How to Grow Onions from Onions – A Step-By-Step Guide!

Onions are a delicious crop to grow and what’s best is you can grow onions from onions! You’ll find onions are really easy to grow and as long as you have another onion to grow one from, you don’t need to have seeds. However, it does take a bit of patience, time and a lot of water to get them growing healthy. Here’s how to grow your own onions at home, from the onions you’ve already got!

Step One: Cut Your Onion

a sliced onion

First, choose a fresh onion for your cutting. Don’t pick one that’s going bad or already gone bad since it won’t work. Any type of onion is fine, even ones that you get from the grocery store.

Although many people think that the onion should be cut from the top, but it actually needs to be cut from the bottom. Cut your onion with a sharp knife from the bottom and remove the outer layer. It should be about 1 inch thick.

If you’re planning to grow the onions in your garden outside, you might want to start the cuttings early in spring. This doesn’t matter if you’re growing them indoors, however.

Step Two: Dry the Onion Out

a dried up slice

 Keep your cut piece of onion on a dry surface, with the cut side facing upward. Let the piece dry well for up to 24 hours until it feels really dry when touched. It should look something like in the picture.

Then, you’ll need to poke in a few sticks around it (around 4 would do) since these will help you to suspend it above water like we’re going to do in the next step.

For sticks, you can use toothpicks or any kind of similar stick that’s thin enough and won’t hurt the onion too much.

Step Three: Suspend Your Onion Above Water

Fill a small bowl or a glass with water and keep it somewhere in your house on a flat surface where it won’t be disturbed. Place the onion with the sticks resting on the brim of the glass or bowl so that its bottom barely touches the water. To speed things up, place the onion somewhere where there’s a lot of sun or keep it outdoors. Leave it like this for 3-4 days and you’ll soon see small roots growing out from the bottom. Now, it’s ready to be planted.

Step Four: Planting Your Onion

If you’re planting indoors, fill a pot  halfway with soil. The soil should be well-drained and the pot should have little holes in its bottom for draining. Now, place the onion in the soil and fill up the pot to the top. Make sure the onion piece is in the center and cover it up with soil about 1-2 inches from the pot’s top.

 Note: Cutting the onion in half with some roots on each piece will give you more than one onion.

If you’re planting outdoors, make sure your garden has well-drained soil. You can check this by digging a hole in the ground about 12 inches deep and filling it up with water. If the water is gone in about 15 minutes, you’ve got well-draining soil.

Step Five: Water Immediately

As soon as you cover up the onion with soil, water it since this will help it to grow faster. Make sure it gets enough water don’t leave the soil soaking wet since that will make the onion rot.

Step Six: Fertilize

onion bulbs poking out of soil

After watering your onion, spray it with a nitrogen fertilizer. You can buy this from garden stores or from nurseries. Once you’ve sprayed it into the soil, mix it about (use your hands) so the nutrients will be spread out and your onion can use them to grow.

Step Seven: Taking Care of Your Onion

Make sure to water your onion regularly since onions need lots of water to grow well. don’t let the soil get too dry. If you feel it’s dry, water it until it feels moist enough but not soaking wet. Try to give your onion about 1 inch of water each week.

a handful of weeds

Remove weeds regularly if your onions are planted outside. Try to avoid using weed killers and just try removing them with your hands instead.

Continue to fertilize the onion once every 2 weeks to ensure the growth of healthy, large bulbs. Spray it with nitrogen fertilizer at least twice a month until the bulb begins to poke its head out from the soil. Stop fertilizing the onion when you notice the bulb poking out.

Step Eight: Harvesting Your Onions

man carrying onions

When you see your onion growing flowers, it’s time to harvest! Use a shovel or a hand tool to loosen the soil around the onions and hold the onion by the base of the foliage. Gently pull it out of the soil.

Onions take anywhere from 90-120 days to grow and while you might find it hard to be patient, the wait is totally worth it. There’s nothing like cooking your own, organic onions!

In Brief

an onion on a cutting board

So there you have it! As you can see, growing your onions isn’t a difficult thing to do after all. All you need is a little commitment. Enjoy and good luck growing your own onions!