Why Is My Garlic Purple? [And Is It Better Than White Garlic?]2022

Do you have purple garlic?? Here is a quick and easy guide explaining why and which is better, white or purple garlic?

Garlic gives every dish a boost in flavor and should be the staple ingredient in almost everything.

This means that garlic is popular, and over 400 million pounds of garlic are produced every year in the States. It’s also easy to grow, so anyone can grow it in their garden or even indoors!

Garlic also has natural antioxidant and antibiotic properties, so as well as tasting good, it’s actually good for you too. Garlic is pretty versatile, and it can grow in different forms and places. Sometimes, the skin of garlic is purple rather than white.

This is totally natural, and can vary from bright white to a slightly reddish purple! This is normal and is where the garlic holds acid and can differ among garlic cloves in the same bulb.

So, if you’re wondering why your garden-grown garlic is turning purple, keep on reading! 


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Why Is My Garlic Purple

This Is Why Your Garlic is Purple!

Contrary to popular belief, purple garlic is not garlic that has gone bad. Purple garlic is actually a different variety of garlic. White garlic is the most common type of garlic and is found in all stores.

It is a variety of ‘soft neck’ garlic, which means the stalk does not grow through the bulb. The stalk is usually flexible, hence why the cloves grow close together. It has a long life and a classic garlic flavor.

Purple garlic, on the other hand, has a purple-streaked hue and is white underneath this outer skin. It comes from ‘hard neck’ garlic, so you will notice there is a hard woody stalk that grows through the center of the bulbs. This is the biggest difference between white and purple garlic.

Do not fret when you see purple stripes on your raw garlic.

There is a variety of purple skin garlic with the popular one being Italian purple garlic.

They often have a moderately sweet and spicy flavour.They are ready for harvest before softneck garlic, they are well-liked. Compared to other purple garlic kinds, Italian purple garlic keeps better over time.

Boost your garlic bulbs by giving them the right nutrients they need, adding quality organic composts ensures your bulbs get all the nutrients they need to develop large healthy bulbs!

Of course, they are slightly different in flavor. Purple garlic tends to be juicy, with bigger cloves but is less strong and peppery. White garlic is pungent and strong to taste. The two types are very similar and can be used for cooking in the same manner. 

When fertilised just before harvest, certain varieties of garlic turn purple. The inner cloves of purple garlic are the same colour as white garlic’s and have a purple color for skin.

This is due to the presence of anthocyanins in garlic, which are water-soluble pigments capable of turning garlic bulbs purple or blue when exposed to acid. This is a cyclical phenomena that is particularly pronounced in immature garlic.

Although little study has been done on this, it is safe to consume and has just recently been introduced to more acidic conditions.

There could, however, be variations between each garlic clove! Garlic occasionally has more blue pigment, which is more noticeable after fermentation. So many garlic varieties! Who would have thought.


What Is Garlic?

Garlic is a bulbous flowering plant in the genus allium, which is closely related to onions, leeks, shallots, and chives. Garlic is native to Central Asia and Iran and has been used as part of cooking and seasoning for centuries. Egyptians used garlic, and it has been widely used for its medicinal properties.

It is widely produced in China, as it grows easily in Asia. Garlic is actually a perennial plant that can grow as high as 3 feet.

In the Summer months, garlic might produce pink flowers in the Northern Hemisphere of the world. It is extremely versatile and has been proven to be excellent for its medicinal properties.

Consuming garlic reduces blood pressure, as well as reduces your chances of digestive and stomach cancer by a significant proportion. It also reduces the risk of prostate cancer, cures colds, and can be used as a natural insecticide.

Head over to the grocery stores and eat your garlic people!

Speed up planting your garlic by using a bulb planter!

Is Garlic A Vegetable?

Garlic is botanically considered a vegetable. Even though it is a perennial, flowering plant, it holds the characteristics of a vegetable.

These characteristics are defined by a bulb, a taller stem and long leaves and flowers. Even though garlic is a vegetable, it is used more like a herb or seasoning addition.

It is strong, so cannot be used in salads or a side dish (unless you want awful breath!), so it is added to dishes to enhance flavors. 

How To Store Garlic?

Regardless of white or purple, you would want longer shelf life for the garlic bulb.

Unfortunately, purple garlic can lose its spicy flavor as it dries out and does have a lower shelf life than white garlic.

In terms of storage, you will need a loosely woven basket or a mesh bag for purple garlic to allow air to circulate around them throughout the summer, when humidity levels are greater.

Try keeping your items in a tiny clay flower pot in a locked cupboard during the winter months when your heating is on and the air is very dry.

For white garlics, a plastic bag would suffice in terms of storing. To prevent garlic from going bad, keep them in a dark area in room temperature.

