How Long Does it Take to Grow Garlic Indoors? (Explained)

Growing garlic indoors is easy. I have done it many times.

In this post, I will tell you how long it takes to grow, and what are the best conditions to grow this plant indoor.

How Long Does it Take to Grow Garlic Indoors?

It takes 7-9 months to grow garlic indoors from cloves. When planting garlic from seeds, it will take about 12 months. The growth speed depends on factors like the type of soil, garlic variety amount of sunlight, watering frequency, and fertilization.

It’s recommended to plant garlic from cloves, as it grows about 3 months shorter.

Germination should occur in less than 2 months. You can harvest your garlic in less than 9 months, but the bulbs won’t be fully developed, so you should wait longer.

Some varieties take 7 months to grow, some 9, so if you want to harvest your indoor garlic faster, you can opt for, for example, Lorz Italian variety.

However, keep in mind that if you grow your garlic indoors, you should keep the right temperature, provide enough natural sunlight, water the plant frequently, and fertilize it. There are a few things that you can do to grow your garlic faster, like moving it outdoors.

Harvesting garlic is recommended when at least 2 leaves have died off.

Does Indoor or Outdoor Garlic Grow Faster?

If you provide the right conditions, indoor, and outdoor garlic grow at the same tempo, and both are ready to be harvested within 7-9 months.

However, it’s easier to grow garlic outdoors. This plant is a sun-lover, and it generally grows better, and faster, when it’s planted outdoors.

But you can also successfully grow your garlic indoors, provided you stick to the rules from this article.

How Long Does Each Stage of Garlic Growth Last?

1. Germination (1-2 months)

After you’ve planted your garlic seeds, you should wait 1 or 2 months to see the first signs of garlic growth. When planting garlic cloves, germination should occur within 1-3 weeks. At this stage, you should see tiny green fronds sticking up through the soil.

2. Spring Garlic (about 7 months)

7 months after planting your indoor garlic, the plant will have grown quite a bit and will have long green leaves. At this point, you can potentially harvest it, but you will notice that the harvested clove will not be fully matured, so you should wait another month or two.

If you plant garlic for greens, let it grow a few inches, and prune it about 1 inch (2,5 cm) whenever you need it.

3. Scapes (about 8 months)

After another 3 or 4 weeks, you should notice scapes. These are small tendrils that are recognizable because they have a distinct curl to them. You can trim them to redirect the plant’s energy into producing seeds and flowers, and your plant will produce bigger bulbs and cloves.

4. Young Bulbs (about 8,5 months)

Young bulbs can be harvested about 8,5 months after planting. These bulbs will be still immature, and smaller, and the skins will not be as dried out as mature garlic. However, young bubs have a crisp, juicy taste and texture and add a strong flavor to dishes, so many people harvest them.

5. Maturation (about 9 months)

The mature indoor garlic bulbs should be ready to harvest at about 9 months. At this stage, the bulbs should be large, and perfect for drying. To dry your cloves, lay them on a well-ventilated rack for one or two weeks. The skin of the bulb will have already begun to dry out in the soil, but this process ensures that it will remain fresh and edible for as long as possible.

How Long Do Each Garlic Varieties Grow?

Different varieties take different times to grow. When planting garlic indoors, you should choose softenck over hardneck varieties, since hardneck varieties require colder temperatures. These are the most popular softenck varieties, and their average maturation times.

Garlic VarietyDays from Planting to Harvesting
California Softneck290 days (9.5 months)
Inchelium Red240 days (7.9 months)
Lorz Italian230 days (7.5 months)
Italian Loiacono240 days (7.9 months)
Silverwhite250 days (8.2 months)
California Early240 days (7.9 months)
Silverskin225 days (7.4 months)
California Late250 days (8.2 months)

As you can see, the California Softneck takes 9.5 months to be fully grown. However, if you’re looking for a faster-growing variety, you can choose a different option from the list.

What are the Best Indoor Conditions to Grow Garlic?

Garlic is a plant that grows better outdoors. However, growing it indoors is also possible, but you need to provide it with the right conditions.


Garlic needs at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. It needs to be natural, not artificial sunlight. Therefore, you should place the pots in a South-facing window. Otherwise, its growth will be stunted. Growing garlic just for the greens won’t require as much sunlight.

Temperature and Humidity

The temperature for proper garlic growth should be kept rather steady throughout all the time. Keep the indoor temperature between 60-80 °F (15-26 °C). It thrives in dry conditions, so bolstering humidity isn’t recommended.


Watering garlic is easy-you should water it when the soil feels dry. The soil should be moist for most of the time, but not waterlogged. You should remember about providing drainage to the pots. Usually, one garlic plant requires about 2 inches (32 ml) of water per week.


Because garlic takes a long time to grow, it needs to be fertilized. Thus, you should fertilize it once a month with a balanced fertilizer. Nitrogen is especially important. You can buy this fertilizer on Amazon. Feeding is optional when growing garlic for greens.

What Can You Do to Grow Garlic Faster?

If you want to make sure your garlic grows as fast as possible, stick to the following rules.

Consider Moving it out for Summer

When your garlic is sprouting indoors, you can move it outside. That way, it will receive way more natural sun, which will give it the extra kick it needs to grow the flower and bulb to full size. On hot days, you will need to give more water to sustain the plant through a hot spell.

Choose the Right Variety

If you want to harvest your garlic in less than 8 months, the best varieties are Inchelium Red, Lorz Italian, Italian Loiacono, Silverskin, or California Early.

Remember About Proper Spacing

If you plant your garlic cloves or seeds too close, this might slow down the growth of your plant. Therefore, plant garlic at least 6 inches (15 cm) apart for proper root development. Also, plant in a simple pot that’s at least 6 inches (15 cm) deep. You can plant garlic closer if you intend to keep it for greens.

Choose a Proper Soil

Garlic grows faster in well-draining, loamy, sandy soil, like peat, perlite, vermiculite, coconut fiber, potting mix, or compost. Avoid planting it in garden soil or purchased topsoil, as it will not drain well when confined in a container.

How Do You Know Your Garlic is Ready for Harvesting?

It’s not that easy to tell when garlic is ready for harvesting, as the bulbs are underground.

Good indicators are the leaves. If half the leaves have died off, and half are still green, it’s time to harvest your garlic. The leaves start to die off from the bottom up.

You can also pull out your garlic earlier when two leaves have died off. However, don’t harvest your garlic earlier, because the bulbs might be too runty.

After harvesting, dry out your garlic by using drying racks. Place them on a stack of bricks or buckets so air flows underneath. After your garlic has dried, clean it by gently removing dirt and debris, and one outer dried layer. Then, trim the long stalk off.