Growing Green Onion – A Beginners Guide

Green Onion Bulbs.
Green Onion Bulbs.

Growing Green Onion for Beginners:

The following is all about Growing Green Onion.

Introduction to Growing Green Onion

Green onion is a vegetable in the family having other vegetables including garlic, leek, shallots, and chives. The plant is native to southwest Asia and Mediterranean regions. The plant is one of the oldest crops cultivated from prehistoric times by man. Though this is a vegetable plant but mainly consumed as pickle and salad for its flavor. In Egypt, India, and China green onion are used as a condiment in various cuisines.

Green onion leaves are hollowed, long, and get flattened at the top. The leaves at the base are overlapped forming as a stem. It is a biennial plant and grown as an annual. Roots are shallow and are formed at the base of the bulb in the soil. The plants are harvested when the blubs are one to two centimeters in diameter, and the leaves are tender, green and standing.

Growing Green Onion.
Growing Green Onion.

Scientific / Botanical name of Green Onion

Allium cepa L.

Family Name of Green Onion


Other names of Green Onion

Spring onions, salad onions, green shallots, onion sticks, syboes.

Green Onion in Indian Languages

Hindi – हरेप्याज, हराप्याज़(haripyaaj).

Gujarati – લીલીડુંગળી(Līlīḍuṅgaḷī).

Malayalam – (UlliThal / UlliChedi).

Tamil –வசந்தவெங்காயம்(PallariVengayam).

Kannada – ಹಸಿರುಈರುಳ್ಳಿ(ErulliKaavu).

Telugu – ఉల్లికాడలు(Ullikadalu / Paraka).

Bengali –সবুজপেঁয়াজ (Peyajkoli).

Marathi -हिरव्याकांदा(Kandaa Path).

Punjabi –  ਹਰੇਪਿਆਜ਼(Harēpi’āza).

Urdu – ہریپیاز.

Green Onion Varieties / Green Onion Cultivars

CO4: This is a hybrid variety derivative of the cross AC863 x CO3. The plant leaves are light green, upright and cylindrical in shape. The plant can be harvested at 65 days and expect a yield of 19 tonnes per hectare.

Baswant 780: This variety is suitable for Kharif and late Kharif season. Onion bulbs are tapering towards the neck and attractive red in color. The crop will be ready to harvest by 100 to 110 days for bulbs and 45 to 60 days for greens. The farmer can expect a bulb yield of 25 to 30 tonnes per hectare.

The other varieties or cultivars in India include Red Nasik, Agrifound Dark Red, N-2-4-1, ArkaNiketan, PhuleSafed, PhuleSuwarna, Bhima Raj, Bhima Super, and more.

Climate for Growing Green Onion

Green onion plants bulbs are sensitive to day length and light. A bulb formation initiation happensregardless of bulb size vary on variety planted while each variety has a critical day length. The plants are cool-season crop and the plant growth is dependent on temperature. Green onion leaf growth rate between 20° to 25° C temperature is optimum. In temperature less than 10° C, the bulbs begin to bolt. For a successful production, green onions leaf production continues without bulb formation when the day lengthis not long enough.

Soil requirement for Growing Green Onion

The best soils for growing green onions will be in red loam to black soils having good drainage. As the plants are shallow rooted, soils must be friable. The soil must be medium-textured sandy loam with high organic matter. Heavy soil or soils with high clay content will hamper bulb growth leading to misshape onions when harvested. The plants perform well in soil pH 6.0 to 7.0 ranges without extreme climatic conditions. Germination and emergence stages are hampered in saline soils while established plants can tolerate saline soils.

Land preparation in Growing Green Onion

Plow the land thoroughly to a fine tilth and form ridges and furrows. Prepare the soil to a fine texture for good germination. Soils that are poorly drained can go for raised beds of 15 to 20 cm high and 100 cm wide for planting, this helps to improve water drainage.

Propagation in Green OnionGrowing

Seeds: Onion seeds are sown directly in the field or sown in nursery beds. Seeds are formed when plants bolt producing a long flower stalk by forming seed head.

Green Onion Seeds.
Green Onion Seeds.

Transplants: Seeds are sown in nursery beds at nurseries. Seeds germinate and by 30 days the seedlings will be 10 cm to 15 cm long and ready for transplant to the main field.

Tunicate Bulbs:Tunicate knobs develop by forming concentric layers around thecore center. This knob/bulb likewise builds up a papery husk around the outside. Tunicate bulbs self-proliferate by developing offsets. The offsets develop from the base of the bulb of the mother plant under the soil. When left on the ground, the onion plant will spread as new offsets and grow. Farmers exploit this regular regenerative characteristic by digging up onions and expelling the offsets for transplanting.

Seed Rate Growing Green Onion

Planting of green onions requires 10 to 12 kilogram per hectare.

Season in Growing Green Onion

Sowing of seeds can be started during April to May and October to November. Though at the time of germination and growing stage, the plant requires good soil moisture, heavy rainfall will hamper seed germination and bulb formation.

Sowing and Spacing in Growing Green Onion

Green onions are usually planted densely. Seeds are sown in two to four rows with spacing about 15 cm apart between plants. Seedlings are planted on raised beds in about 6 rows with 20 cm in each row and 12 cm between plants. Seedlings from nursery can be transplanted when seedlings are 15 cm tall or 45 to 60 days old. Sow the seeds in the soil about one to two-centimeter depth. Provide irrigation immediately after transplantation and maintain the moisture level uniformly.

