Introduction: How to Regrow Green Onions

Picture of How to Regrow Green Onions

If you’re like me, you buy green onions for certain dishes, but whatever you don’t use ends up going bad in the fridge. I’ll want to use them for another recipe only to find that they have morphed into a mystery bag of spoiled mucky green slime in the bottom drawer. Please don't judge, I can't be the only one, right? Maybe I'm the only one who will admit it in an Instructable.

What if you could just regrow those green onions so they don't go bad in the first place??? Hopefully you'll forgive my "lost bag of green onions" incident and check out my blog for my easy recipes for busy families. Find more info at

Original post for regrowing green onions is at How to Regrow Green Onions.

Step 1: Cut the Onion About One Inch From the Root End

Picture of Cut the Onion About One Inch From the Root End

Use your green onion in your favorite recipe, but save the root end to regrow new ones!

Ok, sorry, but this is not rocket science here. I was floored when I found out you could do this. Just save the bulb ends and place them root side down into a narrow cup. Add about 3/4 inch of water and put it near a window to grow more green onion goodness! Just change out the water every couple of days.

You should check out my blog or my other Instructables (this one shows how I make pan-fried potato cakes using instant mashed potatoes!). I have a couple that use green onions and I love these 5-shear scissors for quick prep!

Step 2: Place Them Roots Down in a Narrow Cup in 3/4 Inch of Water

Picture of Place Them Roots Down in a Narrow Cup in 3/4 Inch of Water

Put the cup near a window with natural sunlight. Switch out the water every couple of days.

Step 3: Day Four of Growth

Picture of Day Four of Growth

Step 4: Day Nine of Growth

Picture of Day Nine of Growth

Just snip the green ends when you need them for a recipe!


CraftAndu (author)2017-06-23

Awesome! I do excatly the same thing but with leeks.

Razanur made it! (author)2017-04-30

Thanks for the instructable!

jessyratfink (author)2017-04-20

I tried this before, but ended up with slimy and smelly onions. But I see you switched the water out every couple days!

I'll have to try again and do that. :)

I went through the same thing and switching the water out does the trick

I've been doing this for about a year now, and the best method I've found is to use a small mason jar for about 5-7 stalks. You only need to put enough water in the jar to get the roots wet (so maybe 1/8-1/4 inch, max), as the rest of the plant above the root line doesn't do anything.

Instead of changing the water, I dump it out in the morning before I head to work, then add the above amount to the jar before I go to bed. There are two reasons for this:

1. The roots need time to breathe, as the plants themselves can't absorb that much water that fast when sitting on a window sill with limited sunlight (unless you have a grow light), which leads to the next point:
2. Submerging the roots in water constantly will eventually cause them to rot, and the onion will die.

I've learned this through experience, and I'm on my 4th generation of onions as a result.

I'd also like to point out that this is also feasible for other vegetables like lettuce, celery, cilantro, basil, and carrots.

mrsmerwin (author)2017-04-20

I just last week planted my onion ends in a small pot of dirt on my window sill. They are growing nicely. I have a pair of those scissors. It never occurred to me to use them in the kitchen. Thanks for the idea.

imerrymary (author)mrsmerwin2017-04-23

Just curious - What other use did you find for these scissors?

hobbit2 (author)imerrymary2017-04-23

great for cutting pizza

AnnabellaMarie (author)hobbit22017-04-25

Doesn't it just come out in ribbons? I use my regular kitchen shears for pizza.
I, too, want to know where and how the five blade shears would be used if not in the kitchen.

Definitely not for pizza :) They can also be used for crafts for thin materials. You could cut fringe on cloth or use for extra detail on paper snowflakes. Other folding paper crafts too, like when you cut a paper heart or square by folding a piece of paper in half first.

mrsmerwin (author)imerrymary2017-04-23

The manufacturer called it a paper shredder. We make confetti.

They grow great in soil too, just easier in water! I love those scissors, makes it so easy to cut up green onions and herbs!

GregJ26 (author)2017-04-24

I have taken them and put them in the ground to grow onions faster than from a dry bulb.

rootfamilyreview (author)GregJ262017-04-25

A great jump start!

karthiki5 (author)2017-04-24

Can we put the onions in a pot?

Yes, you could always put them in a pot to grow as well!

Knoblauch (author)2017-04-23

Hi Shari, thanks for sharing your Instructable. Any idea if it would work with green garlic too? I am crazy for green garlic, but it is hard to find it on the market...

any member of the allium family, will work. leek, garlic, spring onion, scallion, shallot, chives, white, red, or yellow onion.


I'm going to do leeks FYI pan fried leeks are so tasty I use them to replace onions often.

Thanks, Jimmie! I'll try it.

