Growing Green Onions At Home (A Simple Guide)

Growing green onions at home is an easy way to have a year-round supply of this tasty herb without much of a hassle.

You can propagate them using root cuttings. However, seeds are the most efficient method to ensure a consistent supply.

growing green onion in garden

In this article, you will learn how to grow green onions from seeds and some tips on growing green onions in pots using either seeds and cuttings. 

How To Grow Green Onions From Seed (Step By Step)

Before we get started, I must clarify that green onions are grown primarily for their leaves. They are often mistaken for scallions and used similarly. 

However, they do not create bunches, yet prefer to grow intensively. With this in mind, let’s look at the steps.

1 . Select A Sunny Location

Green onions are cool weather, sun-loving herbs that require 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day. 

As a result, you need to choose a well-lit location in your garden that is free from trees or other large objects. 

That said, shaded plants tend to grow weaker and attempt to flower before producing many leaves.

green onion growing in garden

2. Sow Seeds In A Seedling tray

You can sow green onion seeds directly into the soil. However, I prefer to start them in seedling trays or cups, then transplant the sets. To do so:

  • Fill your seedling tray with a moist potting mix and pat gently to remove excess air pockets. 
  • Remove about ¼ inch of potting mix from the cell and sprinkle 5 to 8 seeds each.
  • Cover with a thin layer of moist potting mix and press gently. 
  • Water the cells and place the tray in a cool, dark spot until the seeds germinate in one to two weeks. 

You need to monitor the trays carefully and remove seedlings from the shaded area at the first sign of sprouting.

green onion seeds

3. Transplant Green Onion Seedlings

Green onion seedlings are ready to transplant about 3 to 4 weeks after germinating. You can plant them in the soil or containers.

Green onions grow best in fertile, moist, well-drained soil. So, unless you have sandy-loam soil, you must amend it with compost or other organic material to help keep it moist and loose. 

Dig holes that are large enough for the seedling plugs to fit, spacing them about 4 to 6 inches apart.

Place the seedling into the hole and cover the roots with soil. Then add some  mulch around the seedlings and water thoroughly.

green onion seedlings in tray

4. Water Seedling To Keep Soil Moist

Green onions love water so much that you can grow them directly in it. However, soggy soil can create the perfect conditions for harmful organisms to multiply.

As a result, you should ensure that your soil drains well and water your green onion plants at least once per week, adjusting the frequency based on the soil type and temperature.

Add mulch to help retain water and keep the soil cool during dry spells. This will also save a lot of water and unnecessary trips to the water source.

5. Harvest Green Onions Whenever You Wish

Green onions are ready to harvest about 60 days after transplanting. However, you can start harvesting their leaves before they reach maturity.

You can snip off an outer leaf or two whenever you desire, leaving the rest of the plant to develop.

how to keep green onions fresh

Once the plant matures, you can harvest green onions by trimming to about an inch over the ground or uprooting the entire plant. Don’t worry, there are several ways to keep green onions fresh.

You will notice new growth from the rooted section that remains in the ground, which you can harvest again in a couple of weeks.

Ideally, you should replant the lower root section of the uprooted plant. This also regrows, setting up the stage for a never-ending supply of green onions.

Tips For Growing Green Onions In Containers

Green onions can grow quickly in containers so long as they receive enough sunlight, nutrients, and moisture.

Place the container in a well-lit area such as a balcony, rooftop, or window sill, if grown indoors.

Start your plants from seeds, but ensure that you replant the leftover cutting as you harvest. These are ideal for container gardening.

green onion seedlings

Green onions grow best in fertile, well-drained potting mix. Still, they can also be propagated in water and grown in hydroponic systems.

Since their roots are relatively shallow, you can use just about any container, from plastic bottles to whisky barrels.

Amend your container soil with compost or other organic material to provide a constant supply of nutrients. 

Keep growing media moist, and ensure proper drainage, so that the container drains quickly. 

potting mix and compost

Related Questions

How long do green onions take to grow?

Green onions take about 60 days to grow from seed to harvest and about 40 to 50 days if grown from sets of seedlings.

How many times can you regrow green onions?

Green onions can regrow almost indefinitely when grown from harvested root cuttings. However, plants that are trimmed and left in the ground tend to become thinner over time.

What is the best way to grow green onions?

The best way to grow green onions is in cool, fertile, well-drained soil, with access to  6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily.   

Do green onions grow better in water or soil?

Green onions grow better in soil than in water. They grow larger with more intense flavor, especially if they experience brief dry spells.

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About Julien

Julien Kirton is the founder and main content creator at Micro Farm Guide. He has over 10 years experience in small-scale farming, and enjoys helping people build productive backyard farms using natural farming and other sustainable techniques.