How To Plant Onion From Onion [ Full Guide ]

Onions are a versatile and essential vegetable, adding flavor to a wide variety of dishes. This humble vegetable also has the potential to be regrown from a single onion, making it a cost-effective and fulfilling gardening project. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss the step-by-step process of planting onions from onions, from selecting the right onion for planting to preparing the soil and caring for your growing onions.

Quick Answer: How To Plant Onion From Onion

To quickly summarize the process, follow these steps:

  1. Selecting the right onion for planting: Look for an onion with a healthy, firm, and undamaged bulb that shows no signs of sprouting.

  2. Preparing the soil for planting: Ensure the soil is well-draining, loose, and rich in organic matter. Make sure to provide sufficient sunlight and water for the onions.

  3. Choosing the right location for planting: Onions thrive in sunny locations with well-drained soil, so pick a spot that receives at least 6-8 hours of sunlight and has good air circulation.

Now, let’s take an in-depth look at each of these steps.

Selecting The Right Onion For Planting

Selecting the right onion for planting is crucial for successful regrowth. When choosing an onion for planting, look for a healthy, firm bulb that is free of soft spots, mold, or damage. The onion should be mature and not sprouting, as sprouted onions are more likely to bolt rather than produce a good bulb.

It’s important to plant the right type of onion for your climate. There are short-day, long-day, and day-neutral onion varieties. Short-day onions are best for southern regions, long-day onions are well-suited to northern areas, and day-neutral onions can be grown in a wide range of climates.

How to Prepare the Onion for Planting:

  1. Trim the roots and any dried or shriveled outer layers from the onion, leaving about half an inch of the base intact.
  2. Additionally, if there is any remaining sprouted green shoot, it should be removed as well.
  3. Once trimmed, the onion is ready for planting.

Preparing The Soil For Planting

Onions thrive in loose, well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. They prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.5. Here’s how to prepare the soil for planting onions:

Soil Preparation Steps:

  1. Loosen the Soil: Use a garden fork or tiller to loosen the soil to a depth of at least 6 inches. This will help the onion roots to penetrate the soil easily.
  2. Add Organic Matter: Incorporate well-rotted compost or aged manure into the soil to improve its fertility and structure.
  3. Level the Soil: Smooth out the soil surface with a rake to create a level planting bed.
  4. Create Rows or Raised Beds: For traditional planting, create rows spaced 12-18 inches apart. Alternatively, you can plant onions in raised beds to improve drainage and soil warmth.

Choosing The Right Location For Planting

Selecting the right location is essential for successful onion growth. Onions require plenty of sunlight, good air circulation, and well-drained soil. Here’s how to choose the right location for planting onions:

Location Selection Criteria:

  1. Sunlight: Choose a spot that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day. Onions thrive in full sun and may not develop bulbs properly in shaded areas.
  2. Air Circulation: Plant onions in an area with good air movement to prevent diseases such as onion white rot and downy mildew.
  3. Soil Drainage: Ensure the planting area has well-drained soil. Onions are susceptible to rot in waterlogged conditions, so avoid planting in low-lying areas that collect water.
  4. Avoiding Competition: Plant onions away from competing plants, especially those with dense foliage that could shade the onions.

Planting The Onions

Once you have selected the right onion and prepared the soil and location, it’s time to plant the onions. Here’s a step-by-step guide to planting onions from onions:

Step-by-Step Planting Process:

  1. Make Furrows or Holes: Using a hoe or your hands, create furrows or holes in the prepared soil, spaced 4-6 inches apart. The rows can be 12-18 inches apart, depending on the variety and the space available.
  2. Planting Depth: Place the prepared onion bulbs in the furrows or holes, leaving the tip of the bulb just at or slightly above the soil surface. If using sets or small onions, they can be planted slightly deeper – about 1 inch.
  3. Spacing: Space the onions according to the recommended spacing for the specific variety. Generally, they should be planted 4-6 inches apart within the row.
  4. Cover and Water: Gently cover the onions with soil and press down to ensure good soil-to-bulb contact. Water the newly planted onions thoroughly to settle the soil and initiate growth.