Irrigation in Growing Green Onion

Irrigation can be done either by flooding, sprinklers, or drip irrigation. Sprinklers are recommended when it comes to growing green onion and drip irrigation is not recommended as the plants are densely planted. During seed germination ensures the seeds are not dried out and at seedling emergence, the soil surface should not be allowed to crust. As plants are shallow rooted and non-branching, frequent irrigation must be given especially in flood irrigation as all roots are in the upper 20 cm of the soil. Depending on soil type and climatic conditions the frequency and amount of water irrigation varies. When plants are small irrigate the field once in a week by sprinklers, and as plants increase size so also the irrigation frequency will increase and maintain uniform soil moisture in the beds.

Manures and Fertilizers in Growing Green Onion

When preparing the land, on the last plow mix the soil with 25 tonnes of well-rotted farmyard manure per hectare. Along with farmyard manure apply a basal dose of superphosphate, 75% from 285 kilograms per hectare. Incorporate the soil with two kilograms of Azospirilillium and Phosphobacteria each per hectare mixed with 50 kilograms of farmyard manure and 100 kilograms of neem cake per hectare. Apply chemical fertilizers about 30 kilograms of Nitrogen, 60 kilograms of Phophorous, and 30 kilograms of Potassium as basal dose and apply 30 kilograms of Nitrogen as second dose after a month from sowing.

Intercultural operations in Growing Green Onion

Green onions grow slowly in the initial days making them poor competent with weeds. Mechanical methods such as mowing, plowing, or discing to control weeds cannot be initiated as the crop is planted densely. The best way to control weeds in green onion growing is by using herbicides at the pre-emergence and post-emergence. Regular intervals of hand weeding are some important intercultural operations in the growth cycle.

Growing Green Onion in Water

To grow green onions in water is usually done by re-growing method. Slice the bulb with roots leaving two to three centimeter green part. Place these sliced root bulbs in a transparent glass jar or container half filled with water for sunlight penetration. The container can hold many bulbs but not choking them all together. Place the container at a place that it can receive sunlight for at least five hours. Within three to four days the roots and shoots start growing and replace the water every two to three days. By two to three weeks the greens will grow up to 15 cm to 20 cm and they can be sliced again for harvesting and re-growing for several times.

Growing Green Onion in Containers

Growing green onions in pots are easy and the harvested greens can be used as a vegetable and for salad. Green onions are rich in Vitamin A and C, potassium, fiber, calcium, and iron. Take a pot or discarded container that can hold soil medium with drainage facility. The container must be 12 cm to 15 cm in depth and the more wider the more plants can be planted. Fill the container with quality soil mix up to one to two centimeter below the top edge. Plant young green onions or sliced onion with roots for regrowth 5 cm apart in the pot. If planting bulbs then fill the container up to 3/4th with quality soil mix and place bulbs 5 to 6 cm apart. Add more soil around the bulb till the bulbs are completely covered and water the pot. Place the pot where the sunlight is available. Keep the soil moist and in a few weeks, you will have greens to harvest.

Pests and Diseases in Growing Green Onion

Insects and Pests in Growing Green Onion:

  • Thrips: These are tiny winged insects, infesting seedlings as soon as they emerge from the ground. They feed by sucking the sap from the leaves destroying the young leaves and become distorted and can die. To control the infected crop, spray anyone of 7 ml of Dimethoate 30% EC per 10 liter water, or 1.2 ml of Oxydemeton-methyl 25% EC per liter water, or 1.2 ml Quinalphos 25% EC per liter water.
  • Cutworm: These are larvae of moths that feed on young and tender leaf parts. These larvae are 0.5 cm long, dark heads and hairless. These young caterpillars skeletonize the leaves while the adult larvae feed by cutting off the leaves. They usually hide under soil or debris and feed at night or later afternoon. To control drench the soil with 2 ml of Chlorpyriphosin one liter of water.

Diseases in Growing Green Onion:

  • Leaf Spot: Botrytis leaf blight is a fungal disease. The disease causes leaf spots and maceration of leaf tissue causing blighting. The disease may result in low onion bulb growth and usually, older onion leaves are more prone than young leaves. To control spray 2 gram ofMancozebin one liter of water or 2.5 grams of Copper oxychlorideper liter and add 5 ml of Teepolin 10 liters of water.
  • Basal Rot:Fusarium basal rot is caused by Fusariumoxysporum pathogen. The pathogen can survive in soil for many years and infects the onion basal plate area causing a dry rot. The pathogens may spread between fields by water, infected plants may attract maggots that feed on rotting bulbs causing further breakdown of the yield. To control the disease, treat the seeds with 4 grams of Trichodermaviride, per kg and basal application of 2.5 grams of T. viride per kilograms of seeds per hectare along with 12.5 kg of VAM 12.5 per hectare.

Harvesting in Growing Green Onion

Green onions will be ready for harvesting from 75 to 90 days. The plants when they reach 15 cm to 20 cm long must be picked while they are still tender and young by either digging or pulling the plants from the soil. For onion harvesting, wait till the leaves are withered and dried. Harvesting greens of onions can also be done by slicing 3 cm above the root. The sliced root section can be replanted in the soil and starts growing by re-sprouting with green tops within two to three weeks and the process can be continued for several times with the same root section.

Yield in Growing Green Onion

Depending on good farming practices, soil, and variety; farmer can expect a yield of 30 tonnes per hectare.

Tips for Growing Green Onion

  • Prepare to sow onions for its green when the weather is cool.
  • Bulbs will form when the weather is warm.
  • Sow seeds in nursery beds or in trays.
  • Avoid sowing seeds directly in ground when soil temperature is less than 10° C.
  • Green onions are heavy feeders ensure the soil is fertile and add rich fertilizer in its growing stage.
  • Green onions beds need more weed control than other vegetable beds.
  • Green onions grow well in loose, fertile, well-drained soils.
  • To re-growing off greens, slice off the ends of the bulbs with roots attached and replant.

For Terrace Gardening: Read here.

For Goat Fattening Information: Read here.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here