Society garlic is a sun loving plant that will grow quicker, multiply faster and grow more flowers when grown in the sun. Society garlic will also grow in the shade but will not grow as quickly. You will grow more flowers on a plant grown in full sun but part shade will also work well.
This article will explore all you need to know about growing society garlic in the sun and shade and how to get the most out of your plant.
Benefits of growing society garlic in full sun
There are many benefits to growing your society garlic in a full sun position. You can get more bulbs, more flowers and fuller leaf growth on a society garlic plant grown in full sun.
The most noticeable difference between society garlic grown in the sun compared to the shade is that those sun grown plants will grow more flower earlier in the season.
Society garlic will grow flowers from the beginning of spring all the way through summer if they are deadheaded regularly. For more on this check out my article here on how to dead head a society garlic plant: How do you deadhead society garlic? | Pruning Tips
Society garlic grown in full sun will grow flowers in early spring and can continue throughout all of the warmer summer months. Those plants grown in shade will generally flower later in the season but can still continue to grow flowers into summer.
Society garlic plants that are grown in full sun will grow more bulbs from a single plant. This means that you can grow a large, bushy plant from a single bulb. My society garlic plants were divide down to 2-3 bulbs in winter and have doubled their size by the start of spring.
Those grown in full sun have grown almost twice as fast as those in shade so if you have a sunny spot it is very good idea to plant your new society garlic in this spot.
Fuller leaf growth
Society garlic grown in full sun will grow more leaves quicker. Each bulb will grow more leaves the mor sun it gets.
Society garlic can be green or variegated with a combination of white and silver leaves. Both plants will grow quicker with more leaves in a sunny position.
New bulbs will grow quicker
Another benefit of growing society garlic in full sun is that they will multiply quicker and give you new plants that you can divide. When you first buy your society garlic plant you can split it into pieces with as few as a single bulb planted in one spot.
When I divided my first plant I separated it into groups of bulbs of about 3-5 to give them a fuller look quicker. These clumps of bulbs will grow new plants to each side of the rhizome. They look similar to onions and will form their own root system.
Society garlic grown in part shade will also grow new bulbs but just not as quickly. Plants can be grown in pots and moved into a sunny position during spring and summer to grow more bulbs and more flowers.
Is society garlic fast growing?
Society garlic is fast growing and will grow at its fastest rate when planted in full sun. I have planted society garlic clumps in both sun and shade and both have grown fast. I have found the clumps of bulbs in full sun for 6 hours or more will have at least 1/3 more growth and bulbs than those grown in shade.
How often should you water society garlic?
Society garlic is drought tolerant once it has established so once it has grown its roots deeper int other soil it will only need the occasional water. When you have first planted it out water the bulbs every 2 days for the first week and then you can slow down the watering.
It is best to plant society garlic in spring or fall and this will enable them to establish a strong roots system before it gets too hot in summer or very cold in winter.
Society garlic is incredibly hardy and will survive frost and very hot summers. Water it every week in summer if you live in an area that gets minimal summer rain.
Mulching society garlic grown in full sun
Mulching society garlic that has been planted in full sun is essential to help to stop the soil from drying out. I like to use bark mulch around society garlic that is as thick as 3 inches to smother the weeds. This will stop light from reaching weed seeds in the soil and reduce competition for your garlic plants.
Light mulches like straw, sugar cane, hay or pea straw is great if you wan tot improve the soil as they will break down quickly and feed the worms. It is great to mulch the top of pots when growing society garlic as the soil can dry out quickly if the pot is placed in the sun.
Companion planting society garlic
I have planted a range of flowers and fruit trees near my society garlic to benefit from their garlic smell and insect repelling potential. I have surrounded a new lemon tree with society garlic and interplanted with annual flowers like violas and snapdragons.
This planting combination looks beautiful but seems to have stopped any bug attack on my new lemon growth. Society garlic grows in an upright way so is a great plant to put in tight spots. They can plug a hole in your garden bed filling it with green leaves and purple flowers.
Society garlic is a versatile plant with a place in any garden.
Planting society garlic in the sun or shade | Summary
Society garlic is a hardy plant and will grow best in full sun. Don’t despair if you only have a part shade position, society garlic will still grow just perhaps not as quickly. Water society garlic well when you first plant it out and mulch it with bark chips to keep the soil most for longer.
Society garlic is one of my favorite plants, is hardy, easy to divide and will grow well in sun or part shade.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.