Society Garlic Tulbaghia violacea 'Silver Lace' (v)

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
society garlic 'Silver Lace'
society garlic 'Silver Lace'
society garlic 'Silver Lace'
society garlic 'Silver Lace'
society garlic 'Silver Lace'
society garlic 'Silver Lace'
society garlic 'Silver Lace'
society garlic 'Silver Lace'
society garlic 'Silver Lace'
society garlic 'Silver Lace'
society garlic 'Silver Lace'


Silver Lace, often colloquially referred to as "Society Garlic" or "Variegated Society Garlic," is a striking ornamental plant known for its distinct variegated foliage and vibrant flowers. The leaves of Silver Lace are narrow and long, boasting a mix of green and creamy white stripes that run their length, creating an eye-catching pattern that resembles the decorative borders of lace fabric. These contrasting colors add brightness and visual interest to gardens and landscapes. As for the flowers, Silver Lace offers a burst of color with delicate, clustered blooms perched atop tall, slender stalks. The flowers are typically a soft lilac or light purple hue and are star-shaped, with six pointed petals that emerge from a common center. These blossoms often have a faint garlic-like fragrance, which is noticeable when the leaves are crushed or when the plants are in full bloom. The overall visual effect of Silver Lace is one of variegated greenery punctuated by cool-toned blooms, creating a lively contrast against the more uniformly colored plants in a garden setting. Its foliage and flowers together provide a dual appeal, both in texture and color, making it a popular choice for gardeners looking to add dimension and variety to their planting schemes.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Society Garlic, Silver Lace Society Garlic, Variegated Society Garlic, Variegated Tulbaghia.

    • Common names

      Tulbaghia violacea 'Silver Lace' (v).

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Society Garlic is generally considered non-toxic to humans. However, as with any plant, some individuals may experience allergic reactions or stomach upset if parts of the plant are ingested in large quantities or if an individual has a particular sensitivity. Therefore, it is advisable to handle plants with care and avoid ingesting them unless they are known to be safe and are prepared appropriately.

    • To pets

      Society Garlic is not typically listed as a toxic plant to pets. However, individual animals might have sensitivities, and consumption of plant material can sometimes lead to gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting or diarrhea. It is generally recommended to prevent pets from ingesting plants that are not confirmed to be safe for them. If a pet does consume Society Garlic and shows signs of distress, it is important to consult a veterinarian.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Spread

      1 foot (30 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      South Africa


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Easy to Grow: The plant is known for its hardiness and ability to thrive in a variety of conditions with minimal care.
    • Drought Tolerant: Once established, it can withstand long periods without water, making it suitable for xeriscaping and dry gardens.
    • Pest Resistant: It is generally resistant to pests, reducing the need for chemical interventions.
    • Attracts Pollinators: The flowers attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects, supporting biodiversity.
    • Edible: Some parts of the plant are edible and used in traditional culinary practices (though it should be consumed with caution and knowledge).
    • Ornamental: With its variegated foliage and striking purple flowers, it provides aesthetic value to gardens and landscapes.
    • Low Maintenance: It requires very little pruning or other upkeep, ideal for gardeners who prefer low-maintenance plants.
    • Ground Cover: It can serve as an effective ground cover, suppressing weeds and covering bare spots in the garden.
    • Container Planting: Its compact size makes it suitable for growing in pots, ideal for balconies and limited spaces.
    • Tolerant of Various Soils: It can grow in a range of soil types, from sandy to loamy, as long as there is good drainage.
    • Deer Resistant: It is not a preferred plant for deer, which can help protect other more vulnerable plants in a garden.
    • Long Blooming Period: It has a long flowering season, providing color and interest over an extended period.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Antimicrobial: Tulbaghia violacea contains compounds that exhibit antimicrobial activity against a range of microorganisms.
    • Anti-inflammatory: Some studies suggest that compounds found in Society Garlic can help reduce inflammation.
    • Antitumor: Extracts from the plant have shown potential antitumor properties in certain in vitro studies.
    • Antihypertensive: There is evidence that suggests this plant might have properties that help in lowering blood pressure.
    • Immunomodulatory: Society Garlic may possess compounds that can modulate the immune response, although further research is necessary.
    • Antioxidant: The plant contains antioxidants which are important for protecting the body against free radicals.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Tulbaghia violacea 'Silver Lace', commonly known as society garlic, can be used as a pest deterrent in the garden; its strong garlic scent repels many garden pests like aphids and mole rats.

    • The plant's leaves are often used as a flavoring agent in cooking, imparting a mild garlic flavor to dishes when chopped and used fresh or dried.

    • In companion planting, society garlic is believed to boost the growth and flavor of tomatoes and roses when planted nearby.

    • The flowers and leaves of society garlic can be added to salads for an edible garnish that offers a splash of color and a hint of garlic taste.

