Green onions are a popular garnish for dishes like stir-fries, soups, curries, and tacos. Besides adding a pop of flavor and color, scallions are an excellent source of nutrients like beta-carotene, folate, and vitamin C. Learn how to grow green onions indoors to save money and start a fun DIY project.
Green onions—sometimes called scallions, spring onions, or bunching onions—are members of the allium family, along with veggies like onions, shallots, and leeks. They’re one of the easiest plants for growing indoors.
Try one of these approaches for how to grow green onions at home to enjoy a nearly endless supply of green onions for all your cooking needs.
- How to Grow Green Onions at Home
- How to Grow Green Onions at Home: Harvesting
- Are Green Onions the Same as Spring Onions?
How to Grow Green Onions at Home
Growing green onions indoors may be as simple as sticking kitchen scraps in a glass of water or could involve sowing seeds in potting soil. One way to sprout beans is to put them in a damp paper towel in a plastic bag.
Whichever method you choose, make sure to provide enough water and light, but avoid getting the soil soaking wet.
You may be surprised to know that there are many plants you can grow inside. Plant cilantro at home in a pot or garlic. Another favorite is the onion.
There are two main ways to grow green onions indoors: in a cup of water or soil. It’s simpler to use water. However, the plants do not last as long since they run out of nutrients.
Different Propagation Methods for Growing Green Onions Indoors
Just as when you grow veggies indoors of different types, there are several techniques for starting green onion plants inside.
Germination from onion seeds can take one month or more, so this approach is not ideal. It’s faster to grow green onions from seedlings or sets.
Seedlings are young plants that are ready to plant. Green onion seedlings are sometimes available at nurseries or hardware stores. Grow pepper plants inside the same way.
Sets are small onion bulbs sold specifically for planting. Space green onion sets one to two inches apart with their pointy end sticking up.
Probably the most popular propagation method is cutting the root ends off grocery store green onions.
This trick allows you to enjoy homegrown green onions or scallions without purchasing seeds, seedlings, or sets. Make sure to use green onions with numerous thick, healthy-looking roots.
How to Grow Green Onions Indoors in Water
The best way to regrow green onions is to cut the white part of the green onion one to two inches above the roots. Add a little water to a clean jar or glass and insert the green onion cuttings. You want the roots covered but about half of each cutting above water.
Check the water level every few days. If it’s getting too low, add more water to keep the roots submerged. Replace the water once a week or more to keep it fresh. If the roots start to get slimy, change the water more often.
After you follow the way to grow green onions from scraps, expect to see green shoots in a few days. The plants may start to weaken after several weeks as they run out of nutrients. You can either eat the entire plant or transfer it to a pot with soil.
Growing Green Onions Indoors in Soil
Growing in soil lets you enjoy larger plants and a continuous harvest. Improve drainage by inserting a few pebbles at the base of the pot. When you plant onions in a pot, fill the container with well-drained, rich soil.
You can mix in a little compost or organic fertilizer. Poke holes in the potting soil with a pencil or stick. The holes should be approximately one inch apart.
Cut the green onions at least two inches above the roots. Insert the cuttings into the soil so that the roots are buried but the tops of the stems are exposed.
Watering Green Onion Houseplants
Green onions require regular watering due to their shallow root system. Get the soil damp but not soaking wet. Soggy soil encourages bacterial growth and root rot.
Check the soil every few days and water when it starts to feel dry. Empty the tray after watering to prevent the plants from sitting in water.
Light Requirements for Indoor Green Onion Plants
Unlike when growing cherry tomatoes in a pot indoors, these alliums grow best in full sun but can also survive in lower light. In general, a sunny window is a perfect spot. Avoid direct sun if you’re growing the plants in water since that encourages algae growth.
The ideal is six to eight hours of sunlight daily. Plants that receive fewer hours of light still grow but more slowly.
If you do not get enough light naturally, consider using a grow light. Some gardeners recommend rotating the pot every few days to prevent the plants from bending toward the light.
How to Grow Green Onions at Home: Harvesting
Expect to start harvesting your green onions one to two weeks after planting them in water or soil. The best way to harvest green onions is when they have at least a few inches of growth. Use a clean knife or pair of scissors.
Snip off as little or as much of the green part as you like. Note, however, that always cutting off only a little green onion encourages the plant to keep growing larger and larger.
Harvest the green tops approximately every two weeks to give the green onions a chance to regrow between harvests.
If you want to use the white bulb at the bottom, pull out the entire plant. Rinse the onion well and peel off the bulb’s mushy outer skin.
Are Green Onions the Same as Spring Onions?
There is some confusion around green onions’ identity since people sometimes call them different names like scallions or spring onions. Green onions are the same vegetable as scallions and bunching onions.
They are all the result of onions that were harvested early—before a bulb formed—or never grew a bulb in the first place. Scallions and green onions have a long green top and a smooth white bottom that does not bulge.
Spring onions look similar except for the small onion bulb at their base. Gardeners plant the seeds in the fall and harvest the onions in the spring. Spring onions have a more intense flavor than scallions, although less strong than regular onions.
Growing green onions inside your home is a fun, easy project that helps you reduce waste and produce food for your kitchen. Follow our grow-green-onions tips to have the best chance of success.
Place your plants on a sunny windowsill and replace their water regularly, or give potted plants water. Become confident about how to grow green onions indoors to enable you to snip off green onion as needed for recipes.
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