Regrow Endless Spring Onions for Free from Kitchen Scraps
We have been regrowing store bought green onion cuttings for several years now, and they are truly some of the easiest and most rewarding kitchen scraps to regrow!
Green onions are also called bunching onions, spring onions , and scallions. They are perennials that keep coming back year after year, which means you can have an endless supply of fresh scallions grown from free kitchen scraps!
There are many wonderful kitchen scraps you can regrow into veggies and herbs, and free house plants! Today we will see how easy it is to regrow green onions (aka scallions) from kitchen scraps in water vs soil, indoors vs outdoors.
We will compare the pros and cons of each method, so you can start your productive kitchen scraps garden today!
* Some resources in article are affiliate links. Full disclosure here .
Step 1. Choose healthy green onions (aka scallions) to regrow from kitchen scraps
When you buy green onions/ scallions from the grocery store, they usually have some roots at the base, which are cut off before cooking.
The first secret is to choose green onions with healthy roots, because the more roots each sprig has, the faster and easier they would regrow. I always try to choose the scallion bunch with the fattest roots! 🙂
Step 2. How big should the cuttings be when you regrow green onions
Measure from the base where the roots start, cut each sprig of green onions so you have 1″ to 2″ of stem attached to the roots. This will be plenty for the green onions to regrow.
Next put these cuttings with roots in water or plant them in soil. Let’s first look at the water growing method.
How to regrow green onions in water
Fill a clean jar with a small amount of water. Place the trimmings in the jar. Keep them standing so the roots are submerged in water, and the very top of the stems should stay above water.
Place the jar in a very bright spot. Avoid too much direct sun because it will cause algae to grow in the water. If your spring onion cuttings are fresh and healthy, you will not need to change water at all. Otherwise change the water if it looks a bit cloudy.
New growth will start in as little as 3 days! Keep adding water every few days so the roots are always submerged.
You can keep trimming the new green onion tops and use them in your cooking. They will continue to grow more new shoots.
To really maximize your harvests, you can add a drop of diluted organic liquid fertilizer like this every week or two, or plant these trimmings in soil.
How to regrow green onions in soil
If you want continuous harvests over a long period of time, growing green onions in soil is the way to go. After trimming the scallions (in Step 2 above) plant them in a vegetable garden, raised bed or a pot filled with good quality soil and compost.
You can also add some organic fertilizer especially when using a small pot. The top tip of each stem should be above soil. Keep the plants in full sun or at least half day sun, and water regularly.
Use a stick or pencil to poke holes in the soil, and place the green onion cuttings in the soil.
Many people assume that if a plant grows in water, then soggy soil must be ok. The answer is no.
Soggy soil can breed bacteria, and cause root rot. So the most important thing to remember is to never let the soil get too dry, or too soggy by sitting in a tray of water for more than a day.
Green onion scraps planted in soil can grow to huge sizes and give lots of harvests. They keep growing back as you cut them. If you protect them from snow and frost, they will keep growing! This method is also great for regrowing onions from scraps.
Comparing green onion cuttings grown in water vs soil
Regrowing green onions in water is super fast and easy. You can see the roots growing, and it is a fun projects for children, older kids, and really, everyone in the family.
The soil method takes slightly more time and more work, but the ability to plant in sun and soil full of nutrients will produce much bigger plants.
We like to jump start our scallion scraps in water, then plant them in soil after a couple of weeks. This way we get continuous harvests over a long period of time.
Pest control: Green onions have few pests. Although rodents don’t harm established plants, they have eaten all our freshly planted young stems and roots a few times. The solution is to start the cuttings inside in water or soil, then plant them outside once they are at least 6″ tall.
If your scallion plants outdoors are not watered enough, you might see aphids on the green shoots. Hose or wipe them off, and keep the plants well watered.
Grow green onions from seeds:
When your green onions grow to large size, they will send flower stalks followed by a large seed head. Onion flowers are globe shaped and quite pretty. The seeds will mature and turn black. You can plant green onions from seeds in spring to grow many more plants using one of the best ways to start seeds indoors!