Why Is My Garlic Rotting In The Ground?

There’s nothing as satisfying as harvesting farm produces from your garden. I mean, growing vegetables and fruits in your garden enable you to eat fresh food and cut down your monthly budget.

Even so, the planting process for most crops is not as simple as most people think.

In particular, growing garlic can consume a lot of time and effort. Remember, you have to take good care of garlic plants to obtain a plentiful harvest.

Besides, garlic plants are vulnerable to experiencing certain diseases that could lead to rotting.

Before you plant garlic, ensure that the land has not experienced any rots. Otherwise, your garlic would rot in the ground.

Garlic white rot 

One of the major diseases that cause garlic rotting is white rot. You can always identify this condition by looking at the state of your garlic leaves.

The leaves of garlic plants infected with white rot are usually yellow, weak, and withered.

Moreover, the roots of the garlic plant tend to rot hence become weaker. You can easily uproot plants with infected roots.

Also, white rot causes the formation of a white fungal mycelium in the soil that produces several sclerotia. White rot is most likely to develop from the mid-planting season to the harvesting season.

This disease tends to stay in the soil for up to four decades. Therefore, planting garlic in infected soil automatically leads to garlic rotting in the ground.

Also, growing any allium plants like onions on infected soil will lead to rotting. Consequently, you have to be careful before growing garlic. Ensure that the soil has no history of white rot.

The good thing is that you can reduce the spread of white rot by plucking out any affected plants. It would be best to check your garden from time to time.

Remove any plants that look withered or diseased. This helps you keep all your plants healthy and safe from rotting.

Begin inspecting your garlic plants from the early stages. This way, you’ll know best how to handle the situation.

Leaving your plants unattended might escalate the issue, and you’d have to get rid of all your garlic plants. Small gardeners and farmers can control white rot only in its early stages.

When white rot affects a large percentage of plants, it is almost impossible to reverse the situation.

You can also control the spread of white rot by applying garlic-scented products on unplanted farms. Doing this produces sclerotia which eventually die because they find no plant to affect.

Nevertheless, this control technique only works for at least six months for fields that have not been in use.

If you plan to use this method, apply the garlic-scented products at least two to three times a day. Then, you can plant your garlic after all the sclerotia have died.


Another cause of garlic rotting is nematodes. Nematodes are endoparasitic animals that destroy garlic plants.

They tend to live inside the garlic plant and reproduce frequently. Nematodes feed on the bulbs, leaves, and stems of the garlic plant.

These microscopic animals can survive in the soil for a long time, even in events of drought. Nematodes cause severe deterioration and discoloration of the garlic bulb. In turn, they lead to garlic rotting.

The worst thing about nematodes is that they can accumulate on the garlic plant for months without the farmer noticing.

The damage caused by these worm-like creatures is not often visible. Nematodes can accumulate in healthy garlic plants in large populations, and the plant would still thrive.

But it reaches a certain point where all the garlic plants deteriorate at once. Nematodes affect your harvest since they lead to rotten garlic scapes and bulbs. These parasites waste your time, money, and effort invested in planting.

Preventing an infestation of nematodes requires you to use clean planting equipment.

Dirty planting equipment could be carrying nematodes that infest garlic plants in large masses.

Also, it would be best for farmers to examine garlic plants using nematode screening equipment from time to time. Doing this helps them control the situation way earlier.


When thrips infest garlic plants, they can lead to garlic rotting in the ground. Thrips are one of the most common insect pests found in allium plants.

Thrips feed on leaf sap, hence damaging the growth of the garlic plant. Thrips lead to slow garlic plant growth, which negatively affects bulb production. Garlic plants affected by thrips tend to wilt, rot and die in the long run.

Commercial farmers should always check for any thrips in their gardens; they can use sticky traps to do this.

Also, pesticides can help small gardeners and commercial farmers to get rid of thrips from garlic plants.

It would be best to identify this issue early enough to obtain a successful garlic harvest in the long-run.

Garlic rotting due to mechanical damage

More often than not, garlic rotting occurs when the bulbs get affected by diseases or any form of damage like:

  • Garlic rotting mostly happens when farmers use the wrong equipment for planting. For example, if gardeners or farmers use garlic poppers or undercutters for harvesting, they may damage the bulb. And this could lead to garlic rotting in the ground.
  • If the stems of the garlic plant are too long, they end up affecting the adjacent bulbs. Consequently, water and nutrients do not reach the bulbs, and this can lead to garlic rotting.
  • Handling garlic bulbs carelessly could also lead to rotting.

Always handle garlic plants carefully to prevent any mechanical damage. Conduct thorough research on the best way to handle garlic bulbs.

Furthermore, always examine your garlic plants regularly. Doing this helps you spot any issues or diseases with your garlic plants.

Taking care of your garlic plant

Garlic rotting in the ground is often caused by diseases, pests, and mechanical damage.

Nematodes and thrips are some of the pests that can lead to garlic rotting in the ground.

White rot is a disease that leads to garlic rotting. On the other hand, using the wrong equipment and mishandling garlic bulbs can lead to garlic rotting.

So, when planting garlic, keep examining the garden from time to time.