-neck garlic, nip off the flower to direct the plant’s efforts toward bulb formation rather than foliage.
  4. If you want to keep the garlic in the ground all winter, cover the planting beds with hay or straw before the first hard freeze.
  5. When the garlic stems begin to yellow, gently bend them toward the ground. This process, referred to as “lodging,” aids in bulb formation.
  6. If possible, avoid planting garlic in areas where onions or garlic have recently been grown.
  7. Unlike onions, garlic is not a container plant. If you must grow it in a container, consider one that is at least 15 inches wide and 15 inches deep.


Is Frost Harmful to Garlic?

Once the garlic’s root systems are established in the soil, frost damage caused by subfreezing temperatures will not harm the cloves.

Is fertilization required for garlic?

Garlic plants appreciate being given a boost of nitrogen following planting. Therefore, begin with a small dose in the fall and continue with a larger dose in early spring.

Avoid fertilizing plants too late in the summer, as this will delay bulb development.

If the soil in your garlic bed is deficient in nutrients, you may need to use an all-purpose fertilizer that contains an adequate amount of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. Adding organic matter to the soil is another excellent technique to improve it.

Should I remove garlic scapes?

When garlic plants first emerge, removing scapes, or false seedheads, might aid in bulb growth. Garlic plants expend some of their much-needed energy on scape development.

If growing conditions are bad (for example, if the soil is poor, there is a water deficit, or there is weed pressure), there may not be enough energy left over to produce a large bulb.

Finally Thought

Although growing garlic is a very simple procedure, the truth is that you—or nature—may still muck it all up along the way. Anyone who plants garlic is sure to run into one or more of these challenges at some point.

You now understand the most common issues you may encounter while producing garlic, as well as the various solutions available for each issue.

Use the information in this article to help you solve problems so that your plants can reach their full potential.


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