A garlic clove has been growing very well inside a closed refrigerator.

It has developed beautiful green stalks, which I think are the equivalent of leafs. Since they are green, I assume they contain chlorophyll.

Without any source of sunlight (for photosynthesis) or soil (for nutrients), how can such a plant thrive so well?

Is it simply growing off the internal stored energy of the clove itself?

Will it continue to grow without sunlight and soil?

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    $\begingroup$ You called it, it is using stored energy to do this, and will continue for some time but will eventually run out of energy. An analogous but common example is when a tree or bush is cut down so it has no more branches/leaves and will re-sprout after some time. $\endgroup$ Sep 15, 2015 at 0:21

1 Answer 1


Your garlic was likely purchased as a bulb, not seed, and stored in the fridge. The garlic 'clove' is not frozen, so your fridge readily mimics underground conditions in the temperate late winter or spring season. The bulb is generally buried underground, and the subsequent initiation of plant development and growth uses the stored energy. In a garden, the garlic would, however, begin photosynthesizing soon thereafter. Bad news: in your fridge, the plant is certain to become etiolated, because the lack of light, and yes, eventually run out of the stored resources--and die. Good news: you can eat or transplant it.


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