Porcelain Garlic Family
The Porcelain family is one of the most popular groups of garlic grown in the United States. This is especially the case in the North East and most of the other Northern States. Porcelain's popularity is due to its hardiness and ability to consistently produce large sized bulbs with great flavour. Their vigorous growth explodes out of the ground in spring and produces large plants with thick wide-spreading leaves.
Porcelain varieties thrive in very cold climates, with adequate amounts of moisture. In warmer locations, the cloves need to be artificially exposed to cold before planting, otherwise they may not form proper bulbs.
Bulbs & Bulbils
The plants generally produce bulbs containing 4 to 6 very large, plump cloves that are moderately easy to peel. They have an extremely large scape that can grow up to 6 feet high in some climates and contains an umbel capsules with hundreds of tiny bulbils. Growing garlic from these tiny bulbils is very difficult due to their size, however, it is still possible to size them up over a period of 3 to 5 years.
If maximum bulb size is the goal, scape removal is extremely important. Porcelain garlics are the most affected by leaving the scapes untrimmed. As well, sufficient moisture throughout the growing season and leading up to harvest is very important for maximizing bulb size.
Storage & Flavor
Porcelain bulbs store for about 6 months, with diminishing flavour complexity as they age. The are generally considered to be mild tasting with an overall sweet flavor.
With their large size, cold hardiness and good flavor, Porcelain garlics are consistently a top favorite for Americans that can grow them!