How To Grow Green Onions From Seed (Scallions)

Last Updated on May 18, 2022 by Grow with Bovees

You’ve seen them in grocery stores and you’ve used them on numerous occasions, but did you know that green onions and scallions are fundamentally the same things?

These tasty, versatile scallions, like the garlic plant, feature in many recipes and, are packed with flavor and health benefits.

One green onion is loaded with immune-boosting nutrients like zinc, Vitamin B-complex, and vitamin C.

So, read on to find out how to grow green onions.

Planting scallions from seed or scraps is an easy crop to grow.

Due to their quick growing ability, they can reach up to 3 feet tall and 1-2 feet wide.

It’s recommended to not exceed 16 plants per square foot.

You will shed tears of joy as your scallion plants start to take shape and contribute positively to your garden greens!

What Are Green Onions or Scallions?

Scallions or green onions, also known as clump-forming onions or white bunching onions are essentially the same vegetable except for one minor difference namely the age of the plant.

Scallions have a milder taste than most onions and growing these tasty treats will be a tearjerker experience for all the right reasons, and not because you cur or chop them.

These immature onions form part of the allium family which includes shallots and garlic.

The slender stalks are slightly more mature than scallions and have a smaller white bulb, whereas scallions are the same width from top to bottom.

Are Scallions, Green Onions, and Spring Onions the Same Thing?

To grow scallions is easier than growing onions since they have a much shorter growth period.

It’s easy to confuse these root onions, but there are some key differences even though they share similar physical characteristics.

Spring onions, also known as Allium Fistulosum, are often referred to as the long green onion and the species is similar in taste and odor to the related common onion, Allium Cepa.

Both the long, slender tops and the small white bulbs are edible.

The bulb of the spring onion is round and somewhat larger than those of scallions.

They have a sweet onion flavor compared to regular onions, and they are a great alternative for salads and stir-fries, but these plants are cared for in the same way as green onions.

When To Sow Green Onions

The best time to plant is from early April, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised they grow well in both cool and hot weather.

Should you sow outdoors directly into the soil of a traditional garden it’s best to do so before your last frost date.

Once you plant seeds directly into the soil, you can expect to see your first seedlings within a few weeks and, as soon as they emerge, you should transplant your scallions in full sun when the soil is not frozen.

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To achieve a continual harvest of fresh onions, I would suggest succession planting by sowing more seeds every few weeks throughout your growing season.

Is it Best to Grow Green Onion and Scallion Seeds in Water or Soil?

Besides being quick to grow, scallions are considered to be what is known as cut-and-come plants, meaning your plant will continue to grow while you carry on with harvesting.

By using only water when growing, they have limited access to nutrients, whereas the plant in simple soil is full of nutrients and will produce much bigger plants. 

Onions in the soil have a much longer season and many times one plant outlives more than one season, or until the plant goes into flower. (Green onion scapes).

How to Sow Green Onion and Scallion Seeds

Whether sowing indoors or outdoors, to produce scallion seedlings traditionally you will use onion seeds and because scallions aren’t heavy feeders they prefer well-draining soil and organic matter.

When you have the perfect location for the onions in your garden free of weeds, work a balanced fertilizer into the well-drained soil before planting and water.

Sow the seeds 1 – 2 inches apart and a quarter of an inch deep and evenly moisten with water. Once the scallion seedlings emerge, they can be moved to an area with sufficient sunlight.

Green onions or scallions are grown and cared for in the same way, are mild in flavor, and are very similar to conventional scallion plants, but the harvest takes place before the bulb has fully matured.

How To Regrow Green Onions From Scraps

Although seed companies have a wide range to choose from, you don’t need to buy any scallion seeds because by replanting the roots of your store-bought green onions, you can save money and resources.

For your green onion patch, your planting hole should be 1 to 2 inches deep and 10 to 15 inches apart.

Use your shop-bought onions and slice 2-3 inches off the ends of the bulbs, leaving the roots attached, or plant green onion sets close together and harvest the plants when young.

Ideally, you need a loamy soil with a pH of between 6.0 and 7.0, and once planted, you can expect noticeable regrowth in the stalks a few days after planting.

How To Regrow Green Onions in Water

Place them in a mason jar or container that allows for enough space and fills with tap water to cover just the roots but leave the top edges above water.

Always keep the roots in water and change the water at least twice a week.

Place onions in a bright window and after 2 weeks, green shoots will emerge from the tops of the bulbs. For best results, you can add liquid fertilizer and can expect between three and four harvests from your bulbs before you need to replant.

