Spring onions (Allium fistulosum), also known as welsh onions, winter onions or green onions, enrich every vegetable pan, meat or potato dish with their mild flavor. Their vibrant green color also adds a great sense of freshness to any dish. Most of us buy spring onions cheaply bundled in the supermarket. However, they are usually used up very quickly. In fact, you can easily grow and propagate spring onions after you've cut off a large part of them. Here you'll learn just how easy that can be.
Put spring onions in a glass of water
It really can be that simple. When you cut your spring onion, leave about 5 to 10 centimeters (2 to 4 inches) above the root and place the now shortened onion in a glass of water. All the roots should be covered, but not the entire plant. Now place the water glass next to a sunny window and you're done for now.
Of course, it will take a while before new shoots can form. You should change the water about twice a week. From a cut spring onion can thus become a whole one again.
Growing spring onions in soil
Your spring onions aren't going to grow forever from just a glass of water. There are simply not enough nutrients in the water for that. If you want to grow spring onions for a longer period of time, you can easily plant them in any flower bed. This works best in late spring through summer. Once the plant is firmly established in the ground and remains healthy, it will last for several years.
Harvesting spring onions
Although the name spring onion suggests that you tend to harvest them in the spring, you can do it throughout the year. To do this, simply take a pair of scissors and cut off the top. If you leave about 5 to 10 centimeters (2 to 4 inches) again, your spring onion will usually form new shoots without any problems, so you can harvest it again in the future.
Propagating spring onions
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Spring onions can also be propagated and thus grown sustainably in two simple ways. The first way is to collect their seeds and dry them. The plant forms dark brown to black seeds that fall off easily in the summer. Since they are not too easy to spot on dark soil, you can cover the soil around them with a light tarp or garden fleece. This will help you find the seeds faster.
Either you sow the seeds again immediately or dry them in a warm place. You can then use them both next year and the year after. The best time for this is spring, between mid-March and the end of May.
The other option is dividing the root. The longer a spring onion grows, the larger its actual bulb part under the ground becomes. From this you can carefully separate a small part. Of course, it is important that there are still roots on both bulbs afterwards. Replant your severed part at least 10 centimeters away and watch how it soon becomes a new, independent spring onion.
Purchased spring onions will regrow quickly if you place the bottom 4 inches in a jar of water and replace the water twice a week. However, for sustainable cultivation, the perennial spring onion should be planted in soil. Propagate the plant by sowing the seeds, which simply fall from it in the summer. Alternatively, you can divide the bulb and use it to create a new spring onion. Harvesting spring onions can always be done, but should leave about 10 centimeters (4 inches) for it to grow back.
If you enjoyed the article and want to grow more plants in your garden, you can read how to grow oregano easily at home here.