Ajo Rojo Garlic Variety

Ajo Rojo Garlic (photo courtesy of filareefarm.com)
Ajo Rojo Garlic (photo courtesy of filareefarm.com)

Ajo Rojo is a great garlic to grow for beginners.

It”s resilience and low-maintenance make it an easy win for beginning gardeners.

Ajo Rojo Growing (Photo courtesy of cohutt.com)
Ajo Rojo Growing (Photo courtesy of cohutt.com)


Creole garlic varieties are hardy and smaller than other varieties of garlic. They grow best in the warmer climates of the Southern US and in the southern parts of Europe. Ajo Rojo is among the rare Creole varieties of garlic native to Spain and Europe where it was cultivated for centuries.

In the early 1990’s G. Lutovsky brought Ajo Rojo to Nevada from Spain. (I’m still trying to figure out more details about both G. Lutovsky and Ajo’s origins in Spain. If you have any leads, please let me know in the comments below.)

In southern parts of the US, Ajo Rojo is known as Mexican Purple. I don’t know where the name originated, but it does have a beautiful deep purple to it that you can see in the photos.

Ajo Rojo is a beautiful and distinctive garlic with red/burgundy clove wrappers and good storage. It sizes up nicely in warmer growing areas with many bulbs reaching 2″ diameter. A Vigorous root system and late harvest make for incredibly rich flavor.

Ajo Rojo garlic is a Creole variety of Allium sativum. Ajo is Spanish for garlic and Rojo means red. Ajo Rojo is considered a hardneck variety, yet it is genetically distinct from both hardneck and softneck varieties. Hardneck garlic has a woody, hard neck “scape” or flower stem growing in the center stem and grows well in colder climates, whereas softneck garlic grows best in warmer climates and has no flower stalk.

The size of a bulb of Ajo Rojo garlic is generally dependent on the climate, but a healthy bulb will grow to about two inches in diameter. The outer skin of the Ajo Rojo bulb is often called “silky” for its look and feel. Aside from that, the bulb has a very typical garlic look on the outside; it’s the individual cloves that reveal the signature “Rojo” or red color. There are typically eight to twelve cloves per bulb. The cloves of the Ajo Rojo garlic have a pungent aroma with a sweet taste and a warm, spicy finish.

Nutritional Value

The first recorded use of garlic for health benefits dates back to 1500BC Egypt. The active ingredient is allicin, which is released when the garlic is crushed or chopped.  Aside from repelling vampires, garlic has anti-biotic properties and will help to build your immune system. Ajo Rojo’s red coloring is caused by anthocyanins, which are phytochemicals known to increase its antioxidant properties.

In Ajo Rojo, the antioxidant properties are even higher due to the presence of anthocyanins, the phytochemicals that produce the red color in the cloves.

Ajo Rojo Garlic (Texasheritagebulbs.com)
Note the difference between the wrapper, the bulb, and the cloves (Photo courtesy of Texasheritagebulbs.com)


Ajo Rojo has two distinct tastes  depending on how it’s prepared.

Prepared Raw: It has some serious heat! Teń cuidado señor! It starts subtle and gradually builds to a serious heat that will surprise you.

Baked: It is rich and creamy.

Like a nice wine, over time, the flavor will continue to improve.


Add Ajo Rojo to a variety of dishes that call for garlic. Ajo Rojo garlic retains much of its flavor when cooked. Creole garlics are great for fresh eating; chop and add to salsas or salad dressings. To enhance Creole dishes, finely chop garlic to release its essential oils for a bit more heat. Add sliced garlic to pasta sauce or soups or top pizzas.

Obviously there are limitless uses for this garlic, so let us know your favorite recipes using Ajo Rojo!

Where to buy Ajo Rojo Garlic

Did you know we sell seeds?

Well you’re in luck, here’s a link to Ajo Rojo we have for sale now:

Ajo Rojo Garlic for sale on SeedWise

Happy growing!

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