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Cloveless Garlic Seeds [Fact About The Solo Garlic]

Do your nails hurt, or is it burning by peeling the Garlic cloves? Well, there exists a Cloveless Garlic which you can grow from their seeds.

Generally, Cloveless Garlic only has a single clove. And Garlic is not grown from its true seed but is propagated by planting each clove. Due to this, you need to plant the entire bulb for Cloveless Garlic.

So, follow along to learn about these unusually unique types of Garlic and their resemblance to normal Garlic. 

Is There Garlic Without Cloves?

It may sound absurd, but there is a type of Garlic without the cloves.

Given the single clove in a bulb, Cloveless Garlic is also known as Solo Garlic, Single Bulb Garlic, or Monobulb Garlic. 

That’s correct, all you got to do is peel the outer cover, and you get an entire Garlic ready to use. Far easy than removing the cover from every single clove in the normal bulb.

Native to Southeast Asia, Solo Garlic is not a separate species. It is a specific cultivar of regular Garlic (Allium sativum).

Besides, Cloveless Garlic appears exactly like our normal Garlic but without multiple cloves. However, they have a similar papery thin cover that is either white or pink, depending on the variety. 

Numbers of Cloveless garlic seed in a wooden basket.
For a far, you can barely identify the normal and Solo Garlic.

Likewise, Cloveless Garlic complements a wide range of cuisines and recipes and can substitute for regular Garlic or Leeks.

While you may not see Solo Garlic often in the store, they are widely used in countries like China, Korea, and Thailand, not just as a culinary herb but also for therapeutic benefits and remedies. 

Even research backs up the anti-oxidant property of Cloveless Garlic, increasing their recent demand in the Western market.

Moreover, they are good immune boosters, regulate blood pressure, and have anti-inflammatory benefits like normal Garlic.

Solo Garlic Seeds Vs Normal Garlic 

The main difference between Normal Garlic and Cloveless Garlic seeds is their shape, size, and flavor profile. 

Regular Garlic typically contains multiple cloves arranged in a bulb, and each clove is its seeds as they have the potential to grow into a plant.

While the Solo Garlic only has one large clove per bulb, so the entire bulb is their seed. 

Further, the flavor of Cloveless Garlic is less intense compared to the pungent regular ones.

Feature Cloveless GarlicNormal Garlic
OriginPart of Southeast AsiaMany regions worldwide
Planting TimeSpring or FallFall
Size & AppearingLarger bulb size of about 2 to 3 inches diameterRelatively smaller with 1 to 2.5 inches diameter
Cloves per BulbOne large clove per bulbMultiple smaller clover per bulb
FlavorMilder and slightly sweeter flavorStronger and more pungent flavor
Soil requirementAdaptive to wide range of soil compared to normal onesWell-draining soil with a pH of 6-7
Maturity & Harvest6 to 8 months from planting8 to 10 months
AvailabilityLess common in the U.S. and western countriesWidely available in grocery store and markets

How To Grow Cloveless Garlic Seeds?

Just like regular Garlic, you cannot grow Cloveless Garlic from true seeds. Rather, grow by vegetative propagation, where you plant the entire Solo Garlic bulb to get a new plant. 

But planting a bulb that produces only a bulb doesn’t really make sense. Let me clear it for you.

You first plant the Cloveless Garlic, which grows into a new plant. It then produces a long, slender, and curly flower stalk called a scape.

These scapes then develop bulbils, which are small, seed-like structures and exact clones of the parent plant. You collect all the bulbils , plant them individually and get many Solo Garlic plant.

Further, normal Garlic is planted in the fall, while Cloveless Garlic seeds can be planted in the spring or fall. 

But we recommend you plant Solo Garlic in the fall, usually a few weeks before the first frost. This helps the Garlic with a period of cold to break dormancy and grow a better bulb.

Tips to Grow Seeds for Cloveless Gari

  • Source the seeds: Get disease-free healthy Solo Garlic bulbils from a nearby nursery or order them online. You may use the store-bought ones, but they make it to the shelf from different parts of the world. So, have a hard time growing in your garden.
  • Select a planting location: Choose a sunny spot in your garden or a raised bed where the soil is loose and well-draining. 
  • Prepare the soil: Before planting, amend the soil with compost or well-rotted manure to improve its fertility. But make sure to maintain the pH between 6 to 7.
  • Plant the Garlic: Plant the bulbils pointed end up, about 2 inches deep and 4-6 inches apart in rows with about 12 inches spacing between rows. Make sure to keep the soil consistently moist. You can grow them with companions like Tomato and Lettuce.
A portrait of cloveless garlic bulb or seeds peeled.
But do not completely remove the cover of the Solo Garlic, or else it will rot instead of germinating.
  • Add mulch: After planting, cover the Garlic bed with a layer of plastic mulch to protect the clove and conserve moisture. 
  • Remove Garlic scapes: In the spring, Garlic plants produce scapes (flowering stems). Cut the scapes to encourage the plant’s energy to focus on bulb development.

Give a light dose of nitrogen fertilizer, like bone meal or chicken manure, in the spring, for proper bulb growth.

  • Harvesting: Solo Garlic is usually ready for harvest in mid-summer (6 to 8 months after plating) once the leaves have started to yellow and dry. Dig up the bulb carefully using a garden fork without any damage to the bulb.
  • Curing and Storing: Allow the harvested Garlic to cure in a warm, dry place for 2-4 weeks. This helps the bulbs develop their flavor and shelf life. And your Cloveless Garlic from its seeds is ready to grace your kitchen.

Form Editorial Team

Avoid Overfertilization!

Applying too much fertilizer can lead to several negative effects on Solo Garlic.

Excessive amounts of fertilizer can lead to a buildup of salts in the soil, causing root damage.

So, make sure you keep a gap between each application.