Wednesday, February 15, 2012

How to Grow Green Onions Indefinitely


I'm officially dubbing this the week of Scallions and Pinterest. Mary and I separately came across 2 trending ideas for using and growing green onions on the highly addictive bookmarking site, Pinterest, last week — we couldn't wait to try them.

When I came home over the weekend with a bunch of scallions, Mary exclaimed, "did you see this scallion/ginger sauce I pinned — you should totally make that!" Little did she know I had pinned it hours before her, which is virtually light years in terms of Pinterest discoveries.

I had been planning to make this ginger scallion sauce from Lottie + Doof since I first set eyes on it. Find my own variation on the recipe newly published on E.A.T. — this is one I'd definitely recommend trying.


It's a great little accompaniment that could be used in so many ways. Think bread, scrambled eggs, hot dogs, meats, pastas and more...

So, back to scallions and Pinterest. To my competitive dismay and admitted delight, Mary had also uncovered a pin showing how to grow green onions indefinitely. What great timing — I was able to use the scallions to make the sauce and we were also able to test the validity of the miraculously regenerating onions claim.

All I can say is... it works!

This is it guys — place a bunch of scallions with their roots in a glass full of water, then place in a sunny window. Cut off what you need to use in your cooking and the onions will literally regrow themselves almost overnight. No joke.

Here's a shot of some of the green onions with 2 that I chopped down to the roots. See the two nubs off to the side there in the left shot:


This is what they looked like not even 2 days (left) and 4 days (right) later as they literally regrew themselves:


And not even a week later, this is what we have; you can barely tell the difference between the ones I originally cut and the ones I let be (which have also doubled in size):


 See how much the roots have extended as well...


These were store-bought organic scallions, guys. Crazy! From what I understand, we'll be able to continue to chop off the parts of onion we want to use and they will just continue to regrow and regrow. You can also plant them in soil and achieve the same effect — something Mary and I will most likely do once the roots gain a little more traction.

Here are the before and afters again for good measure:

 

Have you heard of this onion trick or tried it? Have we been living under a rock all these years?

P.S. For anyone wondering, the glass pictured is a little juice glass recycled from a soda bottle. We bought a set of 4 a few Christmases back from Etsy seller, YAVAglass. They've been amazing and we use them for everything, as you can see.

Discover More:

175 comments:

  1. This is great! I have to try it. Thanks for sharing it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome Lola! Let us know if it works as well for you when you try it! We were amazed!

      Delete
    2. This will also work with garlic. Drop a whole bulb in a glass with a wet spong on the bottom then jump out of the way

      Delete
    3. Very true. I planted a whole garlic in some soil and put in my kitchen window. Now I have a never-ending source of "garlic-grass-thing" which has a mild garlic flavor and is perfect for salads, cold sauces and tons of other uses!

      Oh and by the way, great blog!

      Delete
    4. how often do you change the water....

      Delete
    5. Will this also work with Chives?

      Delete
    6. Chives are grern onions

      Delete
    7. Chives are not green onions

      Delete
    8. chives and green onions are completely different :)

      Delete
    9. My grandmother grew green onions in the garden and she would cut what she needed off the tops with scissors, and they would continue to grow...

      Delete
    10. chives work the same way. I have mine planted in a pot, let them grow, chop them off, and let them regrow. An endless supply. :)

      Delete
  2. Yep, trying this today! I had no idea you could do this. With all the plants I've been starting, my house is going to start to look like a botanical laboratory:)

    ReplyDelete
  3. We started doing this, I have found there is a finite number of times the onion will regrow. Usually 4-5 cuts before it peters out. The later growth is also less onion-y than the first few. But still a great way to get more for less!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really good to know Dorothy - definitely the first time we've tried it so great to have some firsthand knowledge from someone who's been at it!

      Delete
    2. This is because the plants only have water to help them grow, no food. Plant them in compost instead, and keep feeding, and it should keep going a lot longer.

      Delete
    3. I was just wondering about the taste factor after they regrew a few times and now I know. But at that point they can be used just for the green in the food and look nice.

