How To Plant Scallion [ Full Guide ]

Scallions, also known as green onions, are a versatile and flavorful addition to any garden or kitchen. These onion relatives are easy to grow, making them a popular choice for home gardeners. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, planting scallions can be a rewarding and relatively hassle-free experience. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the step-by-step process of planting scallions, including selecting the right variety, choosing the perfect planting location, preparing the soil, sowing the seeds, and more.

Quick Answer: How To Plant Scallion

  1. Choosing the Right Scallion Variety: Decide on the type of scallion you want to cultivate, considering factors like flavor, size, and climate suitability.
  2. Selecting a Suitable Planting Location: Ensure the chosen area receives ample sunlight and has well-draining soil.
  3. Preparing the Soil for Scallion Cultivation: Enhance the soil with compost and ensure it is loose and fertile.
  4. Sowing Scallion Seeds: Plant the seeds at the appropriate depth and spacing, keeping them adequately watered.

Choosing The Right Scallion Variety

Before you start planting scallions, it’s crucial to select a variety that’s best suited for your growing conditions and culinary preferences. There are numerous scallion varieties to choose from, each with unique characteristics in terms of flavor, size, and adaptability to different climates. Here are some popular scallion varieties to consider:

1. Evergreen Hardy White (L. fistulosum)

  • Characteristics: This variety is known for its hardiness and resistance to cold temperatures, making it suitable for cooler climates. Its white stalks and green tops are flavorful and versatile in cooking.
  • Sowing Time: Evergreen Hardy White scallions can be sown in early spring or early fall.

2. Beltsville Bunching (L. fistulosum)

  • Characteristics: Beltsville Bunching scallions have a mild flavor and long, tender leaves. This variety is known for its uniformity in size and shape.
  • Sowing Time: They can be sown throughout the growing season, but are best planted in early spring or late summer.

3. Deep Purple (L. fistulosum)

  • Characteristics: As the name suggests, Deep Purple scallions have vibrant purple stems and green leaves. They add visual interest to dishes and have a subtly spicy flavor.
  • Sowing Time: These scallions can be sown in early spring for a summer harvest.

4. White Lisbon (L. cepa)

  • Characteristics: White Lisbon scallions are a common variety with a mild, sweet flavor. They have slender white stalks and are quick to mature.
  • Sowing Time: Plant White Lisbon scallions in early spring for a summer harvest.

When choosing a scallion variety, consider your local climate and the intended use of the scallions in your cuisine. Some types may be better suited to cooler or warmer climates, while others may have unique flavors or appearances that cater to specific culinary preferences.

Selecting A Suitable Planting Location

Scallions thrive in well-drained soil and full sunlight, so it’s essential to select a suitable planting location that meets these requirements. Here’s how to find the perfect spot for planting your scallions:

Sunlight Requirements

  • Full Sun: Choose a location that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily. Scallions benefit from ample sunlight to grow strong, healthy stalks.

Soil Drainage

  • Well-Draining Soil: Ensure that the planting area has soil with good drainage. Standing water can lead to root rot and other issues, so it’s crucial to avoid waterlogged soil.

Ph Level

  • Optimal pH: Test the soil pH to ensure it falls within the range of 6.0 to 7.0, which is ideal for scallion cultivation. If necessary, amend the soil to achieve the desired pH level.

Container Planting

  • Container Option: If you have limited garden space, scallions can also be grown in containers. Choose a container that is at least 6 inches deep and provides adequate drainage.

Whether you’re planting directly in the ground or in containers, ensuring that the location offers sufficient sunlight and well-drained soil is essential for the success of your scallion crop.

Preparing The Soil For Scallion Cultivation

Preparing the soil is a crucial step in ensuring the optimal growth and development of scallions. The soil should be fertile, well-aerated, and rich in organic matter to provide the necessary nutrients for the scallions to thrive. Follow these steps to prepare the soil for scallion cultivation:

Soil Testing

  • Test the pH: Use a soil test kit to determine the pH of the soil. The ideal pH for scallions is slightly acidic to neutral (6.0 to 7.0).

