Can you plant a sprouting onion bulb?

Can You Plant a Sprouting Onion Bulb?

Yes, you can plant a sprouting onion bulb in soil. Planting sprouted onions is a great way to make use of onions that have started to grow shoots. Instead of throwing them away, you can give them a new life by planting them in your garden. In this article, we will discuss the steps to plant a sprouting onion bulb and provide some tips for successful onion cultivation.

Steps to Plant a Sprouting Onion Bulb

Planting a sprouting onion bulb is a simple process that can be done in a few easy steps:

  1. Step 1: Prepare the Onion Bulb
  2. Peel off the papery outer skin of the sprouted onion. This will expose the fresh layers of the bulb.

  3. Step 2: Separate the Layers
  4. Use a knife to cut the onion’s layers from the sprouts, avoiding the sprouts themselves. This will allow you to separate the sprouts from each other.

  5. Step 3: Grow Roots in Water
  6. Place the sprouts in water until roots grow. This can take a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on the onion variety and growing conditions.

  7. Step 4: Plant the Sprouts
  8. Once the roots have developed, plant the sprouts 1 inch deep in quality potting soil. Make sure the soil is well-drained to avoid waterlogging.

  9. Step 5: Provide Care
  10. Water the plants every few days, making sure the soil is moist but not waterlogged. Check for weeds daily and remove them to prevent competition for nutrients. Treat the plants twice a week with fungicidal spray to prevent harmful fungi.

  11. Step 6: Harvest the Onions
  12. Harvest the onions after 60-80 days when bulbs have formed and the green leaves start to wilt and brown. Gently dig around the base of the plants to loosen the soil and lift the bulbs out.

Opinions on Removing Green Sprouts

Opinions differ about removing green sprouts before planting onions. Some gardeners say snipping them off results in better root growth, while others believe that sprouted bulbs give a head start on leafy growth. It’s up to you to decide which approach you prefer. Experimenting with both methods can help you determine what works best for your onions.

Tips for Successful Onion Cultivation

Here are some additional tips to help you cultivate healthy and productive onions:

  • Choose a sunny location for your onion bed. Onions thrive in full sun.
  • Ensure the soil is well-drained and rich in organic matter.
  • Plant onions in rows, spacing them around 4-6 inches apart.
  • Apply a balanced fertilizer at planting time and side-dress with nitrogen fertilizer as the plants grow.
  • Keep the soil consistently moist, but avoid overwatering.
  • Regularly weed the onion bed to prevent competition for nutrients.
  • Monitor for common onion pests and diseases, such as onion maggots and fungal infections, and take appropriate measures to control them.


Planting a sprouting onion bulb is a simple and rewarding process. By following the steps outlined above and providing proper care, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of fresh onions. Whether you choose to remove the green sprouts or leave them intact, the decision is yours to make based on your preferences and gardening experiences.

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Q: Can you plant a sprouting onion bulb?

Yes, you can plant a sprouting onion bulb. In fact, sprouting onions can be a great resource for gardening purposes.

Q: Why do onions sprout and what causes the process?

Onions sprout due to the natural growth process triggered by the presence of moisture and warmth. The combination of these factors encourages the onion bulb to send out new shoots.

Q: What factors should I consider before planting a sprouting onion bulb?

Before planting a sprouting onion bulb, consider the level of sprouting and the quality of the onion. Ideally, choose bulbs with moderate sprouting and firm texture to ensure successful growth.

Q: How do I properly plant a sprouting onion bulb?

To plant a sprouting onion bulb, follow these steps: 1. Select a well-drained location in your garden. 2. Dig a small hole, approximately 2 inches deep. 3. Place the bulb in the hole with the sprouted end facing up. 4. Gently cover the bulb with soil. 5. Water the area thoroughly. Remember to provide adequate sunlight and regular watering for optimal growth.

Q: What are the benefits of planting sprouting onion bulbs?

Planting sprouting onion bulbs offers benefits such as harvesting fresh onions, saving money on store-bought onions, and experiencing the satisfaction of growing your own food. Additionally, sprouting onions can contribute to a productive and vibrant garden.