      Delete
    4. Add minerals to the water, like hydroponics, That is what they are needing for food. Sulfur too, sulfur is needed for flavor in many crops. Don't just stick to NPK, theyneed iron, copper, zinc, manganese, magnesium, calcium, molybdenuim, cobalt, selinium, Ca and Mg should be 68%/12-20%.
      My compost this year was tested at Ca 63% and Mg at 15%, and low in sulfur, added gypsum a few times, including more for root crops, and have had fewer bugs, more drought, heat and cold hardiness and big fruit. Had corn with 3-5 ears per stalk. Learn more at soilminerals dotcom, and acresusa, and Neil Kinsey's agronomy. Awesome stuff to add to our composting and organic knowledge.

      Delete
    5. Epsom Salts has the sulfur you need.

      Delete
    6. I poke mine into a garden bed as soon as I get them home, eventually they flower and self seed so the supply is endless

      Delete
    7. Just found this on FaceBook ~ love the blog!! ☺ Been doin my own Green Onions for several years now ☺ leaving about 1 1/2 inch above the bulb I put the 'stump' in water and within 10 days/2weeks I have starts ready for the dirt!! I use Jobes plant sticks to feed them with an occasional boost from used coffee grounds and Epson salts ... Never knew why those two was just told to do it and my onion tops have always had a good flavor to them!!

      Delete
    8. I've never planted a thing in my life... I am changing my whole diet and trying to go organic. Do you mix the coffee grounds and Epson salt in the soil? Sorry it might be a stupid question but there's a first time for everything.

      Delete
  4. This is amazing, we grow a lot of onion crops. We are looking for grow this crops as a green product, but it's been so hard to find info about how to achieve it. If you have any links or recomendations or knowledge related of how to do it I will really apreciate your help. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey there - sure thing! Are you hoping to find info on how to grow crops of onions organically?

      Delete
    2. It sounds to me that you might be interested in hydroponics. Try Googling "hydroponics". That might lead you in a wide array of ideas. As one person mentioned here on this list, after so long at just using water (without nutrients), the onions taste weak (less "oniony", I think they said). I think if the folks on this list could come up with a way of adding nutrients, they'd really have something here.

      Delete
    3. Great suggestion on hydroponics - thanks for the tips!

      Delete
    4. Take a look at aeroponics.
      Www.Alderman.Towergarden.com

      Delete
    5. It's rather easy to add nutrients! Grow them in soil/compost, the way plants are supposed to grow! Onions have great nutritional and medicinal value, but if they only get water, that value will drop very quickly. If you only give them artificial feed, the same thing happens, because there is so much more in soil that is not in this artificial stuff, but which they really do need, even if only traces of it.

      Delete
    6. I would think this ideal is good just to keep the bunch fresh while you are using them up! But you will have to end up buy a fresh bunch after a month or so! I put my flat leaf parsley and cilantro in a jar with water in the fridge with the plastic bag as a tent just to keep it fresh for a month or so. Planting onion seed work great for me in a flower pot and produced more onions than I had room to grow.

      Delete
    7. So you are telling me that I could put parsley and cilantro that I buy at the grocery store and leave it in a jar of water for a month?

      Delete
  5. Thanks for the tip...so plan to try this! I started to regrow my own celery, from a pin I found, by cutting the bottom off and planting it after a few days. Apparently you can do the same thing as the scallions. Oh, I also planted the top of my pineapple to have it grow into a pretty plant-may be hit or miss for bearing fruit after 2 years but it was cheap ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jess, awesome tip on pineapple. We'd never heard of this so are excited to look into it further and maybe give it a go!

      Delete
    2. I live in Hawaii...We all have a patch where we plant the tops of our pineapples. Quoting a local, "Throw the top over there for drying out then stick it in the ground."

      Delete
    3. Saw this too....so I thought why not do the same with the romaine lettuce I bought. Put three healthy plants in the ground today. Going after the sprouted red onion and potatoes next.

      Delete
  6. What about nutrients? What about keeping the water clean?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey there - both great questions. On the water, we've been switching ours out frequently. On nutrients, this is an area we could use a little more experience in. One commenter suggested hydroponics as a solution to nutrients.

