15+ garlic varieties to grow and enjoy

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Wondering which kind of garlic to plant this fall? There are a surprising number of gourmet varieties to choose from! Here are 15+ of the best garlic varieties to plant in your garden.

Top garlic varieties - harvesting in summer

1. Music garlic

Music garlic (Allium sativum ‘Music’) is a hardneck-type porcelain garlic cultivar with white bulbs and excellent flavor. Originally from Italy, this variety was imported to North America by Canadian tobacco farmer Al Music in the 1980s. It has since become very popular among home gardeners because it is reliable, produces large bulbs, and is very easy to grow.

Music garlic has a robust hot and spicy flavor that develops a sweet taste when roasted in the oven. Like other hardnecks, this variety does best in cold climates where it can overwinter easily due to its deep roots and overall tolerance to cold.

Music garlic bulbs typically have 4-5 very large cloves. The cloves have light pink-purple peels while the outer bulb wrappers are white. Music garlic bulbs can be stored for 6-9 months.

2. Majestic garlic

Majestic garlic (Allium sativum ‘Majestic’) is a hardneck-type porcelain garlic cultivar known for its large white bulbs. This variety has a mild flavor and is a good alternative for those who like the subtle flavor of Elephant garlic. This variety was developed from rocambole ‘Reliable’ garlic by Paul Pospisil of Beaver Pond Estates (Ontario, Canada) in the late 1990s.

Majestic garlic bulbs tend to contain 4-5 giant cloves. The cloves have a lilac-white peel and the 2″-3″+ bulbs have a porcelain-white outer wrapper. Majestic garlic can be stored for 7-8 months.

3. Inchelium red garlic

Inchelium red garlic (Allium sativum ‘Inchelium Red’) is a softneck-type artichoke garlic cultivar known for its excellent flavor. While many softnecks have an overly mild flavor, Inchelium red is known for its subtle yet complex taste. This large variety is excellent for baking and roasting. Inchelium red garlic was discovered in the town of Inchelium, Washington on Colville Reservation lands.

Inchelium red garlic bulbs tend to produce about 9-20 cloves of varying sizes. The bulbs are large, often over 3″ wide at maturity. Inchelium red garlic is excellent for braiding and storage and can be stored for 6-9 months.

To learn more about softneck garlic versus hardneck garlic, and the various classes of garlic (like porcelain, rocambole, purple stripe, and rocambole), visit the article about the main types of garlic.

4. Chesnok red garlic

Chesnok red garlic (Allium sativum ‘Chesnok Red’) is a hardneck-type purple stripe garlic cultivar known for its excellent robust flavor and attractive peel. Originating from Shvelisi, Georgia, this eastern European heirloom is one of the most popular gourmet garlic varieties for home growers.

Chesnok red garlic bulbs tend to produce 8-10 cloves. The bulbs are reliable producers and can grow to 3″+ in good conditions. This variety typically stores for 6-8 months when cured properly.

Chesnok red garlic
Bulb of chesnok red garlic

5. Spanish roja garlic

Spanish roja garlic (Allium sativum ‘Spanish Roja’) is a hardneck-type rocambole garlic cultivar known for its superbly strong flavor. This variety has a spicy hot taste with serious staying power. Also known as Greek blue garlic, this variety is a reliable heirloom that has been grown in Portland, Oregon for over a hundred years.

Spanish roja garlic bulbs usually hold 8-10 cloves. This cultivar is larger than some other rocamboles, with 2″-3″ wide bulbs. This type does not store as long as most other types, typically lasting only 4-6 months in storage.

6. German red garlic

German red garlic (Allium sativum ‘German Red’) is a hardneck-type rocambole garlic cultivar known for its top-notch taste. This is a gourmet variety perfect for garlic lovers and those wishing to make very high-quality garlic powder. German red is a European heirloom variety that has been grown in Idaho for over a century.

German red garlic bulbs tend to hold 8-12 cloves. Like other rocamboles, this variety stores only 4-6 months in typical good storage conditions.

Bulb of german red garlic
Bulb of german red garlic

7. Russian red garlic

Russian red garlic (Allium sativum ‘Russian Red’) is a hardneck-type purple stripe cultivar that’s spicy when raw but slightly sweet when roasted. This variety is an Eastern European heirloom.

Each bulb has 8-10 medium-sized cloves. Red Russian garlic bulbs are typically stored for 8-10 months.

8. Nootka rose garlic

Nootka rose garlic (Allium sativum ‘Nootka Rose’) is a softneck-type silverskin cultivar with pink clove peels and a white outer bulb wrapper. This variety is an heirloom garlic from the San Juan Islands in Washington and was popularized by the Nootka Rose farm on Waldron Island.

Each bulb typically has 14-20 thin cloves, which vary in size from small to large. Nootka rose bulbs can typically be stored for 9-12 months.