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How To Regrow Scallions in Pots

For best results, use a moist, well-draining organic potting mix and fill the pot halfway before adding the scallion plants. Space plants 2 – 3 inches apart before you cover them with soil.

Ensure that the root side goes in first with the trimmed top green part sticking out of the pot. To avoid attracting onion nematodes, plants require sufficient drainage holes.

How Much Do I Water?

The best method to water is by using an easy finger test. It’s a great way to check the soil, simply stick your finger in the soil down to your second knuckle to determine if your soil is moist or dry.

That said, when you plant directly in the ground or a pot during hot summer temperatures, they can dry out quickly and ample water will ensure that your bulbs don’t dry out.

Keeping the ground evenly moist in your garden allows for a successful growing season, while you wait for the potted seed to germinate.

Where Can I Transplant Green Onions or Scallions?

For optimal growth choose a sunny spot in the garden with loamy, well-draining soil.

Avoid overly acidic soil as this can negatively affect growth and, by keeping your weeds under control, your onions will not have to deal with competition for soil moisture and sunlight.

When you plant in pots, you can decorate any part of your home in a healthy, affordable way when these pots are placed on a sunny windowsill or patio.

This dual-purpose plant will brighten up any patio or windowsill while you can benefit from the plant at the same time.  

Green onions are shallow-rooted, grow in a wide range of soil types, act as a natural deterrent for many natural predators, and are a great companion plant.

What Is Companion Planting?

By placing specific plants together it will attract beneficial insects, and repel pests in such a way that will enhance each other’s growth or protect each other from disease.

The green onion plant makes for a good companion in your garden and is the safest way to repel common pests such as ants, aphids, and onion maggots.

Common Disease Problems When Growing Green Onions

Growing scallions will naturally deter a variety of diseases and act as a natural repellent for other garden vegetables, which in return guarantees a healthy supply of organic vegetables for your consumption.

While it’s easy to regrow green onions, and we love them because of their many pest control properties they are not immune to all pests, but you can try to blast the tops of the plants with a jet of water from your garden hose to get rid of the worst of the problem.

What Measures Will Extend the Harvest Life Cycle?

Downy mildew is a fungal disease that can be eliminated by crop rotation and adequate air circulation. If the problem persists, the affected plants should be kept away from your other healthy greens.

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Soggy soil breeds bacteria and will cause root rot. A layer of mulch can retain moisture naturally. The placement of any organic matter (ground bark) or inorganic material (coffee grounds) over the top of the soil surface will protect it from soil erosion. It stimulates soil temperature, aids reduction in weed growth and acts as organic soil.

How Will Disease Problems Benefit From Crop Rotation?

While you should not plant scallions near beans and peas in your garden, their shallow roots make them ideal companions for deep-rooted crops such as beetroot, carrots, and cabbage.

Don’t be tempted to re-use the soil from containers that previously housed onions because the soil can carry diseases that are susceptible to scallions, and therefore it is paramount that your garden location for green onions is rotated.

When you practice crop rotation you’ll be able to grow green onions successfully in the long run and have a successful harvest. 

Green Onion Harvesting

Mature plants take roughly 50 to 70 days to grow for most scallion varieties, and you can use the root end from your garden for regrowing green onions.

The best time to harvest scallions is when they are young and tender, but you can also simply pluck the largest stalks and leave the bulb which will continue to grow back.

When you plant onion seeds, it takes 70 and 90 days and if you prefer using the whole plant, you can gently pull or dig the mature onions out of the soil with their roots intact once the tops reach between 6-8 inches tall and the bulb has begun to swell.

If you come across scallions with the white stalks still attached don’t throw those greens away because they have a lovely mild onion flavor, and you can use them just as you would use a scallion.

For How Long Can You Store Scallions?

You’ll be surprised that the entire plant is edible and when you harvest green onions you can chop and freeze them for up to 6 months, alternatively, you can place the white bulbs with green tops attached in a container of water to keep it fresher for longer.

If you prefer the green tops, you can cut from the top and they will regrow

This article will best guide you to successfully grow your first season of scallions, be more self-sustainable, happy, and healthy while always having access to fresh green onions.

Growing green onions is relatively easy. The reward of eating and enjoying the green onions grown by yourself is tremendously fulfilling. These onions are definitely vegetables!

I have enjoyed sharing my growing experience and I leave you with this insightful and humble quote:

“Life is like an onion, you peel it off one layer at a time and sometimes you weep.”