This Instructable outlines how to grow fresh onion plants from discarded onion bottoms that would otherwise be thrown in the trash.  You can theoretically create an endless supply of onions without ever having to buy bulbs or seeds, and if you're as big of an onion lover in the kitchen as I am, you'll have a full bed of onions in no time.

3 Week Update:
New roots have formed on the example onion used in this Instructable, and the starts of leaves are forming which can be seen by the two distinct rises at the top of the onion.  This onion will more than likely form two plants just like fully formed example on this Intro page.

4 Week Update:
New leaves are forming above the soil, and it's clear that this plant will be able to be divided.  It has now gone through a hard freeze in its pot sitting on a growing table.

Step 1: Materials

You will need:
  • Onion
  • Clean Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Starter Pot with Potting Soil (optional)
<p>I have questions.... What is the right potting soil? How long does this process take? Direct sun or indirect sun? What time of year? Cold or heat tolerant? I live in Las Vegas and plan to shade them most of the day because it gets soooooooo hot, will that work? Will they grow in this heat? How much water? Fertilizer? Thank you so much! </p>
<p>Wow! I really love this website. I just googled it and found this. There are some very knowledgeable and kind people here. God bless everyone of you! I am a fair gardener, I don't have hardly anyplace to put a garden. My landlady said I could put a garden out back, but I need help as we have heavy clay soil which I can't dig. Looking forward to reading more posts. Btw, my best field is outdoor trees, shrubs, flowers, and wildflowers. I worked at a 100 acre tree ranch for years. </p>
<p>I also have heavy clay soil, and have given up using it in favor of raised beds. I got started by using the Grow Box from Garden Patch (agardenpatch.com), then graduated to building my own raised beds. I'm really proud of my garden, and get all my summer tomatoes, pepper, string beans, broccoli, onions, beets, carrots, and lettuces each year. It's a lot of work this time of year, but well worth it. Wish you luck!</p>
<p>+1 for raised beds</p>
<p>I'm trying this out, will update as it comes along.</p>
I've been doing this for a while now. The onion's new growth will always be from the center area of the onion, so you can peel away most of the old grow before you put it into the soil. I also plant the tops of pineapples. Just pull green part off and tear back the bottom half inch of leaves to expose more of the stalk and then stick it in about a half an inch of water for a couple of days. When the roots have grown out to where they could start utilizing the soil, put them in the soil. They are extremely unfussy. I grow them successfully in medium sized containers and I don't even have to water them. I also grow cumin, fenugreek and mustard from my spice cabinet. I have a three year old avocado tree that I grew from an avocado pit. I grow store bought ginger and turmeric as well. Also shallots, celery and of course onions. I'm in an apartment and the plants are all outdoors (except I just brought in my celery, thanks to advice below) and no one complains. The key to success is the quality of the soil. You have to have container mix if you plant in containers, not &quot;top soil&quot;. Gardening is soooo rewarding.
Thanks so much for this information. I am dying to try container gardening, and it encourages me that you are doing it successfully here in Florida. I've hesitated to try because of how awful our soil is and I've been unsure where to even buy good soil for container gardening.
Home Depot. <br> <br>Unfortunately I live in an apartment and have to keep the plants close to the house where they don't get enough sun. :(
I'm in a house and thankfully have space in both sun and shade but my problem is I don't know enough about gardening to know what grows best in which setting. My mama could grow anything, but she's been gone 8 years now and I have a black thumb. :(
Perhaps you should find a nursery in your area and tell them what you want to do and then take their advice, Maybe start with one or two plants until you get the hang of it.<br><br>With containers, the way you know when it is time to water (if it hasn't rained) is to put your finger into the dirt about an inch down. It should feel damp there. If it feels bone dry or almost bone dry then it needs water. Otherwise, don't because you'll over-water it.<br><br>
<p>In my place, light is also an issue. I re-grow a lot of veggies with an inexpensive gooseneck lamp. Much to my surprise, bunches of basil and cilantro in glasses of water have rooted and grown into vibrant plants</p><p>in organic potting soil.</p>