Caring For Growing Onions

Caring for your growing onions is essential for a successful harvest. Here are some important tasks to keep in mind:

Watering: Onions require consistent moisture, especially during bulb formation. Aim to provide around 1 inch of water per week, either through rainfall or irrigation.

Weed Control: Keep the onion beds free from weeds, as competition for nutrients and space can hinder the growth of the onion bulbs.

Fertilization: Apply a balanced fertilizer when the onion plants have developed a well-established root system. Nitrogen is an important nutrient for onion growth, but be careful not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to excessive leaf growth at the expense of bulb development.

Thinning: If the onions are planted too closely, thin them when the plants are around 6 inches tall to provide adequate space for bulb development.

Pest and Disease Management: Keep an eye out for common onion pests such as thrips and onion maggots, as well as diseases like onion white rot. Practice good garden hygiene and consider using organic pest control methods where necessary.

Planting onions from onions is a rewarding and cost-effective way to grow your own fresh produce. By selecting the right onion, preparing the soil, choosing a suitable location, and providing proper care, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of homegrown onions. Whether you’re a novice gardener or an experienced enthusiast, growing onions from onions can be a fulfilling and environmentally friendly endeavor. With the comprehensive guide provided, you are well-equipped to embark on this journey and enjoy the fruits – or shall we say, bulbs – of your labor.

Tips For Planting Onion Sets

Onions are a versatile and popular vegetable that can enhance the flavor of various dishes. While you can purchase onion sets or bulbs from nurseries or garden centers, did you know that you can also plant onions using the bulbs you already have at home? This process is known as planting onion from onion, and it can be an easy and cost-effective way to grow your own supply of onions.

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One of the easiest ways to grow onions from onions is by using onion sets. Onion sets are small, immature onions that have been grown from seeds during the previous season and stored for planting in the following year. Here are some tips to keep in mind when using onion sets for planting:

  1. Choosing onion sets: Select firm and healthy-looking onion sets for planting. Avoid sets that are mushy, discolored, or have signs of disease or damage.

  2. Preparing the soil: Onions prefer well-drained soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. Before planting, prepare the soil by removing any weeds and loosening it with a garden fork. It is recommended to mix in compost or well-rotted manure to improve soil fertility.

  3. Planting depth: Onion sets should be planted with the tips just above the soil surface. Dig a small hole, around 1-2 inches deep, and place the set in the hole with the root end facing downwards.

  4. Spacing: Onion sets should be spaced approximately 4-6 inches apart. Ensure that there is enough room for the bulbs to mature and expand without overcrowding each other.

  5. Covering the sets: Once the onion sets are in place, gently cover them with soil, ensuring that only the tips are exposed. Firmly press down the soil to eliminate any air pockets.

  6. Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as straw or shredded leaves, around the onion sets. Mulching helps retain moisture in the soil, suppresses weed growth, and regulates soil temperature.

  7. Watering: After planting, water the onion sets thoroughly to settle the soil around the bulbs. Onions require consistent moisture, so continue to water them regularly, especially during dry spells.

  8. Weeding: Keep the onion bed weed-free to reduce competition for nutrients and ensure healthy onion growth. Take care when weeding not to disturb the onion sets or their shallow root systems.

  9. Pest and disease control: Be vigilant for common onion pests such as onion thrips and onion maggots. Applying organic insecticides or using companion planting techniques can help control these pests. Additionally, practice crop rotation to prevent the buildup of soil-borne diseases.

Tips For Planting Onion Bulbs

Planting onions from bulbs is another method you can use to grow onions from onions. Onion bulbs are mature onions that have been allowed to flower and produce seeds. Here are some tips to follow when planting onion bulbs:

  1. Selecting onion bulbs: Choose large, healthy-looking bulbs for planting. Look for bulbs that are firm, have dry outer skin, and no signs of disease or rot.

  2. Preparing the soil: Like onion sets, onion bulbs prefer well-drained soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. Prepare the soil by removing weeds and incorporating organic matter to enhance fertility and drainage.