Soil Amendment

  • Add Organic Matter: Incorporate well-aged compost or organic matter into the soil to improve its texture and fertility. Work the compost into the soil to a depth of at least 6-8 inches.

Soil Texture

  • Loose Soil: Ensure that the soil is loose and well-aerated. Compacted soil can hinder root growth and lead to stunted scallion growth.


  • Balanced Fertilizer: Prior to planting, apply a balanced fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s instructions to provide essential nutrients for the scallions.

By taking the time to prepare the soil properly, you can create an optimal growing environment for your scallions, promoting healthy growth and a bountiful harvest.

Sowing Scallion Seeds

Once you’ve selected the right scallion variety, chosen a suitable planting location, and prepared the soil, it’s time to sow the scallion seeds. Sowing scallion seeds is a straightforward process, but it requires attention to detail to ensure successful germination and growth.

Seed Spacing And Depth

  • Seed Spacing: Sow the seeds 1 inch apart in rows that are spaced 12-18 inches apart. This spacing allows for adequate air circulation and room for the scallions to develop.

  • Seed Depth: Plant the seeds no deeper than one-fourth to one-half inch in the soil. Ensuring proper seed depth is crucial for successful germination.

RELATED  How To Plant Sedum In Ground [ Full Guide ]

Germination Conditions

  • Moisture: Keep the soil consistently moist during the germination period. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to rotting of the seeds.

  • Temperature: The ideal temperature for germinating scallion seeds is between 60°F and 70°F. Ensure that the planting area maintains a consistent temperature within this range.


  • Thinning Out Seedlings: Once the scallion seedlings have emerged and developed a few leaves, thin them to ensure proper spacing. Thin the seedlings to 3-4 inches apart to allow for healthy growth.


  • Weeding and Watering: Regularly water the scallion plants to keep the soil evenly moist. Additionally, remove any weeds that compete for nutrients and moisture.


  • Harvest Time: Depending on the variety, scallions can be harvested when they reach a desirable size, typically 60-90 days after sowing.

By following these steps and providing the necessary care, you can ensure that your scallions develop into flavorful, healthy plants ready for harvesting.

Planting scallions is a satisfying and relatively simple endeavor that can offer a rewarding yield of fresh, flavorful green onions. By selecting the right scallion variety, choosing a suitable planting location, preparing the soil, and sowing the seeds with care, you can create an ideal environment for the growth of scallions. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a novice enthusiast, the steps outlined in this guide can help you cultivate a thriving crop of scallions, adding a delicious and versatile ingredient to your culinary endeavors. Happy planting!

Transplanting Scallion Seedlings

Scallions, also known as green onions or spring onions, are a versatile and flavorful vegetable that can be easily grown in both the garden and containers. They are widely used in various cuisines around the world and are considered an essential ingredient in many dishes. Planting scallions is relatively easy, and with proper care and attention, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of these delicious onions.

To start growing scallions, you have two options: planting seeds directly into the ground or transplanting seedlings. Transplanting seedlings tends to be more common as it allows for better control over the planting process and ensures a higher rate of germination. Here is how you can transplant scallion seedlings:

  1. Start by preparing a well-drained garden bed or containers with loose, fertile soil. Scallions prefer soil that is rich in organic matter.
  2. Fill seedling trays or pots with a seed-starting mix, and sow scallion seeds about ¼ inch deep. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.
  3. Place the trays or pots in a warm location with sufficient sunlight. Scallion seeds typically germinate within 7-10 days.
  4. After the seedlings have grown to about 2-3 inches in height, they are ready to be transplanted into the garden or larger containers.
  5. Choose a cloudy day or transplant in the evening to minimize stress on the seedlings.
  6. Carefully remove the seedlings from the trays or pots, being mindful not to damage the delicate roots.
  7. Dig small holes in the prepared garden bed or containers, keeping a spacing of about 2-3 inches between each hole.
  8. Gently place the seedlings in the holes and cover the roots with soil, ensuring the top of the seedling is at the same level as the soil surface. Firmly press the soil around the base of the seedling to secure it in place.
  9. Water the transplanted seedlings immediately after planting to help settle the soil.

