How to Grow and Harvest Bunching Onions

Grown your own Veggies

How good is life when you can wander through your garden at a leisurely pace, selecting small, beautiful, edible morsels to eat as you walk?  Many people have a favorite summer routine, taking regular daily strolls through their garden, plucking and eating edible leaves as they walk.

When they are ones that you have grown, so much more remarkable is the pleasure in eating them.

Cook and Eat

A small garden is also lovely because you can rush outside, take what you need for your cooking, and then sit outside on a chair enjoying the weather while cooking.

Whatever your pleasure and your purse, it’s nature’s bounty; and we have written songs to it, dedicated poems to it. Some people go to church and give worship for it, and others say nice things about it when they are consuming it.

Bunching Onions

Bunching Onions are probably one of the most favorite things for people to eat directly out of their own gardens.

At the height of the season, it’s said that people can eat a handful of the leafy tops of the bunching onions each day during their garden walks, not to mention the bundles that they chop- up and sprinkle in soups, stir-fries, and sandwiches fillings.

Why Are They Called Bunching Onions?

They have many names, known as small onions, baby onions, green onions, and spring onions. Those are terms that make some sense, but would anyone call them bunching onions? I doubt it, yet they are sold in bunches, so I suppose that’s one explanation. If you need another one, you can grow the seeds close together in a group to stop bulbs from happening.

Growing From Seed

Bunching onions are easy to grow. They germinate from seed if you plant them correctly.

Keep them well-watered and side-dress with compost or fertilizer. The roots are relatively shallow and don’t like to dry out.

To make succession planting work well. Every 3-4weeks, plant more, and so on to have a healthy supply of onions.

Onions can be harvested at any time – don’t wait until they’re mature.

Start Early Indoors

To bunch onion seedlings ready for planting is less time consuming and more comfortable to do.

For a prolonged harvest, consider planting some seeds indoors about five weeks before their time outside. When the time comes to replants them outside, separate the seedlings and plant each little plantlet in its own individual hole. Doing it this way means that they will be ready to harvest much sooner than the seeds that people plant immediately outside into the garden without any protection in their early days.

Growing From Sets

You can also grow a bunch of onions from sets. The key is to harvest them before they start expanding the bulb.  Those are the small onions sold in nurseries in Spring, and any variety will work. It’s nice to know you have enjoyed those top green leaves all during the summer.

Perennial Bunching Onions

Allium fistulosum

The Welsh onion is a perennial. It makes a great addition to the perennial bed. These bulbs easily overwinter and start growing early in Spring. Somebody can harvest the leaves all season.

General Culture

Onions are shallow-rooted plants and don’t like to dry out, so keep them well watered and mulched.

They are also heavy feeders, so side-dress with compost or fertilizer, depending on your soil’s needs.

Succession Planting

Reasonably fast growers are these bunching onions. They don’t need the whole summer to arrive at the eating stage. If you plant every day for 3-4 weeks, chances are you will have a constant supply of onions as needed.

It all depends on your subsequent actions after planting. If you buy a bag of seedlings, but you don’t want to use them all at once, you should leave the remaining ones in the fridge so they don’t start to grow. That is a beneficial thing to do.


You can eat two parts of the plant – the bulb and the top green leaves. You may prefer the bulb, then harvest complete plants. If you choose the leaves, you can cut them off, and the remaining bulb will grow new ones.

However, most people prefer the tender bulbs to the tenderness of the leaves.

More About Bunching Onions

The plants are perennial – year after year!

Fondly known as Welsh onions, green onions, Japanese bunching onions, spring onions, and scallions, they are trendy in the eating department, and people cannot stop snacking on them. There are so many types of dips and a continuous supply of Sping onions to do the dipping with, thereby creating new flavors.

Growing From Seed

Keep them well watered and side-dress them with compost or fertilizer. The roots are relatively shallow, but they do not like to dry out.

It’s OK to harvest at any time. You don’t need to wait. Cut off the leaf or pull the complete onion and leave the bulb. That will form new leaves that can again be harvested.

With a mild onion flavor, the leaves are enjoyable, either raw or cooked. Larger varieties are comparable to leeksOpens in a new tab., while the smaller ones appear to bear a resemblance to chivesOpens in a new tab.. Even the flowers are edible, with something of a sharp flavor, though they tend to be a little on the dry side.

Gradual Planting

Similar Species

It can be challenging to understand the difference between the many different variations of onions. Almost any type of onion will produce edible greens. For instance, you are probably familiar with green onions early in the season.