  3. Planting depth: Onion bulbs should be planted with the pointed end facing upwards, slightly below the soil surface. Dig a hole that is deep enough for the bulb to be fully covered, usually around 1-2 inches deep.

  4. Spacing: Onion bulbs should be spaced approximately 4-6 inches apart to allow room for proper bulb development. Adequate spacing also reduces competition for nutrients and minimizes the risk of disease spread.

  5. Covering the bulbs: Once the bulbs are in the planting hole, gently cover them with soil, ensuring that the tip is just below the surface. Press down the soil lightly to eliminate air pockets.

  6. Mulching: Apply a layer of mulch around the planted bulbs to conserve moisture and suppress weed growth. Avoid mulching directly over the bulbs to prevent rotting.

  7. Watering: Water the onion bulbs immediately after planting to ensure good soil contact and help them establish their roots. Check the soil moisture regularly and water as needed to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.

  8. Weeding: Regularly remove weeds from the onion bed to prevent them from competing with the bulbs for nutrients and water. Be careful not to disturb the bulbs or their shallow root systems while weeding.

  9. Sunlight requirements: Onions require full sun exposure for at least 6-8 hours a day. Ensure that the planting location provides adequate sunlight for healthy growth and bulb formation.

Caring For Newly Planted Onions

Whether you choose to plant onion sets or bulbs, it is essential to provide proper care to ensure successful growth and onion development. Here are some important care tips for newly planted onions:

  1. Thinning: If you plant onion sets in close proximity, you may need to thin the seedlings to ensure adequate space for bulb growth. Thin the onions when they reach a height of around 3-4 inches, removing the weaker seedlings to promote the development of larger bulbs.

  2. Frost protection: Onions are generally frost-tolerant, but a severe frost can damage the tops and delay bulb formation. If a late spring frost is expected, cover the onion bed with a frost blanket or row cover to provide protection.

  3. Mulching: Mulching not only helps retain moisture and suppress weeds but also regulates soil temperature. Applying a layer of mulch around the onions can keep the soil cool during hot summer months and insulate the bulbs during colder periods.

  4. Fertilizing: Onions are moderate feeders and benefit from regular fertilization. Apply a balanced organic fertilizer, such as 10-10-10 or 5-10-10, according to package instructions. Avoid high nitrogen fertilizers as they can encourage excessive foliage growth at the expense of bulb development.

  5. Disease monitoring: Keep an eye out for common onion diseases such as onion downy mildew, onion white rot, and onion smut. If you notice any signs of disease, promptly remove and destroy the affected plants to prevent further spread.

  6. Harvesting time: The time it takes for onions to mature can vary depending on the variety and growing conditions. Generally, onions are ready for harvest when the tops have turned brown and fallen over. Gently lift the bulbs from the soil using a garden fork, being careful not to damage them.

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Watering And Fertilizing Onion Plants

Watering and fertilizing are crucial aspects of onion plant care, as they directly impact the growth and development of the bulbs. Here are some specific guidelines for watering and fertilizing onion plants:

  1. Watering frequency: Onions require regular watering, especially during dry periods or when the soil feels dry to the touch. Aim to provide about 1 inch of water per week, either through rainfall or irrigation. Allow the topsoil to dry out slightly between watering to prevent waterlogged conditions.

  2. Watering method: To ensure efficient water use, consider using drip irrigation or a soaker hose. These methods deliver water directly to the soil, reducing water loss through evaporation and minimizing moisture on the leaves, which can encourage fungal diseases.

  3. Fertilizer application: Onions benefit from a balanced fertilizer application throughout their growth cycle. Apply fertilizer when the onion plants are about 6 inches tall, using a nitrogen-rich, slow-release fertilizer. Follow the package instructions for the recommended amount to apply per square foot of planting area.

  4. Side-dressing: A few weeks after planting, you can provide additional nutrients to the onion plants by side-dressing with compost or a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Apply the fertilizer in a band along each side of the row, keeping it a few inches away from the plants. Avoid direct contact between the fertilizer and the onion foliage.

  5. Fertilizing frequency: Repeat the side-dressing with compost or nitrogen fertilizer every 4-6 weeks throughout the growing season to promote healthy growth and bulb development. Avoid excessive nitrogen application, as it can lead to oversized green tops and smaller bulbs.