Proper Spacing And Depth For Scallion Planting

One crucial factor in growing healthy scallion plants is providing them with adequate spacing and planting them at the right depth. Here are the guidelines to follow:

  1. Spacing: Scallions need enough room to grow and develop their roots fully. Ideally, leave a gap of about 2-3 inches between each plant. This spacing allows for ample air circulation and prevents the plants from competing for nutrients and water. Proper spacing also facilitates easy harvesting of the mature scallions without damaging neighboring plants.

  2. Depth: When transplanting seedlings, ensure that the green shoots of the scallions are at ground level. If the shoots are buried too deeply, it can hinder growth and potentially result in rotting. Conversely, if the seedlings are planted too high, their roots may not get sufficient moisture and nutrients from the soil. Aim for a depth where the top of the seedling is level with the soil surface.

  3. Rows and Beds: If you prefer to plant scallions in rows or raised beds, maintain a spacing of 6-8 inches between each row. This wider spacing allows for easier weeding and provides room for the scallion plants to expand without overcrowding.

Watering And Irrigation Requirements For Scallions

Proper watering is essential for the healthy growth of scallions. These plants require consistent moisture but are also susceptible to waterlogging. Here are some guidelines for watering scallions:

  1. Regular Watering: Water the scallions consistently to keep the soil evenly moist. Aim for a deep watering once or twice a week, depending on the weather conditions. The soil should be thoroughly moistened but not saturated. Avoid frequent shallow watering, as it can lead to shallow root development.

  2. Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch around the scallions to help conserve moisture and regulate soil temperature. Mulching also helps suppress weed growth and reduces the need for frequent watering. Straw, grass clippings, or compost can all be used as mulch.

  3. Irrigation Methods: There are various irrigation methods to consider for watering scallions. Drip irrigation is an efficient option as it delivers water directly to the root zone, minimizing water loss through evaporation. Soaker hoses can also be used to provide a slow, steady supply of water to the plants. Alternatively, hand watering can be done using a watering can or a hose with a gentle spray nozzle.

  4. Watering Frequency: The frequency of watering depends on several factors, including the weather, soil type, and stage of growth. During dry spells or hot summer months, you may need to increase the frequency of watering. Monitor the moisture levels in the soil by checking the top inch with your finger. If it feels dry, it’s time to water.

  5. Drainage: Scallions prefer well-drained soil to prevent waterlogging and root rot. If the soil in your garden or containers tends to hold water, consider adding organic matter or creating raised beds to improve drainage. Adequate drainage ensures that excess water is not retained around the roots, allowing the plants to thrive.

RELATED  How To Plant Rosebush [ Full Guide ]

Fertilizing Scallion Plants

To ensure healthy growth and abundant yields, scallions benefit from regular fertilization. Here are some tips for fertilizing scallion plants:

  1. Soil Preparation: Before planting scallions, incorporate well-rotted compost or organic matter into the soil. This enriches the soil with essential nutrients and improves its structure. A pH level between 6.0 and 7.5 is ideal for scallion cultivation.

  2. Slow-Release Fertilizer: Use a slow-release, balanced fertilizer to provide the plants with a steady supply of nutrients throughout their growth cycle. Apply the fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s instructions, usually a few weeks after transplanting the seedlings or when they have established their root system.

  3. Side Dressing: Scallions respond well to side dressing with nitrogen-rich fertilizers. About four to six weeks after planting, apply a side dressing of well-balanced, granular fertilizer around the base of each plant. Ensure the fertilizer is spread evenly and gently work it into the soil without damaging the roots.