      Complete guess here, but we think if you were to plant them in soil in your window vs. simply the water they might retain more nutrients.

      Thanks for reading!

      Delete
    2. there are many nutrients you can get that are water soluble. I would try that and keep the solution VERY weak for a while and gradually build it up. you could keep it in water that way (basically hydroponics) or could use the diluted nutrient water as opposed to regular water for soil as well.

      Delete
    3. You can get a pot about the same size as your water glass or any size your window can accommodate and actually pot the onions or any other herb/vegetable. They'll do much better and you can change the soil every 6 months or simply add compost juice (water) to the pot every 3-4 months. I've had herbs that lasted for years doing it this way.

      Delete
  7. I saw this on pinterest a while back and tried it. Started smelling funny after a week and ditched the project. Tried it again in a jar of soil and that seems to be working well. Did you have a problem with the smell (even after switching water often)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey there —

      So glad to hear the soil is working well, another commenter mentioned having soil might be a great way to help retain nutrients. With switching the water, we've been able to get about 3 good chops of the onions. We're also planting green onions in a container from seed this year and hope to be able to cut and regrow these in a similar way!

      Delete
    2. The smell is onions that have died. Not all of my green onions regrew; some of the smallest ones just rotted in the water. So here were a few tips from mine: leave a section of green when you cut them, so they have some photosynthesis even after the cut. Second, take the onions bottoms completely out of the water in a few days, and rinse completely to get rid of any mushy, rotted onions. Third, drain the water every day and add fresh HOT water. My onions were kept on a cold sill all winter, but adding fresh hot water to them every day made them grow remarkably fast! And last, they really do better if you cut one stalk, and then alternate with the other stalk with the next cutting. Same principle as the first cutting, the plant needs the green to regrow. Mine are going on 3 months, and still going strong.

      Delete
    3. Miracle Grow makes these cute planters for kids that are meant for doing carrots, onions, etc. in a windowsill. That should work great for growing these onions. It's called a "root viewer":

      http://www.timeforkids.com/files/MIRACLE-GRO-ROOT-VIEWER.jpg

      Delete
  8. I have planted the onions in good potting soil & keep getting cuttings off the tops, but after awhile, the taste is quite bland, & the tops are not a vibrant green as they originally were. At that point it is best to toss them & start with a new bunch. Kinda sad to do that, but the flavor is just not there anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  9. How AWESOME! My husband HATES green onions. I never buy them because I'm the only one that likes them! this is AMAZING! I'm so getting some tomorrow!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow. That is amazing! Maybe that is one way to stop hunger. Great job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha yes! There are many creative and sustainable ways to preserve and re-grow food.

      Delete
  11. Been doing this for 2-3 years... except I just keep 2 pots outside my front door. Buy a bunch or 2 on sale, chop the greens and freeze- just poke holes in the soil and let them grow. Anytime I need onions- go out the door and cut the greens.
    They do get skinnier and a bit less tasty after 4-5 regrowths- so I then harvest entire onion and start all over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have heard the same after several growths they lose flavor. We will keep your tip in mind.

      Delete
  12. Started this project this weekend along with regrowing celery and finished my first batch of sweet potato dog chews this morning. I cut my sweet potatoes about 1/2" thick and the drying process took about 18hrs. but it was a success. Angel was dubious at first but after the first taste she really enjoys them. So glad I stumbled across your site!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Basil was a bit hesitant also but now every time we open the fridge he is right there nose sniffing. Thanks for checking us out!

      Delete
  13. Almost forgot to mention, I made the ginger scallion sauce in David Chang's Momofuku last week and it IS the perfect condiment! I did find that heating the oil a little before adding it to the rest of the ingredients really enhanced the flavor in my second batch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great to hear! We love it on it on pork chops right before you take them them off the grill!

      Delete
    2. Hi Holly, Where do I get the recipe for the.lovely ginger~scallion sauce? ♥Thanks so much....