9. German white garlic

German white garlic (Allium sativum ‘German White’) is a hardneck-type porcelain garlic cultivar known for its bright white peel. This European heirloom variety is quite popular as it is generally easy to grow and has a very strong (yet balanced) true garlic flavor.

German white garlic bulbs tend to contain 4-6 large cloves. The bulbs can be stored for 6-9 months in good conditions.

10. German extra hardy garlic

German extra hardy garlic (Allium sativum ‘German Extra Hardy’) is a hardneck-type porcelain garlic cultivar known for its white peel and excellent cold tolerance. Like German white, it has a rich flavor that’s hot but becomes sweet with roasting.

German extra hardy garlic bulbs typically contain 4-7 cloves. The bulbs can be stored for 6-9 months.

11. Romanian red garlic

Romanian red garlic (Allium sativum ‘Romanian Red’) is a hardneck-type porcelain garlic cultivar known for its beautiful large cloves and strong, pungent scent and flavor. This gourmet variety has a concentrated hot and spicy flavor perfect for true garlic lovers.

Romanian red garlic bulbs tend to have 4-6 large cloves. The bulbs can be stored for 6-9 months.

12. Metechi garlic

Metechi garlic (Allium sativum ‘Metechi’) is a hardneck-type marbled purple stripe variety of garlic known for its large dappled bulbs, tolerance of a wide range of climates, and robust spicy flavor. These are big bulbs with big flavor (nicknamed “Great bulbs of fire”)!

Similar to the also-popular ‘Bogatyr’ cultivar, ‘Metechi’ is an heirloom from Georgia. This is a great choice for those who like their garlic hot and spicy with big flavorful cloves, especially if growing in a cold climate or region with wide-ranging temperatures.

Metechi garlic bulbs typically have to 5-8 cloves each. This cultivar stores for longer than other varieties of the purple stripe type, storing for 6-7 months.

Metechi garlic bulb
Bulb of metechi garlic

13. Georgian crystal garlic

Georgian crystal garlic (Allium sativum ‘Georgian Crystal’) is a hardneck-type porcelain garlic cultivar known for its gorgeous white bulbs and subtle mild flavor. This heirloom from Cichisdzhvari, Georgia is an excellent choice for those with picky eaters in the household, as it is not pungent but still has a true garlic taste.

Georgian crystal garlic bulbs have 4-5 large cloves. As with other porcelain varieties, this cultivar stores well (typically for 6-9 months, depending upon conditions).

14. Persian star garlic

Persian star (Allium sativum ‘Persian Star’) is a hardneck-type purple stripe variety known for its beautiful bulb wrapper and balanced sweet and spicy taste. This variety is thought to be an heirloom purchased in a market in Samarkand, Uzbekistan by John Swenson in 1989. This variety is an excellent choice for those who like a full-bodied flavor that isn’t overwhelmingly hot.

Persian star bulbs usually have 6-9 cloves each. They don’t store particularly well, and last for about 4-6 months in storage.

15. Purple glazer garlic

Purple glazer garlic (Allium sativum ‘Purple Glazer’) is a hardneck-type glazed purple stripe variety known for its shiny satin bulb wrapper and balanced taste that’s well-suited to baking. While the outer wrapper is silvery in color, the inner clove wrappers are a rich purple tone.

Purple glazer garlic bulbs typically contain 6-9 cloves. This type is not a long storage variety, typically lasting 4-6 months in storage.

More garlic varieties

Here are some extra garlic varieties to keep an eye out for!

  • Lorz Italian garlic
  • Killarney red garlic
  • Carpathian garlic
  • Silver white garlic
  • Northern white garlic
  • Sicilian artichoke garlic
  • California early garlic
  • Zemo garlic (also called Montana Zemo garlic)
  • Italian softneck garlic
  • Ajo rojo garlic
  • Silverwhite garlic
  • Italian red garlic
  • Chesnook red garlic
  • Keeper garlic
  • Red rezan garlic
  • Georgian fire garlic
  • Belarus garlic
  • Red Janice garlic
  • Oregon garlic
  • Bogatyr garlic
  • Burgundy garlic
  • French pink garlic
  • Red Toch garlic
  • Asian tempest garlic
  • Stull garlic
  • Island star garlic
  • Marino garlic
  • Susanville garlic
  • brown rose garlic
  • Khabar garlic
  • Brown tempest garlic
  • Creole red garlic
  • Italian purple garlic
  • Russian giant garlic
  • Armenian garlic
  • Chet’s Italian red garlic
  • Oshala purple garlic
Different varieties of garlic at the farmers market
Different varieties of garlic at the farmers market
Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a gardening expert and founder of Home for the Harvest. She's also a professional engineer, certified permaculture garden designer, and master gardener in training. Mary Jane has been featured by publications such as Real Simple, Mother Earth News, Homes & Gardens, Heirloom Gardener, and Family Handyman.

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