Can I plant an onion?

I am only planting a few things in the garden this year b/c time to weed it and keep up with it is just isnt’ there lately.
That said I have a bag of onions that must have been old when I bought them and they are growing - seriously there are green shoots coming out the top and new roots out the bottom. Can I plant them in the garden and grow onions???

Maybe. I’d just use the shoots from the onions, as they are.


It probably depends on how big they are. If the onions are as big as a baseball, I wouldn’t plant them. If they are small bulbs (maybe the size of a ping pong ball or smaller), give it a shot! Good luck with your gardening! :hug:

KG :wink:

DH said he’s not sure, but it’s worth a try. He just planted seeds and they came up easily.

Yes you can plant them, they will grow and the flowers look something like a dandelion. Collecting the seeds from onion flowers can be tricky. I’ve never managed to collect the seeds, though I have tried.

We grow onions every year, but we almost always have some left over that didn’t get used. They start sprouting in the spring, so we replant them.

They are best used as green onions because they will multiply (no problem with that unless you want big bulbs) and bloom early as Charlotte pointed out. You can use the bulb part, too, but you probably need to make sure it doesn’t have a hard, woody center (just cut that part out and use the rest).

To gather the seeds, wait until the blooms are dry and then snip them off and toss the blooms into a Ziplock bag. You should then be able to shake out the seeds and remove the rest of the plant.

I’ve heard of people using garlic seeds for seasoning, but I’m never used onion seeds. A quick search online shows that onion seeds (nigella) are toasted and used in Indian dishes.

And, of course, you can plant the seeds next year. Just be sure to start them way earlier than you do most spring seed crops. In fact, you might want to look up the kind of onion you have and the best planting time for your area for it. I know around here you have to plant onions in the fall to get them for the next summer.

Thank you for all the replies. I read a few gardening blogs and it would seem the only thing I will grow by planting my onion is an onion flower. The seeds from which will potentially grow onions.
I may just set in some water and let it root in the kitchen window and use the greens. My son (almost 3) does not like onions (if only he knew how many he eats w/out knowing) and is convinced that if I plant it in the garden it will ruin his pumpkins, cucumbers and tomatoes. So worried in fact that there were tears.

Poor little guy! The things we do for kids…but they’re worth it!

I had onions go to seed and they were IMO pretty. I had onions coming up every year for the rest of the time I was there and I purposely let them go to seed. After I left my planting beds were planted with grass and I’ve wondered if they still have onions coming up.

I did not like zucchini as a kid, but I ate them a lot without knowing (until I was a grown-up.)

You can always put them in a flowerbed. The flower heads are really pretty (I grew them for years and never had the heart to dig them up :wink: .) That way, they won’t contaminate his tomatoes:) .

The tops are good for greens. For that matter, when you cook with onions, if you leave even a bit behind when you cut off the root end–the books say half an inch, but it doesn’t have to be that much–, you can sock it in potting soil and you get another onion. As long as you keep giving it dirt to make more onion out of, you can keep using the plant.