      Delete
  14. maybe you should try to put a bit of worm castings in the water, hydroponics would be better but its more complicated, just a bit of worm castings, or even ordinary soil, and/or some compost (google it) made from vegetable remains we would otherwise throw away. what lacks in those plants so they get less 'oniony' are the nutrients, basically nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, those things that fertilizers provide, it could be added to the water, but i think worm castings would do the job well, just keep it growing (:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dors, we will keep that in mind thanks for the tip!

      Delete
  15. this also works for greens (in soil) like romaine lettuce, swiss chard, and mustards. for the romaine you have to leave at least an inch above the soil or it wont regrow though - there seems to be some kind of growth point. i've got 3 re-growths of romaine per plant before the hot weather shows up and they bolt. once you have the large root masses established on these they grow re-grow much faster than starting from seeds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very nice! We are going to have to try romaine. We will report back!

      Delete
    2. I have had the same Swiss chard plants for three years. I just clip the leaves as they get big enough and it just keeps on producing.

      Delete
  16. lol, I just tried that myself about 2 months ago, and got some great growth out of used scallions (green onions) roots, and also a sprouted yellow onion...just planted them in a pot today, hoping to grow some more! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh wow heather, that's awesome! We'd love to hear more about how you sprouted the yellow onion — do they multiply once planted??

      Delete
  17. I can buy scallions so cheaply at an ethnic market, anywhere from 4 to 8 bunches for $1 depending on the season, so my immediate thought was that this was not worth the trouble. Then I remembered how often I don't bother using them because of the need to clean and trim. The extra time and trouble in getting breakfast eggs on the table doesn't happen, though I love scallions and eggs. Later I end of composting the slimy mass.

    So, I'll be trying this afterall!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad to hear it Nil,

      They are a pretty houseplant when planted in soil and so useful as well when you can just snip what you need when you need!

      Delete
  18. I tried this and the onions got really slimy and the water was all nasty even though I changed it a couple times a day. So I tried it a second time by planting them in planting soil, and it worked great! Getting to that point I might have to start over because of losing flavor, but I love this idea! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amber, good to know! Our planted ones have also been doing well — keep us posted if your planted onions lose their taste!

      Delete
  19. I tried this and while they grew very fast and no icky smell when I chopped them they had clear jelly inside. It was gross. Anyone else have this problem?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i had the same... don't know if it's normal... i'd love to find out... i just rinsed it under running water and used it... but i'd love to know if i should just keep the stuff as part of the food...

      Delete
  20. I tried growing an avacodo but didnt have much luck, I did a pineapple and got a small pineapple off the plant, I did get 10 babies off the plant though and then my landlord was doing some work in the yard and run it over with his truck, I tried to grow a mango and had no luck. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pineapple is one we want to try! Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
    2. start avocado in water put seveal toothpicks in to jus let bottom e in water, as if you were donig sweet patatoe to grow starts,it wil grow cnt tand lot ofcod

      Delete
  21. I love this!!! Love, love it. I always want a supply of green onions. I also am in love with your glasses. I checked them out, but they don't have the same style. What a great idea and gift!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Karen, we appreciate you visiting and hope to see you back soon.

      Delete
  22. How neat is that! Totally going to try this :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. How neat is that! Totally going to try this :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome Kirsten! It's amazing how fast they re-grow!

      Delete
  24. Light years are a measure of distance, not time.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thanks, this is cool. I am cooking more and using more herbs and fresh. Unfortunately here in Florida gets too damn hot in Summer for outdoor plants that do well further North. Want to do Sunroom garden for these and others so can control the heat and light exposure. Here, my Pineapple top has put out a half sized pineapple last three years in a yard pot without much, but watering. Free is cool!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome and we have had a hot one up here also. I do not think I have ever wished away time but so looking forward to fall.

      Delete
  26. Ive done this unintentionally with spring onions/scallions before by leaving them in the fridge long enough for their old foliage to begin dying back, the new stuff just grew right through and i had fresh onions from what id expected to be rotten onions.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I just had a WONDERFUL, but small, crop of green onions. I had planted Nasturium with them and that gave them a great flavor. Much better than store bought! Trying this method now to see if they will regrow!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I did this and then planted them in a little planter in my window! I love it - they're beautiful, economical, and don't waste anything...best of all - I always have green onions!! woo hoo. They kept going and going until they became root-bound and then I just kind of took out the old and tilled the soil in the container and replaced...but probably could have put the old ones back in. It helps fill that garden filled hole in my heart since moving into a tiny apartment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love it Reesa! We love the idea of putting them in a window planter, we might just need to try this ourselves!

