What are the white tendrils at the bottom of these garlic cloves? Are they the beginning of new roots? I'm afraid they are indications of fungus or mold.

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  • 5
    I'll leave answering to more informed people, but from the pictures, nothing screams out "fungus" or "mold", while everything seems to say "roots". Does it smell fungal or moldy? Any discoloration? Is it more pettable than you'd like your average garlic to be? Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 19:19
  • It smells fine (wonderful even, it is really strong garlic), and is extremely juicy and tastes very fresh. Still, I was just curious - especially because i was preparing a concoction using this garlic raw to treat a sinus infection. Didn't want to be addressing one problem while causing another....
    – traggatmot
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 19:21
  • Smart, better safe than sorry. If people here don't know, people over at gardening might know more, although I'm not sure they accept questions in this form, so you might need to rephrase it a bit. Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 19:28

4 Answers 4


Those are garlic roots, no reason to worry.

If you plan to use these cloves, note that they are about to leave the dormant stage and start to sprout, so make sure you remove the green sprout in the middle of the clove. It is rather likely to have turned bitter now.

I found this video on youtube, which shows the roots forming on a garlic clove; in a rather early stage you can clearly see the little stubs your garlic has.

  • 2
    Sprout is easiest to remove by cutting the ends off and smashing the clove ... it detaches relatively cleanly after that. Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 20:13
  • @rackandboneman ... if you are planning to smash or finely chop the clove. Not a good idea if you want slices or whole cloves.
    – Stephie
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 20:15
  • Lightly smashing a sprouted clove will usually break it into two to four relatively even pieces. Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 20:25

These are roots, just cut them off. Sometimes you might get a sprout coming out of the top, that's fine too.

Garlic sprouts after being exposed to cold, if you store garlic in your fridge it is likely to sprout, so store it at room temperature or a cool but not cold place.


I grow a field of garlic, your picture shows nascent roots. I eat the sprouts and have never noticed a bitter flavour.


If you want to keep your garlic from going off, wrap it in some kitchen roll at room temperature. The paper helps so much in prolonging the life of your clove.

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