How to Plant a Sprouted Onion

How to Plant a Sprouted Onion

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So, you have an onion or two that you bought from the grocery store, that have now sprouted in the pantry. And you’re wondering, “Can I plant these sprouted onions and grow a new, fresh onion?”

In short the answer is, YES! You can plant a sprouted onion and grow a new one. Actually usually you’ll get three new onions from one sprouted onion!

Sprouted Onion
When your onions start to look rotten… Don’t throw them away! You can plant them and grow new, fresh onions that you can eat!

But, you can’t just plant the sprouted onion in the ground. You’ll need to do a little bit of prep work first. Don’t worry, it’s not hard at all.

Step 1 – First, you need to peel the onion, layer by layer, down to the center.

Chances are some of the outer layers will be soft and maybe starting to rot if your onion has started sprouting. If not though, you can still use these outer layers of onion.

You want to peel all the way down until you get to just the clump of green sprouts.

Center of Peeled Sprouted Onion
Be careful to keep the original roots in tact. You’ll need those again!

I don’t use a special tool for this. I just peel the layers off with my hands.

Step 2 – Once you get to the center of your onion, then you want to carefully peel away the additional layers until you start to revel separate plants!

Two plants inside sprouted onion

Usually each sprouted onion will contain three separate plants.


Step 3 – Separate each onion plant by carefully cutting apart at the root with a serrated kitchen knife.

Onion Seedlings
You now have three onion seedlings!

Step 4 – Now it’s time to plant your onion seedlings. Your onion seedlings will hang around for up to 3 weeks before you need to plant them. You do not need to store them in water or soak them before planting. Do store them in a cool dry place though.

Onion plants don’t need to be buried very deep. You should plant the seedlings just 1″ into the ground and space them at least 4″ apart so the bulbs have room to grow.

The onions seedling will take about 3 weeks to look perky. Keep them watered and plant them in a place that gets plenty of sun.

How Far Apart to Plant Onions - 4"

Step 5 – Continue to water and weed around your onion plants. Fertilize if your soil is not very rich.

Your onions should grow for about 3 months to reach optimum size which is when the bulb reaches the size of a baseball. You will be able to see the top of the onion as it grows and can get a good idea of its size without digging it up.

Onion Plants

You do not want your onion plant to flower. If it does, then you’ll want to harvest that plant.

Step 6 – Harvest your onions.

If your onion does not flower then you can let it grow up until the first frost. Harvest by pulling the onion out of the ground and then brushing them to remove dirt.

Do not wash onions. You want to keep the onions dry to avoid rot. Store them in a cool dry place. Onions can usually be stored for up to 6 weeks or more.

If your onion begins to sprout before you get to use them… you now know what to do! Use that sprouted onion to grow more onions!

Harvesting onions

Now let’s make some yummy food!

While you’re here, check out my easy recipes to get ideas for what to make with your garden fresh onions!

Browse all my recipes

How to Plant a Sprouted Onion

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