I decided to plant 2 heads of garlic this spring, and noticed that one is upside down, so I was wondering how to properly plant the clove so the side of the garlic that grows the roots has the correct side up?

FYI: It is planted about half way in the ground on its side.

  • How developed are the roots? Post a picture if you can. Thanks!
    – Niall C.
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 20:22
  • I don't have a camera, but the green part on the cloves I planted next to it on the same day are about 8 inches tall on the tallest ones. Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 20:46

1 Answer 1


You should plant garlic cloves base down, tip up, and in most places (yes, even with real winters) in the fall. I got mine in very late this year (Boxing day) but I have terrible results from spring planting as compared to fall (or early winter) planting.

The base is the part of the clove that was attached to the head. The tip is the pointy end. If you've planted entire heads, things may be a bit odd and clumped together, but it will still work out, just not as well as properly spaced out cloves would.

This is what happens when you plant them upside down: upside down garlic bulb

Your similar question last month was answered (incorrectly IME) that "it didn't matter, they would come out normally since the clove is used up in making the plant" - I would say that it doesn't matter much, but you will get weirdly shaped garlic heads and probably give up some growth potential. Not my picture, but I've grown these when I screwed up placement of some cloves.

My experiences with transplanting garlic would suggest leaving it alone - it may be a little weirdly shaped, but it's likely to do better without additional transplant stress from trying to "correct" it. But if the clove (or head) is not buried, you will want to heap additional soil around it.

This Q&A may be beneficial reading more generally.

How do I select garlic which will continue to produce large heads in future replantings?

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