How to grow your own Green Onions
Some store-bought vegetables are fun and easy to regrow on your own, you just need some basic knowledge and you can potentially have a lot of fun, satisfaction, and save some money because you won’t have to buy them again.
This is true in particular for perennial “cut and come again” varieties, which means you can plant them, cut the part that you need to eat, and they will regrow on their own for several years.
Green onions are one of these perennial species, they are incredibly easy to regrow, and I will share some tricks with you to make the most out of them.
Step 1: Buy some green onions from your local supermarket
What you’re looking for is a healthy green onion that has some roots left (e.g. you need to have the white round part with some roots on it, if the white part has been cut off, the green onion will not regrow!)
Here’s a picture that shows a perfect green onion that fits our purpose:
Step 2: Cut the white stalk so it’s at least 5cm (2 inches) long
This is the part that will re-grow the green leaves , so make sure to leave some structure (5 cm should be enough) as it will need some energy and a healthy root system to produce more.
If you screw up this part and cut the stalk too short, the green onion will die!
Here’s a picture of a good cut:
Step 3: Strengthen the root system by leaving the green onions in water for about a week
The roots work like capital in your investments or the villagers in Age of Empires: they are the ones that absorb nutrients from the surroundings (be it water or soil) and increase the resources the plant system can work with.
Stronger and more numerous roots means the plant will be able to absorb water and nutrients at a faster pace, and will grow stronger, faster and bigger.
This step might not be necessary (you can plant the green onion in soil directly) but this is not efficient as small roots will be very slow to absorb nutrients and the plant will grow slower and less healthy.
Make sure to leave the white stalks submerged in water, and make sure to change the water at least every 2 days, otherwise it might be contaminated by mold or bacteria that can kill your plant.
After a few days, you will notice roots growing exponentially longer and larger, and the plant will start forming some green leaves too!
Here’s a picture of how to prepare this step:
Step 4: Plant in soil
Now that your have a strong root system, it’s time to plant the green onion in soil.
The large roots will absorb water and nutrients very well and give your onion all the necessary minerals it needs from soil.
Please note some tutorials on youtube will tell you that green onions grow just as well in a glass of water: if you have common sense you’ll realize they cannot possibly have all they need with just water and light, the plant needs some minerals that are only found in soil, so if you grow it in water only, it will start to lose flavor and micronutrients very fast.
Green onions don’t need much space in soil, so if you have limited room in your balcony you can plant them just 2-3 inches apart and have several green onions ready for your culinary needs
Pro tip: the pungent onion-like flavor depends on substances rich in sulfur, so if you want to make your green onions more pungent, make sure to add some sulphur to your soil
Here’s what your green onions will look like after 10-15 days:
And there you go! These green onions will keep producing for several years, all you have to do is cut off the green leaves, eat them, then the plant will regrow them over several weeks.
This method is very scalable, as you can just plant as many green onions as you need, and will never have to buy them again!