      Delete
  29. I tried it last summer, and this spring the onions grew back again that I could again start recutting. They wintered great in Nova Scotia, CA. it was such a surprise to see the onions growing again.

    ReplyDelete
  30. That's cool. I do the same thing with lemong grass! I change the water once or every other day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love the idea to try it with lemon grass, thanks!

      Delete
  31. For those putting the green onions in water (or in potting soil, for that matter), you could try buying bottled fish fertilizer, found where you'd buy planters, small bags of potting soil, and other indoor gardening products. Small bottle of thick, yucky brown stuff... but easy to use, and it will last for years as you only need a little of the concentrated stuff. Just stick a plastic straw into the bottle and get a LITTLE bit of the yucky stuff on it, then swirl the straw in some water once every two weeks. Then, when you are changing the water the onions are in, just add some of the nutrient-charged H2O, and see if the onion flavor stays more robust as the cuttings go on. Worth a try. Even if you don't see a dramatic difference, the fish fertilizer need not go to waste. It still is great for your other houseplants, used in the same way, a little diluted in water and applied once every two to four weeks.

    ReplyDelete
  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I got the idea of regrowing celery and romain lettuce indefinitely right in my kitchen from Pinterest. From your blog here, I aslo see that green onions can br regrown in my kitchen too, in water. @MoniqueCloutier

    ReplyDelete
  34. how often are you to change the water?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. About once a week if the water starts to cloud then just put a fresh round in. Good Luck!

      Delete
  35. I have used this for several years now and also regrow basil, bok choy, celery, spinach and cress. Almost any soft herbaceous plant will regenerate itself. There are many ready-made hydro- and aeroponic available from reputable sources like Hometown Hydro, Peaceful Valley Supply and others. I use soil mostly and fertilize it with a good organic fertilizer like FoxFarm or Dr. Earth. To avoid the onions and other veggies from becoming weak I let them have a breather from harvesting for several weeks. To do this I keep 4 or 5 plots going in successive plantings. For those that have had problems with the water turning sour I have sometimes successfully tried rinsing the roots in cool running water or even rinse them in a solution of 2 or 3 drops of bleach in a cup of water. This is hit or miss at most though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wil, some wonderful advice there and sounds like you have lots of experience! Thanks for visiting and we hope to see you often!

      Delete
    2. Try Romaine lettuce. It's perfect....almost before your eye it starts growing. AMAZING. I just hate that I haven't done this for years. Can't believe I hadn't tried green onions before. Thanks.

      Delete
  36. We've been doing this for years outside in a planter. My parents taught me and their parents, etc... We changed tradition by moving the onions from the garden to planters so we didn't have to till around the never dying onions. Except we use the onion almost completely and only re-plant the nub above the bulb(roots). We let a few grow completely out to seed and gather the seeds prior to them blowing away. We plant those too! We never buy onions. If you live in a colder climate simply bring in the large planter during the winter to keep them going throughout the winter for fresh onions. We have 3 planters of the things, lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love this Donna!

      Thanks for sharing your tips for using this method in a planter — this is something we are dying to tackle!

      Delete
  37. I have been doing this for years, even on a sail boat in Alaska... green onions are the easiest and great for developing confidence in your green thumb! Keep up the good work and I'm looking forward to trying the celery and carrots!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, a sail boat in Alaska — that is impressive!!

      Delete
  38. I love this! I am addicted to green onion and run out all the time. We do grow it in the kitchen, but pull them, bulb and all so this is great to know. I will just cut them from now on.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hey Tim,

    You might like to know that a "light year" is NOT a measure of time. It is a measure of distance, specifically - 186,000 miles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Todd appreciate that. I am always learning something on this blog!