While individual peeled cloves of garlic might survive up to a week, whole heads of garlic can keep for up to six months in the refrigerator. Only one or two days will pass after being chopped. The longest-lasting garlic is frozen garlic, which may keep for up to a year in the freezer.

Is Purple Garlic Better Than White?

I think so YES! But it really depends on your preference.

Purple garlic is not strong in odor and taste compared to white garlic and some purple garlic even has a sweet tang to it!

Also, purple garlic retains its taste longer, even after cooking but doesn’t store as well as white garlic.

Note- If you are looking for a quick way to remove garlic odor, you can try this.

How Can You Tell If Garlic Is Bad?

why is my garlic purple

Garlic typically lasts a long time!

If you keep garlic in the fridge, it can last for up to a month. If you store it away, it will last a few weeks. You can visually tell if your garlic has gone bad if it starts to gain brown spots, dark spots, or turns yellow.

Store bought garlic cloves are typically white, if they have started to change colour, this indicates that the garlic head has gone rotten and should be thrown away. You shouldn’t try to remove the stained areas and utilise the remaining garlic clove.

Also, if there are green sprouts forming in the middle of the clove, it means there are new roots sprouting. This is not harmful but means the garlic is sprouting, like potatoes do, and should just be removed if the rest of the clove looks fine. So, don’t worry about some green roots on your garlic.

Store your garlic and root vegetable in a hanging reusable storage mesh bag, to ensure your bulbs stay aired and dried for longer conservation

If your garlic starts to lose its punchy smell, it is likely that it has gone bad. If garlic is squidgy and soft, it is definitely bad. 

What Are The Benefits Of Garlic? 

Garlic makes all food taste better, and gives most dishes an earthy, deeper flavor. Garlic has lots of medicinal properties too. This includes lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, supporting your immune system, reducing blood clotting, and acting as an antioxidant.

It has been used this way for thousands of years and has even been proved to have anti-cancer properties. 

Is Purple Garlic Better For You? 

why is my garlic purple

Purple garlic has the same medicinal properties and benefits as any garlic and is not proven to be particularly better or worse. It is slightly milder but has all the same properties as white garlic. White garlic typically has a better storage life, yet purple garlic holds its flavor more.

How Many Types Of Garlic Are There?

why is my garlic purple

There are two types of garlic, those being ‘hard neck’ and ‘soft neck’. Within the soft neck variety, there is silver skin and artichoke. These are common types of soft neck garlic. Artichoke garlic has many cloves in a bulb, which gives it the appearance of an artichoke.

Some artichoke varieties include Galiano, Polish Red, California Early, Applegate, and Italian Purple. Some silver skin varieties include Polish White, Chet’s Italian Red, and Kettle River Giant. 

The most common type of hard-neck garlic is called ‘Rocambole’, which has large, easy-to-peel cloves and a smoother flavor. It is easy to spot a hard-neck garlic as a stalk grows in the middle of the garlic head.

Some of these varieties include Chesnok Red, German White, Persian Star, Purple Stripe, and Porcelain. Garlic has been heavily cultivated because it is so easy to grow, meaning there are many varieties, but soft neck and hard neck garlic at their most basic are the most common types of garlic. 

Can I Use Purple Garlic In Place Of White In Cooking?

Yes you can use purple garlic in place of white in cooking. Is purple garlic bad? And can I use purple garlic cloves in cooking?

Aside from the color, purple stripe garlic has a slightly milder flavor compared to white garlic and can most definitely be used when you run out of chopped garlic.

When uncooked, it won’t overpower a meal. Think of pairing purple garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice to make garlic bread or using them in a salad.

Some claim that purple garlic has a stronger flavour than white garlic even after cooking. Most grocery stores carry these variety or garlic.

If you can’t see purple garlic at your local store, try out the farmers markets or specialty markets in your neighborhood.

When it comes to debate as such, there is no one answer until you have tried both the garlic heads and review them to your own liking.

What Is The Strongest Garlic? 

Chesnok Red is known to be the strongest garlic, and it is pungent and has very large cloves. 

How To Remove Garlic Smell From Fingers?

Rub your fingertips on the stainless steel sink’s sides or faucet. The reason for this is that the stench is naturalised when the sulphur molecules on your hands interact with the molecules of the stainless steel.

Final Thoughts

Garlic is one of the most popular vegetables (or herbs if you prefer!) and is used in most dishes around the world. Hope the table of contents in this article has helped you in one way or the other!

It is helpful to know whether the purple garlic you have in your cupboard is bad, or if it is just another variety of garlic. Garlic has so many great properties, as well as tasting great, so it is beneficial to know your garlic! Garlic bread, anyone?

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