If you’re looking for a low-maintenance, waterwise, evergreen perennial that is perfect for those hot corners in the garden, look no further than the indigenous Wild garlic (Tulbaghia violacea).
A quick look at Wild Garlic:
Latin name | Tulbaghia violacea
Common names | Wild Garlic, Society Garlic, Wildeknoffel
Family | Alliaceae
With its gorgeous pinkish-mauve flowers displayed on long stalks above clumps of grey-green, strapped-shaped leaves, this plant makes a statement throughout the seasons.
Wild garlic is fast-growing and spreads from tuberous roots to form clumps of plants. It is often planted en masse along the edges of garden beds, pathways or as a groundcover in sunny or partially shaded positions. Pastel purple flowers bloom from December to April to add beautiful seasonal colour to the summer garden and attract bees and butterflies to enjoy its sweet nectar.
Ideal for the kitchen garden, wild garlic is often planted between crops to ward off aphids and other pests with its potent garlicky smell and flavour. The leaves and flowers can also be harvested for use in salads. Crushed leaves can be applied to the skin to ward off mosquitoes, fleas and ticks (also humans).
Tip | Due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties, Wild garlic is often used in homemade insecticides. Tap the Discover article below for a recipe!
Grow Wild garlic
Tulbaghia violacea does well in sun and semi-shaded spots and thrives in well-draining soil with plenty of compost. Even though it will tolerate prolonged drought, it flourishes with regular watering. To propagate, sow the hard black seeds in spring in deep seed trays and plant out during the second year, or divide larger clumps and leave undisturbed for as long as possible.
Tulbaghias are generally resistant to pests and diseases, however, slugs and snails can cause considerable damage to the long, strappy leaves.