Dividing Society Garlic Plants
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Dividing Society Garlic Plants

Dividing Society Garlic plants is an easy way to create more plants for a beautiful border without spending a thing. This step by step guide with pictures shows how to divide society garlic plants including care and soil preparation.

Society or ornamental garlic is also known as Tulbaghia Violacea. It is native to southern Africa growing to 24inches (60cm) tall by 10 inches (25cm) wide.

This perennial plant has a clump forming habit with slender pale green leaves and beautiful violet colored flowers which bloom from the spring in warmer areas through to the late fall or autumn.

Society garlic is the perfect plant for along garden borders as the dainty flowers appear on top of long stems so the plants behind will not be obscured from view.

Best Position in the Garden

Society garlic likes a full sun to part shade position. It does best in moist free draining soil with regular watering especially during dry periods. A regular application of liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks will result in more growth and blooms during the growing season.

Dividing Society Garlic Plants

As long as the stem has roots attached you will have a high success rate with dividing this plant.

When is the best time to divide society garlic plants?

It is best to divide society garlic from the spring to the early fall (autumn) to give the new plants time to settle in before the winter months. Young plants should be protected from frosts.

Can I plant divided society garlic stems straight out into the garden?

Yes, as they already have roots attached, they can be planted straight out into their final position. It is best to keep the plant moist for the first 2 weeks.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Trowel – This unique Radius Garden Trowel has an ergonomic natural radius grip which provides extra leverage and reduces hand and wrist stress. It is highly rated on Amazon. (Paid link)
  • Compost or Aged Manure
  • Mulch


Time needed: 15 minutes.

How to easily divide society garlic.

  1. Water the Existing Plant then Prepare the New Position

    First water the existing society garlic plant well then prepare the soil for the new plant by digging in compost or aged manure. Make a hole at least 4 inches (10cm) deep.

    Soil is prepared with a hole ready for the new society garlic plant.

  2. Select the Stem to Divide

    Next select the stem you wish to remove from the main plant then remove the soil from the outside.

    Selecting the stem to divide from the society garlic plant.

  3. Insert the Trowel

    Angle your trowel straight down between the stem and the main plant then insert the trowel straight down.

    Inserting a trowel straight down to divide the stem from the plant.

  4. Gently Remove the Stem

    Gently prise the stem upwards until it is loose. Make sure it has roots on the end before planting. If the stem does not have roots then try again with another stem but this time insert the trowel deeper.

    The stem has roots attached so is ready for planting.

  5. Plant in its Final Position

    Plant the stem in the prepared hole at the same depth as it was originally. Usually the white part is underground. Mulch then water in well. Keep moist for the first few weeks.

    New society garlic plant planted in its final position.


Top up the mulch every 6 months to prevent water loss. An application of aged manure or compost around the base of the plant in the spring will give society garlic a good start to the growing season.

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Creating your own plants is an enjoyable way to garden as well as saving money. Mass plantings always look stunning. See these guides to Saving Gerbera Seeds, Taking Geranium Cuttings, Oleander Cuttings or Propagating Dianthus by Division.

From growing and preserving your own food to craft projects around the home, try this free Homesteading guide.

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