      Delete
    2. actually light travels at 186,000 miles per second, so you have to multiply it by 60(sec)*60(minutes)*24(hours)*365.25(days)*186,000 to get a light year.

      Delete
  40. Thank you so much for sharing this, can't wait to try it myself. :)

    ReplyDelete
  41. I've had several green onions growing this way in a glass jar in my kitchen window sill for about a month now. I use kitchen shears to clip what I need.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Omg, have been feeling guilty about the leftover, wilting onions in the fridge and just saved them in a jar of water. Very cool.

    ReplyDelete
  43. i have been trying to grow scallions for awhile, but i haven't been successful. i know that you would have to change the water from time to time, sometimes, even daily. I place them on my widow sill, so that they can get sunshine. but i've found that my stems would get mushy, so i just put them on my compost. do you know why they get mushy? am i doing anything wrong?

    ReplyDelete
  44. Have been doing this for forty years in the flower beds. Multiplying onions are even better. Fertilize.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I've done this before and it was great for cooking. We eat rice a lot and i water my plant with water that i used to wash the rice. We rinse our rice a few rounds and it's the first round that you want to use to water your plants. I think it acts as a natural fertilizer and improved the taste of my scallions. We had a bug issue though so i had to scrap that pot. Just started a new one. I read online that planting garlic with the onions will repel insects so i'm keeping my fingers crossed! Anyway, garlic shoots are great for cooking too so double bonus.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Good gravy. I am the maddest person in the world right now. Green onions are a major staple in my household. I literally buy 3-6 bundles a week. Depending on the farmer’s market or the local grocer, the prices range from 35 to 65 cents a bundle. Now I have always been reluctant of planting of anything because death will come shortly soon after. If there’s a color opposite for green thumbs, than I have them. Would one call them mauve toes??? But anyway, who knew that I can now just slap them in a jar and cut off what I need. Thanks for the info and saving me moola.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Yes! Have some in the garden right now :) Thanks for sharing a beautiful post and spreading the plant love.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Super cool! I just came across this post on StumbleUpon and I'm definitely going to try my hand at growing my own green onions.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Thanks for this! and showing that it works, but do you have to change the water every day?

    ReplyDelete
  50. Try it with celery too.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Would adding mineral, distilled or purified water help with adding nutrients and can composts be purchased? 1st time grower and does not have compost around.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I started this two weeks ago and its fantastic! I change the water every second day and rinse the stems as they tend to get a little slimy. We also bought butter lettuce that still has the roots and it is doing surprisingly well. Perhaps I have a bit of a green thumb after all! Thank you for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete
  53. I discovered this decades ago when I got tired of throwing away rotten onions in rubber bands. If you snip the outer leaves they grow new ones from the centre.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Interesting. Just curious where these green onions get all the nutrients? Guess they create their own from sunshine. They definitely work more efficiently than our energy generators:D

    ReplyDelete
  55. I have been having so much fun regrowing my green onions after seeing this! I just put some in a pot with soil by my window but I'm not 100% sure how often to water them. I am always afraid of overwatering and causing root-rot :(

    ReplyDelete
  56. The green is growing from the energy stored in the small bulb. We normally take 2 cuttings then move them to soil in a flower pot. After awhile you can start the whole thing over again.

    ReplyDelete
  57. D. Smith here, I have a few questions - I hope someone can help.

    Am I right in thinking this doesn't actually reproduce more onions, it just regrows the tops? Isn't this sorta the same thing as growing chives? They are basically the same, flavor-wise, and chives reproduce like mad in soil, don't know what they'd do in water. But with the green onions you are not really starting with, say, 10 onions in a glass and ending up with 20 onions or whatever, right? Or am I misunderstanding?

    Does anyone know if this works with cauliflower cores or cabbage cores (regular cabbage not Chinese cabbage) or broccoli?? WOuld a person trim off (not entirely though) the hard base at the bottom of the core before putting in water?

    Maybe someone could make up a list of other veggies/fruits which could be started in water for a week or so and then transferred to dirt containers? That would be very helpful.

