Can onions be planted when sprouting?

Can Onions Be Planted When Sprouting?

Yes, onions can be planted when they are sprouting. This means that you don’t have to throw away those onions that have started to sprout in your pantry. Instead, you can give them a new life by planting them in your garden or a container. By separating the sprouts and planting them in good soil, you can grow multiple new onions within a single season.

Planting Sprouted Onions

When you notice that your onions have sprouted, it’s important to act quickly. The sprouts are delicate and can easily become damaged if left unattended. The first step is to gently separate the sprouts from the onion bulb. Take care not to break or damage the sprouts during this process.

Once you have separated the sprouts, you can plant them in well-prepared soil. Choose a sunny location in your garden or use a container with good drainage if you prefer to grow them indoors. Plant the sprouts about 1-2 inches deep, with the sprout pointing upwards. Space them around 4-6 inches apart to allow enough room for proper growth.

Water the newly planted sprouts thoroughly and keep the soil consistently moist. Onions require regular watering, especially during dry periods, to ensure healthy growth. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot.

Growing Onions with Green Shoots

In addition to planting sprouted onions, you can also grow onions with green shoots. This is another method of utilizing onions that have started to sprout. Green onions, also known as scallions or spring onions, are onions harvested before the bulb fully forms. They have a milder flavor and are commonly used in salads, soups, and stir-fries.

To grow green onions, simply plant the onion bulbs with the green shoots intact. Follow the same planting instructions as for sprouted onions: plant them in well-prepared soil, about 1-2 inches deep with the shoots pointing upwards. Space them around 4-6 inches apart.

Green onions are fast-growing and can be harvested within a few weeks. You can either harvest them by cutting off the green shoots as needed, or you can allow them to continue growing and form small onion bulbs.

Tips for Successful Onion Planting

Whether you’re planting sprouted onions or green onions, here are a few tips to help ensure successful growth:

  • Choose a well-draining soil: Onions prefer soil that is loose, fertile, and well-draining. If your soil is heavy and clay-like, consider amending it with compost or organic matter to improve drainage.
  • Provide adequate sunlight: Onions thrive in full sun, so choose a location that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day.
  • Control weeds: Keep the area around your onion plants weed-free, as weeds can compete with the onions for nutrients and water.
  • Fertilize appropriately: Onions benefit from regular fertilization. Use a balanced fertilizer or organic compost to provide the necessary nutrients.
  • Practice proper spacing: Proper spacing allows air circulation and prevents overcrowding, which can lead to disease and reduced yields.


In conclusion, onions can definitely be planted when they are sprouting. Whether you choose to plant the sprouts or grow green onions with green shoots, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of fresh onions. By following the proper planting techniques and providing the right growing conditions, you can successfully grow onions from sprouted bulbs and enjoy the rewards of homegrown produce.

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Q: What is sprouting and why is it relevant to gardening?

Sprouting is the process of a plant growing from a seed or bulb. In gardening, sprouting is significant as it marks the beginning of plant growth and is crucial for successful gardening and planting.

Q: Can onions be planted when sprouting?

Yes, onions can be planted when sprouting. However, there are certain advantages and disadvantages associated with planting sprouted onions that should be considered.

Q: What are the advantages and disadvantages of planting sprouted onions?

The advantages of planting sprouted onions include faster growth and potential for earlier harvest. However, there can be risks and challenges such as increased vulnerability to pests and diseases.

Q: How do sprouted onions differ from non-sprouted onions?

Sprouted onions may have a slightly different flavor and texture compared to non-sprouted onions. Additionally, sprouted onions may have a shorter storage life.

Q: How can I intentionally sprout onions for planting?

To intentionally sprout onions, you can start by placing the onions in a cool, dry location for a few weeks. Then, transfer them to a warm, well-lit area. Regularly mist the bulbs with water to provide the necessary moisture for sprouting.