Sale-badge Society Garlic

Society Garlic

Tough as they come.

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An often unsung garden hero, this plant can do it all and look sensational all the while. Graceful violet flowers open on narrow stems from late spring and last for months on end. Highly rewarding without requiring much effort.
Heat, neglect, sun, dry and frost are not a problem for this survivor. Tulbaghia violaceae or Society Garlic holds the prestigious RHS Award of Garden Merit, so you know it has been put through its paces and proven itself a star performer in the garden.
The bruised foliage smells of garlic, a clever trick from the plant to avoid it being grazed by rabbits, deer etc. and a pleasant surprise for the gardener.
Tulbaghia is fast growing and pretty well maintenance free. They are dry and frost tolerant (to -5C). From cottage to coastal or even herb gardens. In dry or boggy soils, these undemanding plants will bring plenty of rewards. A great choice for coastal gardens too and can help with erosion control in tough spots.
The leaves and flowers of Tulbaghia are edible, but go easy, they are quite peppery. Rubbing them on your skin is also supposed to deter insect bites, which we have just discovered, but not tested, will be giving it a go, keep in mind it does smell of garlic.
Plant into moderately fertile to humus rich soil, they are pretty well tolerant of most. Water to establish, around 4-6 weeks, then only if rainfall is low over the heat of summer. A bit of tomato fertiliser in spring will keep them blooming. If the foliage becomes untidy simply prune back to around 10cm and it will be back in no time. Keep an eye out for aphids and remove as required. Divide in spring as necessary. Suitable for pots.
Tulbaghia species were found outside S. Africa’s Western Cape, by the town of Tulbagh – named for Governor Ryk Tulbagh (mid 18th century) who was a keen botanist. As well as Society Garlic they are commonly known as Social Garlic.

Supplied as: Pots
Size: 7.5 cm



Botantical name

Tulbaghia violacea






Late spring to winter


Cool to Sub-Tropical


Australia wide

Frost hardiness

Fully Hardy


Full Sun

Supplied as



7.5 cm

Water needs