Why is My Garlic Drooping? Causes and Solutions Explored

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Garlic is a popular and flavorful addition to many dishes, but growing it in your garden can sometimes present challenges. One common issue gardeners face is drooping garlic plants. If you’re wondering why your garlic plants are drooping, you’re not alone.

In this article, we will explore the various reasons behind drooping garlic plants and discuss possible solutions to this common problem. We’ll examine factors such as nutrient deficiencies, weather conditions, and harvesting cues that may be causing your garlic plants to droop, allowing you to better understand and care for your garlic crop.

Common Causes of Garlic Drooping


One reason for drooping garlic plants is overwatering. Although garlic requires consistent moisture, too much water can lead to weak or falling plants. When watering garlic, be mindful of the amount and frequency, ensuring the soil remains moist but not overly saturated. This will help prevent your garlic from drooping due to excessive water


Similarly, underwatering is another common cause of drooping garlic plants. Garlic needs consistently moist soil to thrive, and a lack of water can cause the plants to suffer. To maintain proper hydration, water your garlic plants with 2 inches of water at least two times a week[source].

Improper Soil Drainage

Soil drainage plays a crucial role in the overall health of your garlic plants. Improper drainage can result in waterlogged or overly dry soil, which can cause garlic plants to droop. To avoid this issue, create optimal soil drainage by adding organic matter or adjusting the planting location to facilitate better water flow.

Pests and Diseases

Pests and diseases can also lead to drooping garlic plants. Problems like bloat nematodes, bulb mites, and white rot can impact the health of your garlic[source]. These issues can cause droopy plants, as well as yellowing or browning leaves. To minimize the risk of pests and diseases, practice good garden hygiene, rotate your crops, and use disease-resistant garlic varieties when possible.

Remember that garlic drooping can result from a combination of factors. By addressing these common causes and maintaining proper care, you can reduce the likelihood of drooping garlic plants and enjoy a healthy harvest.

Diagnosing the Problem

Assessing Soil Moisture

One common reason for drooping garlic plants is improper soil moisture. Garlic requires consistently moist soil to thrive. To ensure optimal hydration, aim to water the plants with at least 2 inches (5 cm) of water two times a week. On the other hand, overwatering can lead to drooping as well. It’s important to strike a balance in maintaining adequate soil moisture for healthy garlic growth.

Checking for Signs of Pests

Another potential reason for garlic plants drooping is the presence of pests and critters. Garlic plants can be targeted by bloat nematodes and bulb mites, which can cause damage that results in small bulbs and droopy plants. Monitoring your garlic plants for these pests is essential for early detection and treatment.

Inspecting for Diseases

Garlic diseases, such as white rot, can also lead to drooping plants. When infected, the garlic leaves may dry up and turn yellow or brown. Keeping a close eye on your garlic plants for any signs of disease can help you take action to address the issue and prevent further damage.

In addition to diseases, poor nutrition could be another factor causing your garlic plants to droop. If your plants have yellowing leaves and an unhealthy appearance, it may be time to provide some extra nutrition. Addressing any nutrient deficiencies can help revive droopy garlic plants and promote healthier growth.

Overall, diagnosing the problem behind drooping garlic plants involves checking soil moisture, keeping an eye out for pests and critters, and inspecting the plant for diseases or nutrient deficiencies. Proper care and early intervention can help you address any issues and maintain healthy garlic plants.

Preventative Measures

Proper Watering Techniques

One common reason for drooping garlic plants is the lack of water. To ensure healthy growth, provide garlic plants with consistently moist soil. Water the plants with 2 inches (5 cm) of water at least two times a week, making sure not to overwater, as it can also cause garlic to fall over [source].

Implementing Good Soil Drainage

Healthy garlic requires well-draining soil. To improve soil drainage:

  • Add a layer of organic matter like compost or well-rotted manure to the soil before planting garlic
  • Use a raised bed or mounds to elevate the planting area and prevent waterlogging

Remember that maintaining good soil drainage is key to preventing issues such as root rot and garlic plants falling over.

Pest and Disease Control

Pests and diseases can weaken garlic plants and cause them to droop. Control weeds regularly, as they can adversely affect the growth of your garlic crop [source]. Watch out for signs of disease or pest infestation, and take appropriate action to control them:

  • Inspect plants frequently for any signs of damage or disease
  • Remove affected plants and dispose of them properly to prevent the spread of disease
  • Use organic or chemical controls if necessary to manage pests and diseases

By practicing proper watering techniques, implementing good soil drainage, and maintaining pest and disease control, you can help prevent drooping garlic plants and ensure a healthy, bountiful crop.

Recovering Drooping Garlic

In this section, we will discuss how to help your drooping garlic plants recover by adjusting their watering habits, addressing soil issues, and treating pests and diseases.

Adjusting Watering Habits

One of the primary reasons for drooping garlic plants is improper watering. It is essential to strike a balance between providing enough water for the plant without overwatering it. Examine the moisture levels in the soil and adjust your watering schedule accordingly. Garlic plants typically require about an inch of water per week. You can also apply a layer of mulch to help maintain consistent soil moisture levels.

Addressing Soil Issues

Lack of essential nutrients can also lead to drooping garlic plants. Nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, calcium, and magnesium are crucial for healthy plant growth. If your plants are drooping due to nutrient deficiencies, you can improve their conditions by applying foliar feed or root zone feeding. Additionally, it’s vital to ensure that your garlic plants are planted in well-draining soil to prevent waterlogged roots.

Treating Pests and Diseases

Drooping garlic plants can also be a result of pests or diseases infiltrating your garden. Some common pests and diseases that can affect garlic plants include garlic black bugs, bloat nematodes, and white rot. Implementing proper garden hygiene practices can help minimize the risk of infestations. Regularly examine your garlic plants for signs of pests or diseases and act promptly to treat the issue. You may need to use organic or chemical pesticides, fungicides, or other suitable methods to combat these problems effectively.


In summary, drooping garlic plants can be attributed to a variety of factors, such as moisture issues, stress, poor nutrition, and diseases. It is essential to ensure that your garlic plants receive the proper care and attention they need to thrive and avoid drooping.

Some key steps to follow include:

  • Consistently providing 2 inches of water at least two times a week to maintain moist soil.
  • Recognizing and addressing signs of stress in your garlic plants such as premature yellowing, browning, wilting, and limp leaves.
  • Ensuring proper nutrition by regularly adding fertilizer and amending the soil as needed.
  • Monitoring for diseases and pests that can negatively affect your plants, and taking appropriate action to prevent or treat these issues.

By paying attention to these factors and remaining vigilant in your garlic plant care, you can minimize the risk of drooping and enjoy a healthy, thriving garlic crop.

We suggest watching this video if you want to learn more about the causes of your plant’s drooping.