How to Grow Society Garlic – Tuhlbaghia

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Tuhlbaghia, commonly called society garlic, produces umbels of dainty, usually purple or white flowers, sometimes fragrant, especially at night. Flowers are tubular, each with 6 spreading petals and a small trumpet corona. Basal, strap-shaped leaves are gray-green and smell similar to onions or garlic.

Get to know Tuhlbaghia – Society Garlic

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Growing Zones and range: 8-11
  • Hardiness: Half-hardy
  • Height and width: 18”- 2’ tall, 6”- 10” wide
  • Foliage: Silver gray grassy leaves
  • Flowers: Clusters of lavender tubular blooms on long, slender, wiry stems
  • Bloom time: Early summer and continue blooming until fall
  • Uses: Rock gardens, front of mixed borders, containers
  • Botanical name: Tulbaghia
  • Common name: Society Garlic

Where to plant Tuhlbaghia – Society Garlic

  • Plant Tuhlbaghia in full sun to light shade.
  • Grow Tuhlbaghia in average, moist, but well-drained soil.
Society garlic, Thulbaghia
Society garlic, Thulbaghia

When to plant Tuhlbaghia – Society Garlic

  • Plant container grown Tuhlbaghia in spring or fall.
  • Plant Tuhlbaghia bulbs in spring.

Planting and spacing Tuhlbaghia – Society Garlic

  • Space Tuhlbaghia 10 to 12 inches apart.
  • Set bulb 1 to 2 inches deep.

How to water and feed Tuhlbaghia – Society Garlic

  • Tuhlbaghia needs moderate moisture; keep the soil just moist. Established plants will tolerate some drought.

Tuhlbaghia – Society Garlic care

  • Tuhlbaghia is low maintenance.
  • Trim spent blooms to encourage new flowers.
  • Mulch society garlic in late autumn to protect plants from the winter cold.
  • Tuhlbaghia is bothered by few pests or diseases.

Tuhlbaghia – Society Garlic propagation

  • Divide Tuhlbaghia or sow seed in spring.

Tuhlbaghia – Society Garlic varieties to grow

  • ‘Silver Lace’ has white-striped leaves.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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