Thanks Jimmie for your response on this. The green garlic will definitely regrow!

Thanks, Shari!

deluges (author)2017-04-24

Nice, I'll try this when I get home

charlessenf-gm (author)2017-04-23

They can be planted in the garden as well - and mine over-Wintered strongly and are flowiring as I write this in April.

MeMiri (author)charlessenf-gm2017-04-23

Our winter is long and cold, very few plants survive unless they are perennials, like bushes and trees. Do you use a cover of any kind?

michelbaill (author)MeMiri2017-04-23

I've had mine in a flower pot inside for four months now. Should have done it before love it

charlessenf-gm (author)MeMiri2017-04-23

Our Winters have been relatively modest with few snow days. I have two down comforters , oh, you mean for the onions!

Nah, I just pulled all the tomato and been plants and such but left the bucket of onions to fend for itself - it (they) did!


smileydude3 (author)2017-04-23

If you want to plant it in the ground later you can suspend the green onions on the rim of the glass with toothpicks so that the roots will grow too. We did this at a summer camp once and the roots grew a lot.

we9to4 (author)2017-04-23

Garlic, you plant single cloves and watch them grow...

we9to4 (author)2017-04-23

Yep ! ! !

I been doing this for some time now ! ONLY Difference with mine is I find slimy green onions and my wifey is yelling as usual, bout buying to much green stuff and letting it rot, ( She don't eat much green ) I plant all the whole slimy onion in my big pots on the front porch with the flowers . Then when I want Green tops I go out and cut off the bottom green stems I need , it keeps growing and flowers.

Love My Little Porch Garden

instructablessy (author)2017-04-23

Hi Shari,
Thanks for sharing and I like it very much!
I wonder if a green onion will become week and small after several regrowing.

Thanks to Jimmie for his response on this. I have to agree with all that he wrote!

depends on the nutrients, in the water for growth. hard water, is better than soft water. will use up, nutrients in water fast. a very small pinch of miracle grow, will certainly help. or even replanting them, in a planter with soil to prevent smell from slime rot.

MeMiri (author)jimmie.c.boswell2017-04-23

If using tap water, perhaps leave it for a day for the Chlorine to disipate, or use Filtered water with a high pH (i.e. Santevia) to provide minerals. We have extremely hard water in our area, but it also contains heavy metals so we filter it. Santevia or similar filters provide the good minerals and remove all the harmful things.

Nancy JG (author)2017-04-23

This is a great idea, but I will point out that chopped-up green onions will freeze nicely if you can't keep up with the growing cycle.

Good point! I will have to try that when I have more than I can use!

Bille Nutmeg (author)2017-04-23

I tried this, but they give off a raunchy stink. Do you experience this?

Hi Bille! I've found that that can happen if you don't change out the water regularly, but haven't had issues if I change the water every couple of days.

dimm0k (author)2017-04-23

what are those scissors called? also, I've tried this, but it seems this can only be done a limited amount of times? each time I do it, the regrowths get thinner and thinner...

rootfamilyreview (author)dimm0k2017-04-23

I put a link to the scissors in the Instructable. They're called Culinary Multipurpose 5-blade Herb Scissors Stainless Steel Blades.

PhilS43 (author)2017-04-23

Best way to keep them

Within a few days get some nice, clean, fresh tops and much better bulbs - spring onions just love growing

Change the water every couple of days, better than the fridge

Interesting to try other veg that doesn't last long like cut sweet peppers with the stem left on

rootfamilyreview (author)PhilS432017-04-23

I agree! I've heard you can do this with celery and some types of lettuce as well, but haven't tried those.

MeMiri (author)2017-04-23

I prefer the whites and rarely if ever use the greens of this type of green onion. But, if putting them in water keeps them from rotting and I can still use up what I didn't use of the whole bunch that is a plus. I imagine this also works on chives which green is used more in my kitchen. Thank you

MaxH86 (author)2017-04-23

you can stick them in dirt, even a flower pot and they will keep on growin! same with garlic and the little buds on ginger!

masterofcrafting (author)2017-04-20

Wow, when I started reading this I thought it would take a while, but only nine days! That is truely amazing!

They grow surprisingly fast!

gm280 (author)2017-04-20

Interesting concept, and I love those little green onions. Can you cut closer to the root end to allow more onion to eat, or have to you tried?

rootfamilyreview (author)gm2802017-04-20

Yes, you can cut closer to the root end. I just try to make sure that there is enough weight to stay upright in the water and to have some of the white portion above the water line.

About This Instructable



Bio: Hi, I'm Shari! I'm a busy wife and mom with two tween/teen daughters, and I work full-time. You'll find that the ... More »
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