How to Regrow Green Onions From Scraps

Don't throw it. Regrow it!

Green onions, aka scallions or spring onions, are sold with a root end that you always trim off before using the green stalks and slim white bulb in recipes. But did you know you can encourage those root ends to regrow new green onions? I'll show you how easy it is to regrow an (almost) endless supply of fresh green onions from kitchen scraps. All you need is a starter bunch of green onions, a jar, and fresh water.

Why regrow green onions?

  • Save money. I haven't bought green onions in two years (except to demo this tip).
  • Save time. You'll get a continuous source of recipe ingredients or garnishes right when you need them.
  • 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.
scallions with cut ends for rooting
Vanessa Greaves

How to regrow green onions

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, but leave the top edges above water.
  • 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 and change water at least once a week.
Green Onions Rooted in Water Photo by Vanessa Greaves
Vanessa Greaves
  • When the shoots are or four or five inches long, you can plant them in the ground or a pot filled with good quality potting soil. Repotting is important because if you just keep the root ends 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, cutting the leaves all the way to the ground; the onions will continue to grow again from the cut end. If you don't cut the greens down to the ground, the plant 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.
  • Depending on where you live (I'm in the Pacific Northwest) your green onions in the ground can survive winter, much like some of your hardier kales and other wintertime greens. They'll start perking up around springtime, which is when I start putting new starts into the ground to replace anything that looks a little weary.
Green Onions in the Garden Photo by Vanessa Greaves
Vanessa Greaves

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


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