How to Grow Garlic Scapes Indoors


grow garlic scapes in a shot glass - on your windowsill!

I have a brown thumb. Both figuratively and well, literally (I’m Indian, so my thumb is brown…). The point is, I’m terrible at growing things. I’ve killed nearly every house plant I’ve ever had and last year, when I bought some herb plants for my kitchen, they died within the week. There are very few things that I’ve been able to grow… and garlic shoots aka garlic scapes happen to be one of them. Today, I’m going to tell you how to grow garlic scapes indoors – in a shot glass.

What’s a garlic scape? It’s the stalk of a garlic plant. They look like skinny scallions (green onions) but they taste like garlic – only milder.

[Update: Since I first shared this post in 2014, many of you have told me that these are actually garlic leaves and not garlic scapes. Sorry for the confusion – as I mentioned above I have a brown thumb and was mistaken about this. I was just so excited to see something growing in my kitchen window that I had to share 😂 I hope you still enjoy this post!]

While there are a ton of resources that’ll teach you how to grow your own garlic – if you’re a newbie wannabe grower like me and you don’t have a garden (or even a deck… sigh) and want something fresh and green growing in your kitchen, then this post is for you.

grow garlic scapes in a shot glass - on your windowsill!

All you need:

  • A small, clear container (I used tiny plastic shot glasses so that my glass shot glasses wouldn’t smell like garlic… coconut rum + garlic = gross)
  • Unpeeled garlic cloves (make sure the garlic is from your local farmer’s market)
  • Water

Add a bit of water at the bottom of your shot glass or small container – just enough to cover the bottom of your clove (don’t submerge the clove or it’ll rot). Keep this on your windowsill and after a few days, you’ll have scapes! Let them grow until they’re several inches tall, then cut from the top.

I know for some of my readers with actual gardens, this post might seem silly but if you’ve ever lived in a tiny apartment (or a townhome without a deck), then you know how awesome it feels to have something growing in your kitchen.

Using these homegrown garlic scapes will make ya feel fancy. Snip some off the top and add them to scrambled eggs, a bowl of soup or sprinkle them on top of a baked (sweet) potato. Use these scapes to garnish any meal – and definitely use them when your friends come over – they’ll be super impressed and think you’re trendy/cool. I mean, growing garlic scapes in a shot glass… is way cooler than what shot glasses are actually meant for.

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About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Keith says

    Hi everyone, I have some garlic cloves sprouting in water. I wanted to inquire how long will the garlic last growing like this?
    I don’t plan on planting these cloves as I use them for their leaves, sprouts and scapes.
    I have not been able to find any answers on how long the cloves will last just growing in water.
    Is there a time I should remove them from the water and either throw them out or consume them? They have been sprouting for weeks now and I’ve been able to collect from them.
    Thank you for your help on this!

  2. Lyndsey Varela says

    My 5.5 year old son and I just started our little garlic plants 🌱! Can’t wait to see some leaves!

  3. dave kyle says

    What you grew here were garlic leaves. In fact, what people call the stem is in fact more of the leaf. The true scape would take months to appear. I grow garlic commercially but I also sprout cloves this way for a change of pace in the kitchen. As you know, these young leaves are awesome eating.
    You can plant these in a sunny spot in the garden and watch them grow. I start thousands of late garlic this way in my greenhouse every spring. Have fun with this amazing plant!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Dave, thank you for letting me know! I was so excited about what I grew (as I mentioned I have a brown thumb) haha – I have since realized they are leaves – I will add an update to the post though! Thanks for your comment!

  4. DISA says

    Thanks, i grew garlic whatevers in my ref with no light and no water😂i bought peeled garlic from the market, and one day it was rooting, the next day sprouting. Just googled what to do with them 😁Thanks, ill make mini house plants and the bung them in an omlette

  5. Patty Palms says

    Yay ! It worked! Now I clipped off the scales as you mentioned. Do I just plant the clove now ? They have a nice amount of roots! I did 3 in shot glasses ! It was fun to watch them grow! Thanks Patty

      • Albert says

        Dear MHB. I’ve been doing exactly the same as you for a while now. Used to do it with Hyacinths when I was a child. What I’d like to know is that many professionals say not to plant outside in an area that you’ve grown garlic before, why??? This is nice. Cut off some green shoots. Cut a baguette in half. Pop your green shoots between baguette. Heat lightly for 10 – 15mins. Remove from heat. Gorgeous hmmmmm!!!!!

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