    We add a mineral called ConCenTrace to our filtered drinking water - would that be all right to add to the small amount of water used to get these roots/bases started? Or is sulphur the only thing they'd need until moved into the compost/soil mix?

    Thanks for any answers you can provide.

    ReplyDelete
  58. "Little did she know I had pinned it hours before her, which is virtually light years in terms of Pinterest discoveries." Light years is a measure of distance, not time. #FTFY

    ReplyDelete
  59. Didn't know about this either!(Maybe we were under the same rock?LOL) I am going to buy some onions and follow your example, thank you so much for sharing the tips! =)

    ReplyDelete
  60. you can do this with celery as well :)

    ReplyDelete
  61. Interesting. This was my science experiment in 6th grade. 1986. I don't remember how many times we cut the onions, but they lasted a long time. One small change: I "planted" my green onions on a plate full of rocks. The rocks have nutrients in them that may keep the flavor of the onions alive. I believe the experiment was six weeks and the onions grew so big that we had to keep cutting them. We had no idea they would grow so fast.

    I didn't win a prize. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is very interesting. I will try this in a shallow glass container.

      Delete
  62. I planted chives right under outside faucet that occasionally drips and it grows big and bushy and comes back every year. I guess the same principle.

    ReplyDelete
  63. I read these comments and I wonder how some of you have made it this far in life. This stuff is pretty elementary people

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No offense, but your comment sounds a little rude. I believe these folks are all just good people who discovered something they hadn't thought of before, and they just wanted to share their experience with others.

      Elementary or not, it's not nice to steal the joy of others....

      Delete
    2. Yes I agree, I grew up in the country where my parents grew everything, made there own bread raised chickens and turkys etc etc etc . I now live in asia where it is hard to find seeds for things like lettuce, celery and others I never new you could grow onions like that ! In reply to your comment I wonder how you have made it this far in life with a kill joy attitude like yours .

      Great Blog very usefull !!!

      Delete
  64. wow! I have been living under the scallion rock. thanks for removing it! Great article!
    Well written and with quality photos. As capt. Picard would say "well done"..!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! There are many rocks left to discover and turn over, that's what makes life interesting!

      Delete
  65. Anyone else notice their green onions start to flower while in water? Can you replant the flowers and make more green onions?

    ReplyDelete
  66. I discovered this several months ago...but even after changing water....the onion greens started to wilt once they grew about six inches. I had added a little Miracle Grow house plant food to water when I saw them wilting. This didn't help. I'll try again

    ReplyDelete
  67. I was wondering if you have to cut back the roots at all, or should you just let them go?

    ReplyDelete
  68. Here is how you can reuse your green onions by useing the cut off roots,Then plant them in the garden
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRz8GIOGpzA

    ReplyDelete
  69. I got the idea when i went to throw out our green onions we'd bought because they started to all wilt. I noticed this one was doing VERY well, then it hit me: these have roots! just stick them in a pot with soil and see what happens and sure enough, i'm growing green onions and they're doing quite well - maybe not as well as a jar with water because that would give them Tons of water. Now i'm trying the ginger.

    ReplyDelete
  70. I have done this and am doing it again this summer. I found that in plain water the onions soon run out of the nutrients they would get from soil and become floppy and bland. In soil they grow fine; I've been popping the bottoms of any green onions we buy at the store into a row outside in my garden and they are growing back.

    Green onions are usually an annual that doesn't form a large onion bulb, and so if they're happy they'll go to seed after about a year and be done.

    ReplyDelete
  71. The first celery is now in a pot and is a small bush! The second rotted and I have just begun the third. When I can find some bok choy and lemon grass in rural Ireland I will go for them with a vengeance. I have sourced ginger and plan to do that too.
    I just love all this and thank you so much for the information. Anything you know do please carry on - this simply has got to be your most popular site apart from the people/dog bones. I am busy with that too.
    The dried fruit is great, and so is dried beetroot - anyone doing that?
    I use very diluted liquid from workers to feed plants. Is that hydroponics to a degree?

    ReplyDelete
  72. I tried this: I underestimated the smell. The pungent onion odor permeated the kitchen. The roots also got slimy. I have planted them in the garden to see what happens

    ReplyDelete
  73. Same can be done with a leaf lettuce core. Place it in a dish of water and new leaves will grow for you to cut and eat as you please!