  4. Organic Options: If you prefer organic fertilizers, there are several options available. Fish emulsion, seaweed extract, or compost tea can be used to provide a nutrient boost to your scallion plants. These organic fertilizers also contribute to soil health and promote beneficial microbial activity.

  5. Foliar Feeding: Scallions can benefit from foliar feeding, which involves spraying a diluted liquid fertilizer directly onto the leaves. This method provides a quick nutrient boost and is particularly useful when the plants show signs of nutrient deficiencies. Use a well-balanced liquid fertilizer and follow the instructions for dilution rates.

  6. Avoid Over-fertilization: While it is important to provide scallions with adequate nutrients, be careful not to over-fertilize. Excessive fertilizer application can lead to lush foliage growth at the expense of bulb development. It can also promote disease susceptibility and leach nutrients into groundwater. Always follow the recommended dosages and observe the plants for any signs of nutrient imbalances.

Planting scallions is a rewarding and enjoyable experience that can provide you with a fresh supply of these flavorful onions. Whether you choose to transplant seedlings or sow seeds directly, ensuring proper spacing and depth is crucial for the plants’ development. Consistent watering, avoiding waterlogging, and providing adequate drainage are essential aspects of scallion care. Fertilizing scallion plants with organic matter or balanced fertilizers promotes healthy growth and encourages optimal yields. By following these guidelines and providing the necessary care, you can successfully cultivate and enjoy a thriving crop of scallions in your garden or containers.

Managing Pests And Diseases In Scallion Cultivation

Scallions, also known as green onions or spring onions, are a popular addition to many culinary dishes. They are characterized by their long and slender green stalks with a mild onion flavor. Scallions are relatively easy to grow and can be grown in a variety of climates.

Like any other crop, scallions are susceptible to pests and diseases that can hinder their growth and reduce yield. It is important to be aware of these potential threats and take necessary measures to prevent or manage them. Here are some common pests and diseases that affect scallions and how to tackle them:

  1. Aphids: Aphids are tiny, pear-shaped insects that suck sap from plants, causing stunted growth and distortion. To control aphids, you can use insecticidal soap or neem oil sprays. Introducing natural predators, such as ladybugs or lacewings, can also help keep aphid populations in check.

  2. Thrips: Thrips are tiny insects that feed on scallion leaves, resulting in silver or brown streaks. In severe cases, they can cause the leaves to curl. To prevent thrip infestations, remove weeds and keep the area around your scallion plants clean. You can also use sticky traps or apply insecticidal soap to control thrips.

  3. Onion maggots: Onion maggots are small, white, legless maggots that feed on the roots of scallion plants. To prevent infestations, cover your plants with row covers to exclude adult flies from laying eggs on the soil. Crop rotation with non-allium crops can also help reduce the risk of onion maggot infestations.

  4. Fungal diseases: Scallions can be susceptible to various fungal diseases, such as downy mildew and white rot. To prevent these diseases, ensure proper spacing between plants to allow for good air circulation. Avoid overhead watering and instead water at the base of the plants to keep the leaves dry. If necessary, apply fungicides labeled for use on scallions to control fungal infections.

Harvesting Scallions At The Right Time

Knowing when to harvest your scallions is crucial to ensure optimal flavor and quality. Here are a few indicators to look out for:

  1. Size: Scallions are typically harvested when they reach a desirable size. The ideal size for harvesting can vary depending on personal preference, but a diameter of around 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) is a good indication that they are ready to be harvested.

  2. Leaf color: The tops of scallions should be dark green and healthy-looking. Yellowing or wilting of the leaves can indicate that the scallions are past their prime and should be harvested soon.

  3. Bulb formation: Scallions are mainly grown for their green stalks, but they can also develop small bulbs at the base. If you prefer scallions with a milder flavor, harvest them before the bulbs form. For a slightly stronger onion flavor, wait until the bulbs are larger before harvesting.

