By Vanessa Greaves

Don't Throw It. Regrow It.

Green onions, aka scallions or spring onions, are sold with a root end that you always trim off. But did you know you can encourage those roots to regrow new onions?

Green Onions Cut Ends | Photo by Vanessa Greaves

Here's how easy it is to upcycle this common food scrap you used to throw away.

  • Slice off the ends of the bulbs, leaving roots attached.
  • Stand the bulbs root-end down in a small jar. (I stood them up in an egg cup.) Add enough water to cover the roots.
  • Set on a windowsill and keep the roots moist. After a few days, green shoots will emerge from the tops of the bulbs. After that, they'll grow very quickly.
  • Keep the roots submerged; change water at least once a week.
Green Onions Rooted in Water | Photo by Vanessa Greaves
  • When the shoots are or four or five inches long, you can plant them in the ground or a pot. If you keep them in the jar, they will produce green shoots for a while but the plant will weaken eventually and stop producing.
  • Snip off what you need; the onions will continue to grow in the ground almost indefinitely, although they could get to be much larger than the green onions you find in your grocery store. If they flower, you can use the flavorful blossoms in salads.
Green Onions in the Garden | Photo by Vanessa Greaves

Satisfaction Factor

Save money. I haven't bought green onions in two years (except to demo this tip).
Save time. A continuous source of recipe ingredients or garnishes.
Reduce waste. You'll never have to toss out a half-used bunch of green onions that you forgot in the fridge.
Wow the world. It's a foolproof project that'll impress kids and adults alike with your mad green-thumb skills.

Now you'll always have fresh green onions on hand for recipes and garnishes.


How to Regrow New Celery from Scraps