  6. Leaf yellowing: Towards the end of the growing season, the onion plant’s leaves may start to turn yellow and die back naturally. This is a sign that the bulbs are maturing. Decrease watering at this stage to allow the plants to prepare for harvest.

Planting onion from onion can be a rewarding and cost-effective way to grow your own supply of this versatile vegetable. Whether you choose to plant onion sets or bulbs, following proper planting techniques and providing adequate care will help ensure successful growth and development of your onion crop. Remember to choose healthy and high-quality onion sets or bulbs, prepare the soil properly, provide sufficient watering and fertilization, and monitor for pests and diseases. With patience and the right conditions, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of fresh, homegrown onions.

Dealing With Common Onion Planting Issues

Onions are a versatile and widely used vegetable in cooking. They come in various shapes, sizes, and colors and are known for their pungent flavor and distinct aroma. While you can easily buy onions from the grocery store, it is also possible to grow them at home from onion scraps. This not only saves money but allows you to control the quality of the onions you consume.

Before we delve into planting onions from onion scraps, it’s important to understand and address some common issues that arise when planting onions.

  1. Bolting: Bolting refers to when onions prematurely send up a flower stalk instead of forming a bulb. This typically happens due to exposure to prolonged cold temperatures, inconsistent watering, or planting onions during the wrong season. To prevent bolting, choose onion varieties that are suited for your climate and ensure consistent watering throughout the growing season.

  2. Diseases and Pests: Onions are susceptible to various diseases and pests, such as onion maggots and fungal infections. To minimize the risk of diseases and pests, practice crop rotation and avoid planting onions in areas where they were grown in the previous year. Additionally, remove any weeds around your onion plants and monitor them regularly for signs of infestation or disease.

  3. Soil Preparation: Onions prefer loose, well-draining soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.5. Before planting onions, make sure to prepare the soil by removing any rocks, weeds, or debris. Incorporate organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to improve soil fertility and drainage.

Harvesting And Storing Onions

Once your onions have reached maturity, it’s time to harvest them. Here are some tips for harvesting and storing onions:

  1. Timing: Onions are typically ready for harvest when the tops have started to dry and bend over. Avoid leaving them in the ground for too long, as overripe onions may spoil or become susceptible to disease.

  2. Gentle Handling: Carefully lift the onions from the ground using a garden fork or shovel. Be gentle to avoid damaging the delicate outer layers. Leave the tops attached to the onions, as they will help with the curing process.

  3. Curing: Onions need to be cured before storage to allow the outer layers to dry and protect the inner flesh. Spread the onions out in a well-ventilated area, ensuring they are not touching each other. Allow them to cure for two to three weeks or until the necks are completely dry.

  4. Storage: After curing, trim off the tops and roots, leaving about an inch of the neck attached. Store the onions in a cool, dry, and dark place, such as a basement or pantry. You can also hang them in mesh bags or braid the tops together for convenient storage.

Using Onion Scraps To Regrow Onions

If you have leftover onion scraps, such as the bottom root end or the onion bulb itself, you can use them to regrow onions. While regrown onions may not yield as large or full bulbs as those grown from sets or seeds, it can still be a rewarding and fun process.

Here’s how you can regrow onions from scraps:

  1. Root End Method: Cut off the bottom root end of an onion, leaving about half an inch to an inch of the onion intact. Plant the root end directly into the soil in your garden or a pot filled with well-draining soil. Ensure the root end is facing downward and cover it with about an inch of soil. Water the soil regularly to keep it moist, but not overly saturated.

  2. Water Method: Take the root end of an onion and place it in a small container, such as a glass or jar. Fill the container with enough water to cover the root end. Place the container in a sunny location and change the water every few days to prevent stagnation. After a couple of weeks, you will notice new green shoots emerging from the top of the onion. Once these shoots are about 4-6 inches tall, you can transplant the onion into soil.