    • As a border plant, society garlic's variegated foliage and purple flowers can be used to create visually appealing garden designs.

    • Due to its clumping nature, society garlic is suitable for erosion control, as it can help to hold soil in place on slopes.

    • The plant can be used in water-wise gardens, as it is drought-tolerant once established and does not require frequent watering.

    • Society garlic can be planted to create a fragrant garden path; brushing against the plants releases their garlic scent.

    • The plant's vibrant bloom can attract pollinators like bees and butterflies to the garden, supporting local ecosystems.

    • Society garlic can be grown in containers and used to adorn patios, balconies, and outdoor living areas with its attractive foliage and flowers.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Society garlic is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Society garlic is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Healing: Tulbaghia violacea 'Silver Lace', commonly known as Society Garlic, is often associated with its medicinal properties, symbolizing healing and well-being, as it has been used traditionally to treat ailments and promote health.
    • Protection: Society Garlic is thought to possess protective qualities, symbolizing safety against illness and misfortune. Its pungent smell is believed to have a deterrent effect on harmful insects and pests, translating into a spiritual symbolism of guarding against negative influences.
    • Endurance: With its ability to thrive in harsh conditions and remain evergreen, Society Garlic symbolizes endurance and resilience, representing the capability to persist through challenges and adversity.
    • Purification: Due to its cleansing properties and ability to clear the air of unwanted insects, Society Garlic symbolizes purification, suggesting a cleansing of the environment or a metaphorical clearing of negative energies from one's life.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Society Garlic should be watered thoroughly, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings to encourage strong root growth. Typically, watering once a week during active growing seasons, Spring and Summer, should be sufficient, adjusting to approximately every two weeks during the dormant season, Fall and Winter. Provide about 1 gallon of water per watering session for outdoor plants, ensuring it's distributed evenly across the root zone. Overwatering can cause bulb rot, so it's crucial to ensure good drainage. For potted indoor plants, monitor the soil moisture and water when the top inch feels dry, usually around half a gallon every 1-2 weeks depending on environmental conditions.

  • sunLight

    Society Garlic thrives in full sun to partial shade, requiring at least 6 hours of sunlight per day to bloom optimally. The ideal spot would be a south-facing or west-facing garden that gets ample sunlight throughout the day. It can also tolerate light dappled shade, but flowering may not be as prolific.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Society Garlic prefers warm conditions and grows best in temperatures between 50°F and 90°F. It can survive minimum temperatures down to about 20°F, but for optimal growth, keep it in a location where nighttime temperatures do not regularly drop below 50°F. Ensure that the plant is protected from frost, which can damage foliage and bulbs.

  • scissorsPruning

    Society Garlic should be pruned to remove spent flowers and encourage further blooming throughout the season. Deadheading, or the removal of faded flowers, can be done regularly. Additionally, cut back the foliage to the ground in late Fall or early Winter after it dies back, to tidy up the plant and prepare for new growth in the Spring. The best time for pruning is when you notice dead or dying flowers and leaves.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Society garlic prefers well-drained soil enriched with organic matter. A mix of potting soil, perlite, and compost is ideal. Maintain a soil pH of 6 to 7.

  • plantRepotting

    Society garlic should be repotted every 2 to 3 years to refresh the soil and accommodate root growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Society garlic tolerates average room humidity but thrives with additional humidity in very hot, dry conditions.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright light, maintain moderate humidity, and use well-draining soil.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun, protect from frost, plant in well-drained soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      7-10 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Tulbaghia violacea 'Silver Lace', commonly known as variegated society garlic, begins its life as a seed which germinates in moist, well-drained soil in a sunny location. Following germination, seedlings emerge and develop into young plants with a distinctive clump-forming habit, featuring strap-like leaves edged with white variegation. As the plant matures, it produces tall stems topped with clusters of lavender-pink, tubular flowers from early summer through to fall, attracting pollinators such as bees and butterflies. After flowering, the plant may produce small capsules containing seeds, allowing for sexual reproduction. Throughout the year, variegated society garlic grows and expands vegetatively through rhizomes, creating a fuller clump and occasionally requiring division to manage its spread. In winter, the plant may die back, especially in cooler climates, entering a period of dormancy before resuming growth in the spring.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • The most popular method of propagation for the Tulbaghia violacea 'Silver Lace', commonly known as Society Garlic 'Silver Lace', is by dividing its clumps. This is typically done in spring or early summer when the plant has a period of active growth. To propagate, carefully dig up the clumps ensuring you do not harm the bulbs or the roots. Gently separate the bulbs, making sure each division has at least one set of leaves. Replant the divisions immediately, placing them at the same depth they were originally growing, which should be about 3 inches (approximately 7.5 centimeters) deep, and water them well. The divisions should establish quickly and will start to grow and multiply, forming new clumps that can be further divided in subsequent seasons.