<p>Great! Well be sure and use the new compact fluorescent bulbs because they are actually the same light value as sunlight, unlike the incandescents, and they are a lot cheaper and environmentally friendly to operate.</p>
<p>Thank you, W.E., for your thoughtful response.</p><p>I don't use CFLs anymore because they contain mercury.Last year I discovered halogen light bulbs (the same size and shape as incandescents) at &quot;Kmart&quot; (in the U.S.) which were less expensive, nontoxic, and almost as energy efficient as CFLs. The information about callousing veggies (letting them dry for 24 hours) has dramatically improved my results in re-growing veggie stems and roots. Thank you, everyone.</p>
<p>The problem with other types of bulbs is their heat and light output per watt. As well as having improper K values.</p>
No, they don't. CFL's provide horrible light for plants. I added a couple to an earlier indoor setup to add white light so I could see color better...half my plants died. When I ran them through the spec, I found WAY to much high energy UV, which was what fried the plants. Aquarium bulbs, man...we've been growing plants indoors under water for forever.
<p>You can absolutely grow under CFLs, it's just a bit of a struggle to find CFLs powerful enough to get a high enough lumen output within your space - and it ends up not being worth it in the end. I've grown with CFLs before successfully - but I absolutely had better grows once I switched to HPS.</p>
<p>Never buy or use compact fluorescent bulbs - for any purpose. The science is very clear and voluminous. They damage health and the environment through their entire life-cycle, from manufacture through usage and discard. During usage, they produce unheathy transients in wiring, also referred to as &quot;dirty electricity&quot;. They also produce high levels of unhealthful 60 (0r 50, in EU) Hz fields, relative to same-wattage incandescent bulbs. Their light is digital, like a strobe, which is disruptive to brain function and to the corresponding functions in plants. By contrast the light of incandescents is rather constant, closely approximating the signal of natural sunlight. Compact fluorescents do not last as long as most incandescents, needing more frequent replacement; and they expose humans, animals and plants to toxic mercury vapors when broken. Although their combined energy usage is often less than that of incandescents, their dysfunction is more frequent. Don't fall for the compact bulb industry's green-masking! There is NOTHING green about toxic, hazardous compact fluorescent bulbs!</p>
<p>This is SO CORRECT!!!!</p>
Spices don't typically need much light, but if you look up a few posts, I told a couple other people what aquarium bulbs to buy to provide enough light to grow anything indoors. I even know a few medicinal marijuana users who are using my bulb mix very successfully, even with picky strains. Personally, I just grow flowers and vegetables, but I'm about to get orange and lemon trees...maybe an avocado...and I live in a small one bedroom apartment.<br>
I will do that. Thanks so much for the info! :)
I just did a garden for the first time this year... I got pallets.. Put weed barrier on the bigger side payed it down on the yard and filled it up with soil...(found on Pinterest) then I planted seeds in March and now I have a full pledge garden... If it goes well this year I will do a garden in the ground next year.. My husband wants to make sure I take care of this one first.. I now bought a small green house and am learning to keep my garden going all year long... Thanks to the Internet, Us With black thumbs can grow anything...good luck and don't get discouraged
<p>gardening can be so rewarding yet very challenging even to the green thumbers :) try starting with something that is easy to grow like lettuces or spinach, I'm in Australia, we are a very dry country, so I use our lawn clippings to mulch my gardens, &amp; I grow most things that we eat, including fruits :)</p>
<p>get sum of these </p><p>http://www.ebay.com/itm/281651969169?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&amp;ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT</p>
Home Depot...yes. While you're there, pick up a couple 4 ft. 2-bulb T5HO ceiling fixtures, wire them to an old 3-prong extension cord, and order the following flourescent tubes from Amazon or your local pet/aquarium store- 2 Wavepoint Ultra Growth Waves, 1 Wavepoint Super Blue 460, and 1 Wavepoint Coral Wave. A timer is nice, too if you don't want a 24 hr. light cycle. Now, you can grow anything you can find a container big enough for any time of year in the comfort of your living room.