Other similar species which are all good to eat and can add wonderful flavor to food are Leeks, Shallots, and Chives.

These are all similar in taste to their relative. The bunching onion is a real perennial, and it does not form a bulb. Its’ green foliage, however, tends to be superior in flavor to the others!

Cultivation and History

Although often referred to as Welsh onions, Bunching Onions had no particular connection to Welsh cooking traditions; nor did they originate in Wales. It may sound strange in today’s times, but the word “Welsh” referred to an Old English form of the word, which was once understood to mean “foreign.”

I have read that this type of onion originated in China. Its’ earliest use by humans seems to date back to around 200 BC. The story goes that it reached Japan sometime close to 500 AD and, from there, spread to Nothern America via Asia and Europe.

Chinese Medicine

Besides being a tasty inclusion in all manner of cuisine, it also has many Chinese medicinal uses. It has been used to improve metabolism, prevent cardiovascular disorders, and fight cold and upper respiratory infections.

Herbalists have said that a poultice made from scallions helps to treat infections or drain sores. The dressing they use is a moist lump of plant matter directly (or wrapped) upon the skin’s distressed part to treat wounds or skin ailments.

Deters Insects, Termites, and Moles!

It is beneficial to gardens! Moths and Aphids can be repelled by using the juice to fend them off the plants. The whole plant is thought to deter certain types of insects, including termites and moles. Such a multi-purpose plant is extremely useful in the garden.


This tough plant can be grown from seeds or transplants quite quickly.

Find a place in full sun or part shade, with well-draining soil. For best results, incorporate plenty of rich compost before embedding.

If You Use the Seeds

Sow the seeds early in Spring so that you can enjoy a good summer harvest. However, if you prefer a harvest in the Spring, then instead sow the seeds late in summer, so that they will then mature in the fall or Spring – this is for the best results.

Plant them 1/4-1/2 inch deep in the soil and about 1/4 inch apart in rows 2-3 inches wide for the best results.  Once the seedlings are sufficiently sturdy and mature, it’s time to thin them out to an inch apart.

Transplanting the Seedlings

You must start with the seeds indoors for about 5-6 weeks before your area’s last frost date. Also, keep the average temperature to between 59 to 68°F, and keep the soil moist until germination, which will take between 7 to 10 days on average.

When these plants have grown to between 8-18 inches tall, they should be about as wide as a pencil; then transplant them outside into the garden in neat, straight rows. It’s an acceptable policy to have them spaced apart by about a couple of inches.

Before the planting, prepare the dry soil with gentle watering. After the soil has been thoroughly watered, you can dip the bottom of the roots lightly into liquid fertilizer before setting it into the ground.


When they are finally established in your garden and growing nicely, the plants can be divided easily to spread throughout your garden, wherever you think they will grow the best.

In Spring – which is considered the best time to divide – carefully dig up a clump of the plants, then very gently split the root ends into a few separate sections; then replant, and this will increase your crop.

How to Grow

Bunching Onions is a very hardy plant. It is quite robust and strong enough to withstand drought, tolerate almost any other soil conditions, and still grow well.

To get a superior crop, you need to ensure it’s in nutrient-rich soil and full sun with sufficient water.


Every few weeks, the plants will benefit from regular watering and the addition of liquid feed. Fertilizer could be the best treatment. Place the fertilizer in a five-gallon bucket of water. Then, wait a couple of days, strain, and this nutrient-rich liquid will be ready to be used on your plants for an outstanding and healthy result.

Continual Supply

To prepare for the Winter, your need to get a thick layer of mulch ready and apply it over the Autumn plants. This is to protect the plants during the Winter’s cold weather, and it should help promote an earlier crop. Once the spring arrives, and the soil is beginning to warm up, you can remove that mulch.

For a continual supply of crops, keep planting in succession every 3-4 weeks.

Hilling Plants

You could also try hilling plants with soil as they grow, mounding it a couple of inches higher with each addition. This will force the leaves to rise higher up the plant, resulting in long, blanched stalks and much longer edible greens.

Patricia Godwin

Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, but her first love is gardening. She’s never met a plant she didn’t like and, consequently, she writes about every type of plant you can think of. Once an avid gardener with a herb garden, a succulent rockery, and a rose garden – to mention a few. Nowadays, she’s constantly on the move searching for interesting plants to bring to your attention; and explain to you all the details you need to grow, care and maintain these plants.

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