Green onions, come back!

Did you know that grocery store green onions will grow back the part you ate?  Neither did I until about a week ago!

In the picture below you see the white part at the bottom of a set of grocery store green onions.  I cooked a delicious recipe for Christmas dinner and ate the tops.  I planted the roots in a pot under my grow lights.

I replanted the unused ends of my green onions.

I replanted the unused ends of my green onions.

After only 4 days, the greens were already growing back (below).

After 4 days

After 4 days

The picture is a bit blurry, but you get the idea.  Already the tops were growing back about a centimeter on most of the onion root ends.

After 11 days

After 11 days


After 13 days

After 13 days


After 20 days

After 20 days (they were inside this week due to extreme cold)


Update: late February…

I harvested the greens again after 6 or 8 weeks.  The bottom white part of the onion had grown weary.  It was thin and lifeless and I knew they wouldn’t grow much for me if I tried them again. Some were barely hanging onto the soil and most hadn’t grown any new root length that wasn’t there already .  I’m not sure if it was a need for fertilizer or a need for better lighting, or if this is just a trick that works once per set of onions.  I chopped and dried mine and put them in a glass jar to use later in soup.

9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Leslie on January 1, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    Are you going to try the pineapple tops?

  2. So you eat the green parts? I’ve always eaten the white parts.

  3. Posted by gardengeekette on January 5, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    That’s so exciting! I’m going to try that next time I buy green onions!!

  4. This reminds me of the book, “After Dinner Gardening”. This is a fun project to do with kids. Thanks for the pics!

  5. You’re welcome. I’ll do another update within the week, hopefully. I moved this back indoors while the greenhouse was 5*F and the greens are 3x this size now.

  6. Oh… you can have green onions on your salad tonight!

  7. It’s because of this post that I plopped a green onion in my coco planter with my amaryllis. Hopefully it bounces back!

  8. Posted by allie on February 20, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    I read about this many years ago at Garden Web, I think the forum where this was discussed was called FRUGAL GARDENING. There were all sorts of things being grown from purchases made in the produce section of the grocery store.

    When I tried this back then, I’d simply keep snipping off the green tops and use them. I think the longest I ever kept a bunch of scallions “greening” was about 3 months. The summer heat ended my experiment.

  9. Posted by allie on February 21, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Plant from the produce department? – Frugal Gardening Forum …100+ posts – 378k –


    Growing stuff found in your kitchen cupboards – Growing from Seed … 21 posts – 80k – Cached –


    Your favorite frugal gardening tip – Frugal Gardening Forum … 100+ posts – 304k – Cached

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