Allium moly: main characteristics and care

One of the typical Spanish plants is the Allium moly. Wait, you don’t know which one we’re talking about? Also known as golden garlic, moly garlic, chives or Spanish garlic, it is a perennial plant.

If you want to know more about it, below we give you the characteristics of this species of garlic and the care you should give it to enjoy it in your garden (and eat it incidentally). Shall we start?

How is the Allium moly

ornamental garlic

As we have told you, Allium moly is typical of Spain, where it is usually cultivated, although in reality the origin is European. In France, for example, it is protected due to the rarity of the plant, but not in Spain, where it can often be found in its natural habitat (in rocky areas) or, if you get hold of the plant or seeds, growing it in your garden.

And it is that, although it can be edible, this garlic plant is usually preserved at an ornamental level.

It is a bulbous plant, no taller than 40 centimeters, composed of a round bulb that is covered by a white layer. Its diameter is usually no more than two centimeters. Its life cycle runs from September to June approximately, leaving the hottest months at rest. For this reason, in winter it is common for it to begin to develop a stem with several leaves (often 2-3), large and flat, and bluish-green in colour. These can measure between 15 and 30 cm and about 3 cm wide.

In addition to this stem, from March to June it usually produces one or several flower stems, between 15 and 30 cm long, which make the flowers stand higher than the plant itself. Thus, you will have a dozen flowers, yellow and star-shaped, with 6 one-centimeter tepals.

These flowers are very attractive to insects, which pollinate them and this causes them to create ovoid capsules. When these are opened, the seeds that are very small and black can be obtained.

Allium moly care

In France this garlic plant is protected

Now that you know some more facts about Allium moly, How about we help you so that you can grow it and take care of it in your garden? We have investigated and here we leave you the keys to get it to succeed.

location and temperature

As we have told you, Allium moly is grown through bulbs that are usually planted in autumn and winter. These must be placed at least ten centimeters deep, and, unlike others, they will go in groups. Now where?

You can plant it both in a pot and directly in the garden. As for light, the best is semi-shade, especially if you usually have a temperate climate where you live. But it adapts to full sun without problem if the temperatures are not too high.

To give you an idea, in France they plant it in full sun, but in the case of Spain It is recommended to plant it in semi-shade due to the hours of sun and its incidence.

As for the temperature, although it must be taken into account that extreme heat slows down the growth of the plant (and for this reason it is left to rest in the summer months, to prevent it from deteriorating), the same is not the case with the cold. . In fact, It is able to withstand temperatures of -29ºC.


Although Allium moly can be placed in any type of soil, if we had to recommend a specific one, it would be one with an acidic or alkaline pH (even neutral). For example, a clayey soil or a sandy one. Of course, use one or the other, it is important to mix it with drainage because it needs the soil to be very light and loose.


The irrigation of Allium moly depends on many factors, among which is the location, the temperature, the time of the year… In general, all Allium moly need to have a somewhat moist substratewith which you will have to water it depending on the season.

Of course, in summer it should not be watered because the bulbs will be at rest. In fact, it is common for the plant to begin to lose its leaves and stems as the heat makes an appearance. So at that moment you have to stop watering so that the landand the bulb, dries up and thus can enter into rest.

From September you will have to water it at least once a week. However, in winter you may not have to water it much if there is humidity in the environment. Starting in spring you will have to increase the watering at the beginning, and shorten it in the middle of the season.


ornamental yellow flowering garlic plant

When talking about a bulb, it is normal that when it ends its cycle and goes to rest it is taken out of the pot. That’s whywhen it comes to planting it again, it will be done in a new pot with new soil. This implies that it is not necessary to fertilize it because it will have nutrients as long as it is planted.

However, if it is not removed from the pot, then we do recommend giving it a fertilizer with the irrigation water following the manufacturer’s guidelines.


To finish, we want to talk to you about the propagation of Allium moly. In this case you have two options, both equally good.

The first has to do with the bulb itself that you have. Over time it is common for the bulbs to produce suckers. At first these will be very small and may not work for you. But when you see that it is big enough, you can separate it and plant them separately (yes, wait a few days for it to heal).

The best time to do this is when the bulbs are resting, that is, from June to August. At that time you should remove them from the pot, clean them as best as possible and store them in a dark and cool place until the high temperatures pass.

The other option you have to propagate Allium moly is through seeds. Although that implies having to wait longer for it to grow, they can give good results.

To do this, you have to collect them from the stem and store them in the refrigerator until September arrives. That’s when you’ll be able to plant them, and hopefully some of them will germinate by spring (that’s right, it may take several months to see if any will thrive).

As you can see, Allium moly can be a good choice to grow in the garden, or in a pot. Not only for its usefulness (it is edible and you can eat both the bulb and the leaves), but also for its beauty. How about you give it a try?

Allium moly: main characteristics and care

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