How Long Does it Take to Grow Elephant Garlic? A Guide for Beginners

Elephant Garlic: A Clove or Two About Its Growth Time

If you’re a garlic lover, you might have heard of elephant garlic. This super-sized bulb is not only impressive in size but also packs a milder flavor compared to regular garlic. But if you’re planning on growing it yourself, one question that might cross your mind is how long does it take to grow elephant garlic?

The Germination Stage

Like most plants, the first stage of growth for elephant garlic starts with germination. Once planted in the soil (usually during fall), the cloves start to sprout and push through the ground within 3-4 weeks.

The Vegetation Period

After about six weeks post-germination, you’ll notice some green shoots emerging from the ground – this marks the beginning of vegetation for your elephant garlic plant! During this period, which can last anywhere between 200-240 days depending on various factors like climate and soil type, your plant will be busy absorbing nutrients and water while producing leaves that help it photosynthesize.

Bulb Formation and Maturity

Once vegetation ends (usually around early summer), your plant will shift its focus towards forming bulbs underground instead of producing more leaves. As such, you might notice brownish-yellow leaves as an indication that maturity is approaching. In general terms, mature bulbs are ready for harvest once their skin turns papery and dry – usually taking up to nine months after planting.


In summary, growing elephant garlic requires patience as well as proper care for it to thrive throughout its entire growth cycle. From germinating through vegetation until achieving full bulb maturity typically takes at least 9 months. However long it takes though – rest assured that biting into a juicy slice of home-grown elephant garlic is definitely worth the wait!