    ReplyDelete
  74. I cut a celery stump into 3 sections, then held them together with toothpicks. They all regrew. So, I celery stalk can grow into 3, maybe four plants!!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  75. I cut a celery stump into 3 sections, then held them together with toothpicks. They all regrew. So, I celery stalk can grow into 3, maybe four plants!!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  76. I've been doing this for a while. They would need nutrition after a couple weeks!

    ReplyDelete
  77. I cut a fennel stump into 3 sections, then held them together with toothpicks. They all regrew. So, one fennel/Anis stalk can grow into 3, maybe four plants!!!! :) After the leaves grow to about 3-4 inches, then I plant them.

    ReplyDelete
  78. I tried this. It didn't work. Other than the fact that hardly anything works for me, because I didn't stand on my head and touch my nose with my toe, stop saying it's so easy, because it is not. I did it just the way I was told, all I got was green water.

    ReplyDelete
  79. I would note that tap water from most areas would not be the proper water to use. Many areas add chlorine and fluoride in the water. The chlorine and fluoride may cause problems with the regrowth of many of your greens. Try using clean filtered water only.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DreamTree water filters out the fluoride and chlorine and adds back the nutrients the plants need.

      Delete
  80. Thanks for this article, it's a really great step toward living in a sustainable way, as well as being a little nicer on the wallet.

    ReplyDelete
  81. 1 producing 1 isn't fast enough. Cut the original one into 3rds or 4ths before replanting. All of them will start regrowing.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Thank you anonymous.
    I am doing quite well, just planted celery again.
    Hopeless with the lemon grass, any tips?

    ReplyDelete
  83. I have tried this and they always mold on me. How often do you replace the water? Or what do you do to keep the water from getting yucky and ruining the onions?

    ReplyDelete
  84. Thanks for this article, it's a really great step toward living in a sustainable way

    ReplyDelete
  85. We have been doing it for years with many veggies. fertilizer ensures that you can do it indefinitely. let them flower and you will get an amazing number of seeds that can be used.

    ReplyDelete
  86. You'd be suprised on how many vegetables you can do this with. Romaine and other in the lettuce family.

    ReplyDelete
  87. It definitely works. Once the roots have grown out you can plant them in the ground or in a pot and they will grow even better with the nutrients from the soil. You do need to water them quite a bit because they have shallow roots, especially if you live somewhere with hot summers. The good thing is that if they die off you can easily start over.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Awesome! - the recycled soda bottle is pretty cool too.. gotta get some! :) Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  89. So, if you do this with a "non organic" onion, lop off all the greens, and let it re-grow, will it then be "organic"?

    ReplyDelete
  90. A light year is not a measurement of time, it's a measurement of distance.

    ReplyDelete
  91. I tried this. The scallions did regrow impressively fast. However, the texture was off - all green, no "crunchy white. The root growth was also impressive and I just planted these out in the vegetable patch.

    ReplyDelete
  92. I cut my spring onions down to about 1/2 inch from the roots. I put the root bases in a glass of water and once the roots regrow, I plant them outside in the dirt. You end up with a whole new onion and can continue to do the same with the newly grown onion when you cut it down.

    ReplyDelete
  93. I once forgot about a head of red cabbage in the back of my veggie bin in the fridge. When I noticed it I was surprised to see the center of the cabbage had continued to grow - in the fridge! It looked like a very pretty rose attached to the cabbage.

    Also I left a small piece of ginger behind a curtain on the kitchen window sill.
    I was away for a month and when I returned the ginger had grown to about 10x its size.
    No water, no soil, isn't nature amazing?

    ReplyDelete
  94. am i the only one who uses all of the green onion (minus the roots)? how far down can you cut into the white but still have it re grow?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i use it all when i replant these (see my post on the comment on how i do it) i cut it all the way dwn to 1/2 or so. :)

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment here in our corner of the world.

P.S. Any comments from the animal kingdom will be forwarded to Basil in a timely manner.