  3. Regrowing from Onion Bulb: If you have a partially used onion bulb with intact layers, you can plant it directly into the soil. Choose a spot in your garden or a pot with well-draining soil. Make a small hole and place the onion bulb in the hole, ensuring the root end is facing downward. Cover the bulb with soil, leaving the tip of the bulb exposed. Water the soil regularly to provide moisture to the onion bulb.

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Growing Onions Indoors From Onion Scraps

If you have limited outdoor space or want to have a constant supply of fresh onions throughout the year, you can also grow onions indoors using onion scraps. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Container Selection: Choose a container that is at least 6-8 inches deep and has drainage holes at the bottom. This will ensure proper drainage and prevent the onions from becoming waterlogged.

  2. Soil Preparation: Fill the container with well-draining potting soil. You can mix in some compost or organic matter to improve soil fertility. Leave about an inch of space at the top of the container.

  3. Planting Onion Bulbs: Take the partially used onion bulbs with intact layers and gently press them into the soil, leaving the tips of the bulbs exposed. Space the bulbs about an inch apart to allow room for growth.

  4. Watering and Light: Water the soil thoroughly after planting the onion bulbs. Make sure the soil is consistently moist, but not soggy. Place the container in a location that receives at least 6-8 hours of sunlight each day. If sunlight is limited, you can supplement with a grow light to ensure proper growth.

  5. Maintenance: Keep the soil evenly moist throughout the growing season. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot. Fertilize the onions with a balanced liquid fertilizer once a month to provide them with nutrients.

  6. Harvesting: Indoor-grown onions may take longer to reach maturity compared to outdoor-grown onions. Once the tops start to dry and bend over, it is time to harvest. Gently lift the onions out of the container, being careful not to damage the roots or bulbs.


Growing onions from onion scraps is an easy and rewarding way to have a fresh supply of onions at your fingertips. Whether you choose to plant them directly in the garden, regrow them from onion scraps, or grow them indoors, with the right care and attention, you can enjoy homegrown onions that are bursting with flavor. Remember to address common onion planting issues, properly harvest and store your onions, and experiment with different methods to find what works best for you. Happy onion gardening!


How Do I Plant An Onion From An Onion?

To plant an onion from an onion, follow these steps:

  1. Choose an onion: Select a healthy onion with firm, dry skin for planting.
  2. Prep the onion: Cut off the root end of the onion, leaving about 1 inch of the bottom intact. Remove the top of the onion, leaving about 1 inch of the stem attached.
  3. Prepare the soil: Choose a well-drained area with full sun exposure. Loosen the soil and add organic matter for better drainage.
  4. Plant the onion: Using your finger, create a small hole in the soil and place the onion bottom-down with the cut end facing up. Cover the onion with soil, leaving the stem exposed.
  5. Water and fertilize: Water the soil thoroughly to promote root growth and growth of the onion bulb. Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer every two weeks.
  6. Mulch and maintain: Add a layer of mulch around the onion to retain moisture and suppress weeds. Keep the soil consistently moist, but avoid overwatering.
  7. Harvest: Onions can be harvested when the tops start to yellow and flop over. Carefully use a digging fork to lift the onion out of the ground.

When Is The Best Time To Plant An Onion From An Onion?

Onions are typically planted in the early spring, as soon as the ground is workable. However, onions can also be planted in the fall for a late spring/early summer harvest. In warmer climates, onions can be planted in the winter for a spring harvest.

Can I Use Any Type Of Onion To Plant From An Onion?

Yes, any type of onion can be used to plant from an onion, as long as it is a healthy, firm onion with dry skin. However, it is recommended to use a variety of onion that is suited for your specific climate and growing conditions.

How Often Do I Need To Water My Onion Plant?

Onions need consistent moisture, but overwatering can cause the bulbs to rot. Water the soil thoroughly once a week, and more frequently during hot and dry periods. Make sure the soil is well-drained to prevent waterlogged conditions.

How Long Does It Take For An Onion Plant To Grow And Be Ready For Harvest?

Onions can take anywhere from 90 to 120 days to mature, depending on the variety and growing conditions. You can start harvesting green onions as soon as they reach a desired size, but for full-sized onion bulbs, wait until the tops start to yellow and flop over.