I have found that in South Florida, with a paucity of sunlight, that these are the easiest to grow:<br><br>* pineapple<br>* sweet potatoes<br>* ginger<br>* avocado trees<br>* turmeric<br>* chives<br>* basil<br>* aloe vera<br><br>If you want to go with instant success, go with them. No fuss.<br><br>One word about Rosemary... Do not overwater!!<br><br>
<p>Hey Wounded Ego: Can u tell me how to grow &quot;Ginger&quot;. I also live in South Florida, Boca Raton to be exact and grow just about everything. Now all u do, but some,like Pineapple, Potatoes(year Round),Basil,Aloe, its wild and bother some..If u ever want some let me know! I make great organic soil with all left over food scraps, and coffee grounds,etc.. Would like to get in touch and see ur garden...name is jack.</p>
I realize this is an old post I'm replying to, but I also live in an apartment and my management complains bitterly about anything that's not small flowers in decorative pots (so no brown clay pots). What I have done is set up an aquaponic system in my apartment. T5HO flourescent aquarium bulbs can be mixed to provide an optimal spectrum. I'm running 8 four-foot tubes in fixtures I bought from Home Depot. Lowes only has t8s as of yet. I'm running Wavepoint tubes-4 Ultra Growth Waves, 2 Super Blue 460's and 2 Coral Waves. I'm at about 400 w and cannot grow anything that doesn't like full sunlight unless I keep half of them turned off...but why? That means four fluorescents at 200 w should do you for most plants. Anyway, if you are interested, it really expands the number of plants you can have. What I'm growing in my living room is twice what I could have grown on my porch. I could share build instructions of you would like.
<p>Ridiculus innit? My plant's just make me happy for no good reason. I have a little mango tree that sprouted in the compost pile that makes me smile every time I see it. </p>
<p>First time to try this, it was a success. thank you for the detailed / step by step procedure. Big Help :)</p>
<p>So, are the sprout greens edible too? Such as when an older onion starts sprouting.</p>
<p>You most certainly can. Very similar to chives, scallions, celery... in fact, it allows the onion to continue to grow and every time the stalk/leaves grow back, the flavor of the onion intesifies.</p>
<p>So far as I know! :)</p>
<p>? so happy</p>
<p>@woundedEgo, I've tried soooo many times to grow a pineapple tree and never can get it to take. What kind of soil are you using? How often do you water yours?</p>
<p>If you are ever able to grow a pineapple tree please let me know. I would love to see that! You should grow a coconut bush too while you are at it. </p>
<p>Hi, where do you try planting? We've had lots of success with pineapple plants, just cutting off the tops and planting. However, they do NOT like the cold! Have you tried growing them on a patio or porch area in large pots?</p>
<p>I am new to this but I have a wonderful starter Onion. So here I am looking it up...</p>
<p>Link shared in the Food Shelf Friday blog post, &quot;Waste Not, Want Not: Regrowing Food from Kitchen Scraps&quot; <a href="https://foodshelffriday.wordpress.com/2015/03/13/waste-not-want-not-regrowing-food-from-kitchen-scraps/" rel="nofollow">https://foodshelffriday.wordpress.com/2015/03/13/w...</a></p>
<p>interesting, i might have to try this myself</p>
I am a stay at home mom. And my daughter is almost 5 months old and i want to grow her her own organic veggies. What is the best veggie to start with
<p>my onion plant</p>
<p>I have a couple of questions.. if an onion starts growing in your kitchen, do you just plant it, or cut off the bottom? Also, I eat alot of organic beets, they grow as well, how should they be planted, whole or by cutting the tops off?</p>
<p>The top third of medium sized beets will grow beet greens, which are similar to red chard. The second growing season in a year-round garden they will go to seed, and you will have to re-plant. I live in mountains with -6 to -1 Celsius, (20-30 Fahrenheit) winters, and beets grow year round under CVC (soft version of PVC) half-circle hoops and row covers made from old sheets, curtains, tablecloths,etc. Bon appetit!</p>
<p>You can just plant it, or you can carefully cut into it and separate the plants.</p><p>I had to look up beets, and like carrots, you can/should plant just the top third because beets like carrots will get old and woody. However, if you want to grow beets for the greens, you might want to plant the beet as a whole which should give it a head start on green production. I've not grown beets or carrots, so this is theoretical. Definitely run a search and go from there.</p>
<p>Great post!thanks for sharing</p>
<p>Glad you like it! :)</p>

About This Instructable


474 favorites


Bio: time!
More by AngryRedhead: Bananas Foster Cocktail Deli Roast Beef in a Slow Cooker Bourbon Pecan Pie Candy Balls
Add instructable to: