Kathy has been an online writer for over eight years. Her articles focus on everything from childcare to home gardening.
Reduce Waste by Growing Your Own
I love green onions. They are great in salads, tasty on baked potatoes, add zest on top of a steak, are used in many soups, and even work in a variety of dips. Green onions, or scallions, give a nice punch of zesty flavor in almost anything to which they are added. In addition, they have Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and some fiber. They also are a rich source of phytochemicals, which support a healthy immune system.
That being said, whenever I purchase them at the store, they seem to go bad before I’ve gotten the chance to use the whole bunch because they have such a short shelf life. Thanks to a friend of mine, I’ve learned an easy way to grow them myself using kitchen scraps. That’s right! You buy one bunch of green onions for about 50 cents, and you can have a supply of scallions that will last you for over a year. It’s so easy too!
Even if you have a not-so-green thumb, you can grow green onions.
Supplies Needed to Grow Green Onions
- Any pot that is at least six inches deep
- Good, high-quality potting soil
- A bunch of green onions
Considerations Before Planting
When purchasing green onions to plant, you want to make sure they still have their roots intact. The longer the root, the better it will grow. Start by cutting about 1–2 inches off the bottom of each onion. That one inch of white with roots is what you will plant. You know, the part you would just throw away anyway. You are free to use the green part of the onion for whatever you wish. It’s the roots we need to grow onions.
Take your pot and fill it with quality potting soil. Leave a couple of inches at the top, no need to waste that soil. Even the soil out in the pot and you are ready to plant.
Planting Green Onions From Scraps
Honestly, I think you could just shove the green onion root in the pot and you’d get results. They are hardy little suckers. Instead, here is how I grow green onions from scraps.
How to Plant Green Onions Step-by-Step
- Use your finger in the pot to make a hole in the dirt. Make it as deep as the onion root.
- Place the onion root, root side down, into the pot. You’ll need to leave ¼–½ of an inch of the onion showing above the dirt.
- Space your onion roots about 2 inches apart in your pot.
- Water the planted green onion roots thoroughly.
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Then you wait. It won’t take but a day or two for you to start seeing the green onions begin to grow. These suckers grow fast. Within a couple of weeks, they will be ready to harvest.
How to Harvest Green Onions
Just cut it all the way down so that the same ¼–½ of an inch of the root is still showing. That way they will be encouraged again to grow more green onions. Just like when planted they will begin to re-sprout in a few days.
Tips and Tricks for Growing Green Onions
- Green onions need about an inch of water a week to grow. They also like relatively moist soil. So monitor rainfall and water if needed. Since containers dry out quickly in the summer months you may need to douse your container with water daily.
- Green onions also need sun. They will grow in the shade, but their stalks will bend over and not grow straight. They will also reach for the sun. A location that receives several hours of sunlight a day is ideal.
- During the cold winter months, you can grow them indoors if you have a spot that gets plenty of sunlight. Beware though; they also need heat to grow, so right in front of a cold window will keep them from growing indoors.
- Don’t have a container? You can also plant the green onion roots directly into the soil. The only difference is you need to really work the soil before planting, and your crop will die once winter comes.
- Green onions will also grow if you just stick the roots in the glass of water. This is a cute idea, right? Well think again, you have to continually change the water or mold will begin to grow. It will work but is a bit more high maintenance than throwing them in some soil and giving them room to grow.
Green Onion Facts
- Green onions are basically any onion that is harvested before it has gotten the chance to bulb.
- Green onions are a staple in Chinese and Japanese cooking.
- The white onion bulb and the green stem are both edible.
- Green Onions are also known as scallions or spring onions.
- One medium green onion only has about five calories
Easy Dip Recipe with Green Onions
- 8 oz. of cream cheese
- 1 package of Buddig beef
- 2–3 stalks of green onions
- 1 tsp of Worcester sauce
- Soften the cream cheese.
- Finely chop the beef and green onions.
- Once the cream cheese is soft, combine all the ingredients.
- Add a few dashes of garlic powder.
- Let sit in the fridge for a couple of hours.
- Then enjoy spread on crackers...yummy!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Kathy Hull (author) from Bloomington, Illinois on September 15, 2014:
It will get a bit larger, but it never really matures to a big onions. It must be because the onions are constantly being cut so the plant's energy is going to regrowing the stalks rather than growing the bulb size.
Mary Wickison from Brazil on September 15, 2014:
This is so funny, just this weekend a friend was speaking about green onions and how here in Brazil they don't eat the onion part.
I like the idea of this. Does the onion bulb not get any larger?