How to Grow Green Onions (A Quick Guide)

Green onions (Allium fistulosum) (also known as spring onions, scallions, or shallots) are a multipurpose vegetable that can be used in many different dishes to add a zesty flavor. They are easy to grow and require little maintenance. 

A close up of a green onion growing in the garden.

Let’s learn everything you need to know about growing green onions — from the best soil conditions and temperature requirements to tips on harvesting and storage practices. Whether you’re an experienced gardener looking for another crop to add life to your garden or a beginner interested in starting a new gardening project, this guide will give you the knowledge necessary to succeed!

When to plant

For a summer yield, green onions are best sown in the spring. In regions where green onions thrive as perennials, they can be picked continuously without needing to be replanted.

Where to plant

If you’re planting in the ground, pick a location in your garden that has good drainage and is sunny. They thrive in containers as well. Keep weeds away from green onions to prevent competition for nutrients and soil moisture. Mulch can act as a barrier against weed growth.

How to plant

Plant seeds at a depth of about 1/4 inch, and seedlings at the same depth as in their previous container. Plants should be placed in rows that are 1 to 2 feet apart, generally 2 to 3 feet apart. Usually, a support structure is not required.

Taking care of green onions

  • Light: They can tolerate some shade. But in full sun, which is at least six hours of direct sunshine on most days, they grow and maintain their healthiest state.
  • Water: As soon as the soil begins to dry out, constant watering is required because green onions have a shallow root system. Consistently moist but not saturated soil is ideal.
  • Soil: Add compost to the soil around 6 to 8 inches deep to promote growth. Green onions like rich and sandy loam with sharp drainage and a soil pH ranging from slightly acidic to neutral.
  • Temperature: The soil should be at least 45 degrees for green onion seeds to grow, however, warmer is preferable. The ideal growing range for the plants is between 68 and 78 degrees.
  • Humidity: They do not mind humid environments as long as there is excellent drainage to prevent rot and other illnesses.
Regrowing green onion in a glass cup with water.

Do green onions grow better in water or soil?

Growing in water gives abundant amounts of growth with a long onion leaf, but you will not have a bulb similar to what you would get with soil-planted onions. Onions planted in the ground reach their full potential as bulbs and have a more intense flavor than those grown in water; however, they can also be quite a labor-intensive. Ultimately, whether or not green onions are grown in water or in the soil is up to the individual gardener’s tastes and goals.

How long does it take for green onions to grow?

It generally takes about 10 weeks for green onions to reach maturity from the time of planting. During this time, you will need to ensure that your soil is well-drained and fertile and the temperature remains between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. As the plants grow, fertilizer should be applied every two weeks and cut back as they mature. The final step before harvest is thinning out young plants so that those remaining have room to mature properly without overcrowding each other.

Can you grow onions from store-bought green onions?

Growing onions from store-bought green ones is an easy, cost-effective way to enjoy versatile vegetables. All you need is a bundle of green onions, soil, and a pot or garden with well-drained soil. 

Simply take the root ends of the green onions and bury them in the dirt. The greens will quickly sprout, and you’ll be able to harvest onions within a few weeks. You can store them by either drying them or freezing them as they get bigger – this method also means that you don’t have to buy separate onion sets or seedlings when starting your own garden! 

How many times can you regrow green onions?

It is amazing that green onions can be regrown multiple times in your kitchen! All you need are the limp, white-tipped ends of green onions. You should be able to regrow your green onions up to six times before harvesting the whole root.

After cutting those off, you can place them in a shallow bowl with some water, and they will start regaining in just a few days. Move the bowl to a sunny location if possible, and change the water every couple of days. Once the tops have grown 6 inches, you can snip them off again for more delicious green onions! 

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