RELATED  How To Plant Lilac [ Full Guide ]

When harvesting scallions, gently loosen the soil around the base of the plant and pull upwards to remove the entire plant from the ground. Avoid cutting the leaves too close to the bulb, as this can reduce the shelf life of the scallion.

Storing And Preserving Harvested Scallions

After harvesting your scallions, it’s important to store them properly to maintain their quality and freshness. Here are a few methods for storing and preserving your harvested scallions:

  1. Refrigeration: Scallions can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Trim off any damaged or wilted leaves before storing them in a plastic bag or container. You can also wrap the scallions in a damp paper towel to help retain moisture.

  2. Freezing: If you have a surplus of scallions, you can freeze them for long-term storage. Start by cleaning and trimming the scallions, removing any damaged parts. Chop them into small pieces or slice them lengthwise, depending on your preference. Blanch the scallions in boiling water for 30 seconds, then transfer them to an ice bath to cool down quickly. Once cooled, drain and pat dry before placing them in a freezer bag or container. Frozen scallions can be stored for up to six months.

  3. Drying: Drying scallions is another way to preserve them for future use. Start by cleaning and trimming the scallions, then slice them into thin rings. Arrange the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet or a dehydrator tray. Dry the scallions at a low temperature (around 130°F or 55°C) until they are completely dried and crispy. Store the dried scallions in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

Troubleshooting Common Issues In Scallion Planting

While scallions are relatively easy to grow, they can still encounter some common issues. Here are a few troubleshooting tips for addressing these problems:

  1. Overcrowding: Scallions need sufficient space to grow properly. Overcrowding can result in stunted plants and competition for nutrients. Make sure to thin out the seedlings or transplant them to provide adequate spacing between plants.

  2. Bolting: Bolting is the premature production of flowers and seed stalks, which can result in the decline of leaf quality. Bolting is often triggered by high temperatures or long daylight hours. To prevent bolting, plant scallions in a cooler season or provide shade in hot climates.

  3. Poor soil drainage: Scallions prefer well-draining soil. If your soil retains too much water, it can lead to root rot and other fungal diseases. Improve the drainage by adding organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, to the soil.

  4. Weed competition: Weeds can compete with scallions for nutrients and space. Regularly weed the area around your scallion plants to minimize competition. Mulching can also help suppress weeds and retain soil moisture.

  5. Nutrient deficiencies: Scallions require a balanced supply of nutrients for healthy growth. Common nutrient deficiencies include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Conduct a soil test to identify any deficiencies and amend the soil accordingly with organic fertilizers or amendments.


Planting scallions can be a rewarding experience, as these versatile and flavorful vegetables are relatively easy to grow. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can ensure a successful harvest and enjoy the fresh taste of homegrown scallions in your favorite dishes. Remember to manage pests and diseases, harvest at the right time, and store your scallions properly to maximize their quality and shelf life. Happy scallion planting!


What Type Of Soil Is Best For Planting Scallions?

Scallions require well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. A sandy loam or loamy soil with a pH level of 6.2 to 6.8 is ideal for scallions.

When Is The Best Time To Plant Scallions?

Scallions can be planted in early spring or fall, as long as the soil can be worked and is not frozen. In temperate regions, scallions can also be planted in late winter for an early spring harvest.

How Much Space Do Scallions Need When Planting?

Scallions should be spaced 6-8 inches apart in rows that are 12-18 inches apart. This will provide enough space for the scallions to grow and prevent overcrowding.

Can I Grow Scallions From Seeds Or Should I Use Transplants?

Scallions can be grown from both seeds and transplants. Transplants can be purchased or you can start your own from seed. If starting from seed, it is best to start them indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost date.

How Often Should Scallions Be Watered?

Scallions should be watered regularly, about 1-2 inches per week. Ensure that the soil is constantly moist but not waterlogged. In hot and dry weather, they may need to be watered more frequently.